The All India Congress Committee (AICC) spokesman Shakeel Ahmed on Saturday said he was surprised by Tharoor’s remark.
“I am very surprised by the style of Tharoor. He is a member of the Congress and his responsibility is to carry forward the legacy of Pandit Nehru and not to be critical of it,” said Ahmed.
Tharoor made the remark after Parekh, a political theoretician and a member of the British House of Lords, delivered a lecture in an event organised by the Association of Indian Diplomats and the Indian Council of World Affairs on Friday. Parekh is also a member of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh’s Global Advisory Council.
“That Lord Parekh and I have fought alike on issues of India’s identity and India’s domestic arrangements as well…so we do, I am afraid, come from a similar outlook of the world,” Tharoor was reported to have said after Parekh’s lecture.
“I think his (is a) very clear summary for us of the way in which Indian foreign policy drew from our founding fathers’ sense of our civilisational heritage, the manner in which both enhanced India’s standing in the world and gave us the negative reputation for conducting foreign policy as a sort of moralistic running commentary on other people’s behaviour,” the reports quoted him as saying.
Ahmed said Nehru was instrumental in formulating the foreign policy of the country even before independence under the inspiration and guidance of Mahatma Gandhi. “That is why I am surprised. Even after Independence, Nehru carried forward the policy of national consensus on foreign policy,” said the AICC spokesman.
He said the policy of non-alignment and the non-aligned movement in association with other great leaders of the world is well recognised and appreciated in history. Tharoor, a former United Nations official, joined the Congress ahead of the parliamentary elections in April-May 2009. He contested the elections and won from Kerala to be an MP.
He, however, irked the Congress high command by posting controversial remarks on the social networking site Twitter. He first courted controversy in September last year when he called the economy class of commercial airliners “cattle class” in a post on Twitter. The Congress had termed his remarks “insensitive”, forcing him to apologise later.
He was again ticked off by his senior and external affairs minister S M Krishna in public last month for posting adverse remarks about new rules for multi-entry tourist visas on Twitter.