The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) Tuesday disapproved of a purported comparison between Swami Vivekananda and fugitive don Dawood Ibrahim by BJP president Nitin Gadkari and said there was a need to keep in mind public sentiments associated with renowned figures.
RSS spokesman Ram Madhav said Swami Vivekananda was respected across the world. "We have to keep in mind that sentiments of millions of people are attached to them and we should be careful."
Asked about Gadkari's continuation as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) president in the wake of demands by Ram Jethmalani and some other leaders for his resignation, Madhav said these matters would be handled by the party.
"We have nothing to comment on these things."
Gadkari Tuesday regretted his remarks on Swami Vivekananda, a day after he denied comparing the 19th century seer to the fugitive don.
"I would like to reiterate that I never compared Swami Vivekananda with anyone. I had absolutely no intention to project Swami Vivekananda in bad light. If my words about Swami Vivekananda have hurt the public sentiments in any manner, I express my sincere regrets," Gadkari said.
The BJP chief said Swami Vivekananda had always been a source of inspiration for workers and leaders in the party.
Gadkari had Monday stoutly denied having compared Swami Vivekananda with Dawood Ibrahim and said he had been grossly misquoted.
Speaking Sunday at an awards function in Bhopal, Gadkari said: "If we could compare the IQ (intelligence quotient) level of Swami Vivekananda and that of Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been almost similar. But their direction in life is so different. While Vivekananda used it for nation building, brotherhood and spiritualism, Dawood used it for destructive purpose, to excel in the crime world."