Shashi Tharoor lashed out at the media on Sunday for “misreporting” his comment on Jawaharlal Nehru’s foreign policy and even demanded an apology to the country. The minister of state for external affairs clarified he had only been “summarising Lord (Bhikhu) Parekh’s main points”.
On Friday, Tharoor hit the headlines when he apparently endorsed a critique on the foreign policy approach of Jawaharlal Nehru and Mahatma Gandhi as “a moralistic running commentary”.
“I am dismayed by the inaccurate and tendentious reporting of a statement attributed to me… on January 8,” he said.
“…Irresponsible reporting may briefly gratify a few sensation-seekers in the media, but they do no credit to the need of informed discussion of foreign policy issues in our democracy. India deserves better. So, frankly, do I.”
Asked if he had spoken to the Prime Minister about it, he said: “As a matter of policy I am not going to reveal any internal conversation. But I have absolutely no doubt that those in possession of a polity in this country want to have the accurate picture, not a distorted and an inaccurate picture as we have seen in the papers today.”
On whether such controversies embarrass the party, Tharoor said: “If you continue to misreport like this, clearly people are not going to judge me by what I say but what you all are reporting. You are the only one who misreported and you all owe an apology to the country for misreporting.”
His party, however, said the matter had been put to rest. “Now that the minister has clarified that… he has been quoted out of context, the party has nothing more to add…” Congress spokesman Abhishek Manu Singhvi said.
The BJP came out in support of Tharoor. “He (Tharoor) has for once spoken a truth even if it was done by him by mistake,” said BJP spokesperson Rajiv Pratap Rudy.