THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Thursday said he was "appalled by the vicious backlash" against his birthday greetings to senior BJP leader L K Advani and alleged that he was being branded as a "Sanghi sympathiser".
He said only those who haven't read him would call him a "Sanghi."
Wishing Advani a happy 92nd birthday, Tharoor on November 9 had posted in his twitter handle a video of the veteran BJP parliament leader's speech in Parliament and said, "this speech is a reminder of his fine contributions to India's rich democracy".
"I am frankly appalled by the vicious backlash against my birthday greetings to LK Advaniji.
Has civility disappeared entirely from our political discourse? Gandhiji taught us to respect & honour the humanity in our political opponents.
It seems that now makes me a Sanghi sympathiser!," Tharoor said in a tweet.
Referring to the teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, the Thiruvananthapuram MP said he intends to continue to wish Adavani and Prime Minister Narendra Modi on their birthdays, while opposing them politically.
"In fact Gandhiji taught us to fight the sin but love(embrace)the sinner. Ahimsa is "a positive state of love, of doing good even to the evildoer".
While good & evil are Gandhian terms I can't easily use (most human beings are shades of both), I deplore intolerance on either side.
"So yes, I intend to continue to wish LK Advani & @narendramodi well on their birthdays, while opposing what they stand for politically. My 40 years of writing makes clear what I believe in. Only those who haven't read me would call me a Sanghi. My values won't be discarded 4them," he tweeted.
Tharoor also wrote on his Facebook account both in English and Malayalam, condemning the social media attack on him for wishing the country's former Deputy Prime Minister on his birthday.