A Delhi court on Friday granted bail to Congress MP Shashi Tharoor in connection with his remarks comparing Prime Minister Narendra Modi to a “scorpion sitting on a Shivling”, which he had attributed to a Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh leader, reported PTI. Tharoor was asked to deposit a personal bond of Rs 20,000.
Speaking at the Bangalore Literature Festival in October last year, Tharoor had claimed Modi’s “personality cult” did not sit very well with many people in the RSS. He claimed there was an “extraordinarily striking metaphor” with which an RSS member expressed the organisation’s frustration with its “inability to curb Modi”. He then cited the RSS functionary as saying: “Modi is like a scorpion sitting on a Shivling, you cannot remove him with your hand and you cannot hit it with a chappal either”.
Delhi Bharatiya Janata Party leader Rajeev Babbar had filed a criminal defamation complaint against the Congress MP. In his complaint, Babbar claimed Tharoor had hurt the sentiments of Shiva devotees. “I am a devotee of Lord Shiva,” he had said. “However, the accused completely disregarded the sentiments of crores of Shiva’s devotees, made the statement which hurt the sentiments of all the Lord Shiva devotees, both in India and outside the country.” The complainant claimed Tharoor’s statement was “intolerable abuse” and and “absolute vilification” of the faith of millions of people.
The Rouse Avenue Court Delhi court had issued summons to the Congress leader on April 28, and asked Tharoor to appear before it on June 7.
Tharoor had called the case frivolous. The Congress MP asked why the suit had been filed against him now even though the quote was published in an article six years ago.
Tharoor is also accused of abetting the suicide of his wife Sunanda Pushkar, who died in January 2014.