scorecardresearch
India Today Conclave South: Shashi Tharoor explains his idea of India, says it's not a melting pot but a thaali

India Today Conclave South: Shashi Tharoor explains his idea of India, says it's not a melting pot but a thaali

Tharoor, while defending his idea of India from Madhav, added that India's would remain a secular constitution "because it says you have right to freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom of religion and the freedom to propagate religion"

Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor at India Today Conclave South Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor at India Today Conclave South

Congress Member of Parliament Shashi Tharoor while locked in intense debate with Former BJP National General Secretary Ram Madhav said, "You can take out the word 'secular' from the Constitution, it will still be a secular Constitution." Tharoor and Madhav were locking horns at India Today Conclave South in the session 'Poll Plank: Politics of Appeasement vs Politics of Polarisation'.

Tharoor, while defending his idea of India from Madhav, added that India's would remain a secular constitution "because it says you have right to freedom of expression, freedom of worship, freedom of religion and the freedom to propagate religion."

Also Read: India Today Conclave: India Cements MD N Srinivasan on why investors flock to Tamil Nadu

"If you read the Constituent assembly debates, you will find that these core issues were debated. The debate of 'they created a country for Muslims, why don't we call ourselves a state of the Hindus', and was thrashed out and overwhelmingly rejected," added Tharoor.

The Congress MP further noted, "Now that fundamental difference goes to the heart of the question of the idea of India. To my mind, when we celebrate India, we celebrate a country."

"But the advocates of Hindu Rashtra argue that the fundamental difference is that these people who wrote the Constitution, seem to assume that India is a territory, and the Constitution is written for all the people on that territory. Wrong, they said," the Congress MP explained.

Also Read: India Today Conclave: FM Sitharaman to speak on blueprint for self-reliant India on Day 

Tharoor then explained the difference between his idea of India and RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat's idea of India. He said, "India is not a melting pot but a thaali. It is a collection of different dishes on the same platter. Each dish tastes different... so they combine together to give you a satisfying meal. But Mohan Bhagwat said, "no, it's diversity in unity".

"It's a khichdi. A saffron khichdi nicely stirred together. There might be an aloo [potato] here and a piece of gajar [carrot] there, but essentially it is one unity and occasionally some amount of diversity is tolerated," Tharoor paraphrased Bhagwat.

When asked about the Congress' Kerala Election strategy, Tharoor said that he was not at the conclave to discuss the internal workings of the Congress party. "There isn't an option to vote for any individual as Chief Minister," said Tharoor when asked about is why he not running as the Congress' CM candidate in Kerala.

Also Read: India Today Conclave: 'Where is the V-shaped recovery,' asks Chidambaram

Also Read: India Today Conclave: South's contribution to $5 tn-economy could be much higher, say experts