At a time when smear campaigns, sexist rants and hate speeches plague Indian politics, a goodwill gesture of Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman towards Congress MP Shashi Tharoor seems to have reinstated people’s faith in good politics.
Sitharaman, on Tuesday (April 16) called on Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who got admitted to a hospital in Thiruvananthapuram after suffering head injuries while performing a ritual at a temple here.
Moved by Sitharaman’s gesture, Tharoor took to Twitter to thank her for taking out the time to visit him despite her election campaigns.
“Touched by the gesture of @nsitharaman, who dropped by today morning to visit me in the hospital, amid her hectic electioneering in Kerala. Civility is a rare virtue in Indian politics – great to see her practice it by example!”
Tharoor, the Thiruvananthapuram MP and party candidate in the April 23 Lok Sabha polls, was injured when the hook of a weighing scale came off and its iron panel hit his head during the ‘Thulabharam’ ritual on April 15. He was admitted to the Thiruvananthapuram Medical college hospital, and is expected to be discharged later on Tuesday.
Thulabharam is a Hindu ritual in which a person is weighed against a commodity such as flowers, grains, fruits and similar articles in temples and the equal value or quantity is offered as donation.
Monday being the Malayalam New Year day (Vishu), Tharoor performed the ritual by offering sugar equal to his weight in the morning before embarking on his poll campaign.
Sitharaman had reached Kerala on Monday night (April 15) and held a road show at Thiruvananthapuram along with BJP candidate Kummanam Rajashekaran along the coastal stretch, besides addressing a campaign meeting at Attingal for Shobha Surendran.
C Divakaran, the CPI and left front candidate, who is opposing Tharoor, also visited him at the hospital. “Very gracious of my LDF rival C Divakaran to call this morning to express concern about my wellbeing. Said he had spoken to the Hospital Superintendent to assure himself I would be ok,” Tharoor said.
Divakaran asked Tharoor not to be demoralised. “I’m not: I’m more determined than ever to see this through!” Tharoor said.
The Thiruvananthapuram constituency is witnessing a fierce triangular fight among the ruling CPI (M)-led LDF, Opposition Congress-led UDF and BJP-led NDA.