New Delhi: Reacting to RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat's remarks, Congress leader Shashi Tharoor said on Monday that Army should be kept beyond politics and 'a bunch of young people with bamboo sticks and khaki shorts' should not be compared to the men in uniform.
"Quite shocked to hear him (Mohan Bhagwat) comparing Army unfavourably with the RSS. Really unworthy, Let us keep Army beyond politics. Let us not compare a bunch of young people with bamboo sticks and khaki shorts to Army," the Thiruvananthapuram MP said, as per ANI.
Earlier, Congress president Rahul Gandhi on Monday criticised Bhagwat for his reported remark that the Sangh outfit could "prepare" military personnel faster than the Army, saying it was "absolutely wrong" and he should apologise for it.
"Mohan Bhagwat's remark is absolutely wrong, I'm pained hearing it. Our soldiers shed their blood, stand at the borders and work, they give their lives," he told reporters in Shahpur in the midst of his four-day campaign in poll-bound Karnataka.
The RSS Chief's speech is an insult to every Indian, because it disrespects those who have died for our nation.
It is an insult to our flag because it insults every soldier who ever saluted it.
— Office of RG (@OfficeOfRG) February 12, 2018
Addressing RSS workers meet in Bihar on Sunday, Bhagwat reportedly said, "Sangh will prepare military personnel within three days which the Army would do in 6-7 months. This is our capability," PTI reported.
Statement of Dr. Manmohanji Vaidya regarding misrepresentation of Sarsangchalak Dr.Mohanji Bhagwat's speech at Muzzafarpur ( Bihar ) is at https://t.co/8UJvc6PCZ3 ; Video excerpt of what Mohanji actually said is here - https://t.co/0TAvSjs2Dh
— RSS (@RSSorg) February 12, 2018
Meanwhile, the RSS clarified on Monday that Bhagwat had not compared the Indian Army with Sangh volunteers and his remarks on the matter were "misrepresented."
"Bhagwat's remarks were made as a comparison between common people and sangh swayamsevak (volunteers) and were in "no way a comparison" with the Indian Army, RSS Akhil Bhartiya Prachaar Pramukh Manmohan Vaidya said in a statement, seeking to douse the controversy.
"Bhagwat ji had said that if the situation arises and the Constitution permits, Indian Army would take six months to prepare the society whereas sangh swayamsevak can be trained in three days as swayamsevak practice discipline regularly. This was no way a comparison between the Indian army and the Sangh swayamsevaks but it was a comparison between general society and swayamsevaks. Both are to be trained by the Indian Army only," the statement said.
(With Agency inputs)