Shashi Tharoor sheepishly apologies for calling Arvind Kejriwal an 'eunuch'

After calling Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal an 'eunuch' during a television interview, Congress MP Shashi Tharoor on Tuesday took to Twitter to issue an apology for the quote he had used while making the statement.

"Mr Kejriwal really wants power without responsibility, which we all know has been the prerogative of eunuchs for ages," Tharoor had told News18 during an interview.

He had been criticising the Chief Minister for being non-committal when it came to protests against the CAA-NRC or even the recent violence in Delhi's educational institutions.

The comment had sparked off debate and criticism, following which, in the early hours of Tuesday, Tharoor issued an apology, calling his use of the quote "inappropriate".

"I recognize that its use today was inappropriate & withdraw it," he wrote.

Social media criticism had ranged from accusations of 'transphobia' to taking umbrage at the fact that Kejriwal was being criticised.

Interestingly, Tharoor's apology does not make any mention of the 'eunuch' reference, but rather brings up the quote itself.

As he puts it, "Apologies to those who found my quote about "power without responsibility" offensive. It's an old line from British politics, going back to Kipling & Prime Minister Stanley Baldwin, & most recently used by Tom Stoppard."

But it would seem that Tharoor may have gotten a tad mixed up.

While the quote exists with mild variations, the Kipling and Baldwin version seem to read as “Power without responsibility – the prerogative of the harlot throughout the ages.”

In the British television series Yes Minister, however, Sir Humphrey Appleby says "Responsibility without power - the prerogative of the eunuch throughout the ages."

British playwright Sir Tom Stoppard too had said the same thing.

Since the violence in Jawaharlal Nehru University earlier in January, Tharoor has been vocal in his criticism of Kejriwal.

Taking to Twitter on Friday he wrote, "The police may have been acting (or not) on orders, but who ordered the Delhi CM not to stand up for citizens’ rights to protest? Not to visit the injured? Not to object as campuses in his state became centres of carnage? Not all blame can be so easily deflected."

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