New Delhi: BJP President Nitin Gadkari landed in a controversy on Monday over drawing a comparison between the IQ level of Swami Vivekanand and fugitive don Dawood Ibhrahim in remarks which drew fire from the Congress.
Attempting to douse the controversy, Gadkari today denied he had said Vivekananda and the underworld don had the same Intelligence Quotient(IQ) level and insisted his views had been presented in a wrong manner by the media.
"I have only said if someone utilises his brain in a good way, he is Vivekanand and if he does not, he is evil. There is no comparison and whatever I have said was presented in a wrong way, which is not right," he told reporters in Delhi.
Gadkari also released a statement in which he said he did not make any such comparison. "What I said was that if one used one's intelligence properly then one could become a Saint like Swami Vivekanand. I have been grossly misquoted."
Congress while slamming Gadkari for his remark, said it demonstrated BJP's "level of thinking and mentality" and demanded an apology.
Speaking at an award ceremony in Bhopal yesterday, Gadkari said the IQ level of Vivekanand and Dawood could have been the same, but the spiritual leader had used it for nation building while the underworld don for pursuing crime.
"In psychology, we measure IQ level of people...But it depends from person to person, in which area they use their intelligence," he said.
"As per psychology if we can compare the IQ level of Swami Vivekanand and that of Dawood Ibrahim, then it could have been the same. But Vivekanand used it in nation building, brotherhood and spiritualism while Dawood used that in excelling in crime world," Gadkari said.
Information and Broadcasting minister and Congress leader Manish Tewari said Gadkari's speech is "yet another manifestation of their culture and mentality."
"How can anyone compare one of India's foremost thought leaders with a criminal or with somebody who has clearly dubious and notorious records," he asked.
Tewari said a "mere clarification" would not suffice and the BJP should "apologise" to the people of this country, and specifically to the thinking people and the leaders of future.
Congress leader Digvijay Singh, who has been targeting the BJP chief over his business links, took to Twitter to target Gadkari. "In a function in Bhopal Gadkari said 'IQ of Swami Vivekanand and Dawood Ibrahim was same'. Any comment from (Narender) Modi and his fans?" Singh tweeted.(MORE)