New Delhi: Union Minister Shashi Tharoor today lashed out Narendra Modi, a one time RSS pracharak, for his "burqa of secularism" jibe at Congress, saying it was preferable to "khaki shorts of Italian fascists".
"Secularism burqa in my view is preferable to the khaki shorts of the Italian fascists of the 1920s. Shorts which signify intolerance and hatred, which he is not trying to hide. He was a RSS pracharak," he said.
Tharoor who is a known baiter of the Sangh Parivaar said the burqa represents the belief of a certain faith but the Khaki shorts represented intolerance to other communities.
"One may represent a particular attitude to a certain faith, the other represents hatred and intolerance of other communities and belief systems. That is what is wrong," he said at a function here organised by FICCI here.
Modi had yesterday charged Congress with wearing the "burqa (veil) of secularism" to hide from its failures.
He had also underlined the deficiencies in the country's education system and research output.
Tharoor, who is the Minister of state of HRD, however, supported Modi's contention that none of the Indian universities found a place among the top 200 in the world but at the same time blamed the Opposition for stalling key legislations in Parliament related to reforms in higher education.
The Minister dismissed Modi's other argument that the research base in the country was of little use saying global giants have larger research activities in India than their own countries.