Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman shut down a man who addressed her as "sweetie" in a tweet in which he accused her of misquoting Swami Vivekanand.
On Sunday, Ms Sitharaman, 60, took to Twitter to mark Swami Vivekananda's birth anniversary with one of his quotes. "Awake, arise, and dream no more!" read part of the excerpt from 'The Awakened India' by Swami Vivekananda that Ms Sitharaman posted on Twitter.
After posting the verse, the minister added that the words were taken from "The Complete Works of Swami Vivekananda IV, pp 388-89".
Responding to the tweet, Twitter user Sanjoy Ghose tried to tell Ms Sitharaman that she did not use the correct quote.
"@nsitharaman quotes from the Katha Upanishad & Swamiji's adoption of the saying 'arise awake'," he wrote. "Sweetie, it's 'cease not until your goal is reached' not 'dream no more'."
@nsitharaman quotes from the Katha Upanishad & Swamiji's adoption of the saying “arise awake”. Sweetie its “cease not until your goal is reached” not “dream no more”; unless it's Budget 2020 that you are warning us about! ???????? https://t.co/piAWuwpmgy— sanjoy ghose (@advsanjoy) January 12, 2020
"Arise, awake, and cease not till the goal is reached" is a slogan, inspired by a shloka from the Katha Upanishad, that was popularised by Swami Vivekanand in the late 19th century.
Ms Sitharaman countered Mr Ghose's claim that she had misquoted Swami Vivekanand.
"While he is oft-quoted w/the verse from Katha Upanishad, what I've excerpted, is from 'The Awakened India', written in Aug 1898," she wrote. "BTW, I had cited the reference below the verse itself," she added, urging the Twitter user to look it up if interested.
Glad you're taking interest. While he is oft-quoted w/the verse from Katha Upanishad, what I've excerpted, is from ‘The Awakened India', written in Aug 1898 — BTW, I had cited the reference below the verse itself. Pub by Advaita Ashrama if you're further interested. https://t.co/fceSBUxain— Nirmala Sitharaman (@nsitharaman) January 12, 2020
Ms Sitharaman's response was praised by many as "dignified", while others criticised Mr Ghose's use of the term "sweetie".
Minister quote-tweets and gives dignified response to someone who made a disparaging and sexist remark against her. Deep respect. https://t.co/w27HE3j4uD— Sreemoy Talukdar (@sreemoytalukdar) January 12, 2020
It wasn't the right way to address you anyway. Such mocking, irrespective of the ideology of a person, is taking the civility out of public interaction.— Navdeep Singh (@SinghNavdeep) January 12, 2020
“Sweetie” and that too to the FM of the country. Huge Respects and more power to you @nsitharaman ma'am for keeping your head high amongst such blatantly misogynistic barbs ????— Vidhya (@vidhya_rams) January 12, 2020
Nirmala Sitharaman will present the first full year Budget on February 1, 2020.
Last week, her office put out several tweets in response to critics who questioned her absence at a pre-budget meeting in which Prime Minister Narendra Modi met with top economists.