Noted historian Ramchandra Guha, in a series of tweets on Sunday, attempted to put to rest what he called the "kerfuffle" over his remarks on Rahul Gandhi's presence in the Congress "aiding" the BJP, saying it was made in the broader context of "Modi, Hindutva and India". The eight-tweet thread also included an admission -- that it was "patronising" of him to "chastise the Malayalis" for electing Rahul Gandhi from Wayanad.
Mr Guha's comment -- made at the Kerala Literature Festival on Friday -- has been enthusiastically up-voted by right wing supporters, pushing him to explain his remarks further. His series of tweets came after an arch comment from Congress's Shashi Tharoor.
"Thanks for the clarification, @Ram_Guha. I'm sure you aren't elevating PM's capacity for hard work above its actual divisive consequences for the nation! Whatever you think about @RahulGandhi, he embodies an alternative vision of India that many millions support in resisting BJP," read Mr Tharoor's tweet.
"In view of the kerfuffle (to use a Tharoorian term) caused by the slanted and selective PTI report on my #KLF speech, a thread stating/restating my views on Rahul, Modi, Hindutva and India," Ramchandra Guha responded.
He then proceeded to explain that in a US-style Presidential form of election, voters would always prefer Narendra Modi to Rahul Gandhi "because the former is more experienced and in political terms self-made".
Rahul Gandhi's "lack of focus and administrative experience and, most importantly, his being a fifth generation dynast are a great disadvantage," he added.
"That said, I have been for many years a sharp critic of Modi's policies, as in my columns in @httweets and @ttindia," he tweeted.
Ever since I went to Bhagalpur after the 1989 riots, I have been implacably opposed to Hindutva & all its works. This opposition is spelt out in articles, books, tweets, speeches. As I said on 19th December, 'I will continue to oppose Hindutva with every fiber in my being'. 4/7— Ramachandra Guha (@Ram_Guha) January 19, 2020
The 61-year-old historian also tweeted that the "fear has broken" with the peaceful protests against the new citizenship law.
In his speech at the Kerala Literature Festival, titled "Patriotism Vs Jingoism", Mr Guha had said: "I have nothing against Rahul Gandhi personally. He is a decent fellow, very well-mannered. But young India does not want a fifth-generation dynast. If you Malyalis make the mistake of re-electing Rahul Gandhi in 2024 too, you are merely handing over an advantage to Narendra Modi."
But even if Rahul Gandhi was "much more intelligent, more hard-working, never took a holiday in Europe, as a fifth generation dynast he still will be at a disadvantage against a self-made person", the author had said.