Congress leader Shashi Tharoor on Wednesday said he is "taken aback by the attack" on Trinamool Congress MP Mahua Moitra for her comments on Goddess Kaali, and urged people to "lighten up and leave religion" to individuals to practice privately.
Moitra on Tuesday stirred a controversy with her remarks that she has every right as "an individual to imagine Goddess Kaali as a meat-eating and alcohol-accepting goddess", as every person has the right to worship god and goddess in his or her own way.
While the BJP severely criticised Moitra and asked if it was the official stand of West Bengal's ruling party to insult Hindu gods and goddesses, the TMC distanced itself from the comment and condemned it.
Reacting to the row, Tharoor said on Twitter, "I am no stranger to malicious manufactured controversy, but am still taken aback by the attack on @MahuaMoitra for saying what every Hindu knows, that our forms of worship vary widely across the country. What devotees offer as bhog (offering) says more about them than about the goddess".
"We have reached a stage where no one can say anything publicly about any aspect of religion without someone claiming to be offended. It's obvious that @MahuaMoitra wasn't trying to offend anyone. I urge every1 to lighten up & leave religion to individuals to practice privately," he said.
While taking part in India Today Conclave East held in Kolkata, Moitra had said it is up to individuals how they view their gods.
"If you go to Bhutan or Sikkim, for example, when they do puja, they give whisky to their god. Now, if you go to Uttar Pradesh and say that you give whisky to your god as prasad, they will say that is blasphemous, she had said.