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Someone sabotaged your literary credibility: Javed Akhtar after Shashi Tharoor wrongly quotes Mirza Ghalib

FE Online
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Congress leader Shashi Tharoor, who is known for his impeccable English speaking and writing skills, on Sunday found himself in an embarrassing situation after wrongly quoting Mirza Ghalib. Tharoor, who is Congress MP from Thiruvananthapuram, also wished the famous Urdu poet on incorrect birth date. Tharoor posted a few lines, purportedly written by the legendary Urdu poet, wishing him on his 220th birthday.

But soon after posting his tweet, Tharoor realised his mistake he made in Ghalib's birthday which falls on December 7. He was quick to rectify it and tweeted: "Ghalib is an all-time favourite, but today is not his birthday. I was misinformed. Relish the lines anyway!"

What Tharoor did not realise was that the lines he shared were also not written by Ghalib. Lyricist Javed Akhtar after noticing his gaffe gave a piece of advice to the Congress leader and said: "Shashi Ji, whoever has given you these lines should never be trusted again. It is obvious that someone had planted these lines in your repertoire to sabotage your literary credibility.”

Tharoor's tweet also woke up the poets hidden in his followers and the thread was soon full with poetry. Akhtar also responded to tweets from many others who had shared Ghalib's lines and informed them that the lines were not by the poet.

On being rectified by the famous lyricist, Tharoor wrote a heartfelt post on Twitter and also quipped that whenever people like the lines of a poem, they quickly attribute them to Ghalib. "Thanks to Javed Akhtar & other friends, I realize I've been had. The lines are not Ghalib's. Just as every clever quote is attributed to Winston Churchill even if he never said it, so it seems that whenever people like a shayari, they credit Ghalib for it! Apologies," Tharoor wrote on Twitter.