Shashi Tharoor's remark invited sharp criticism for him and the Congress party from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, with the BJP accusing the Congress of insulting Hindus.
Senior Congress leader Shashi Tharoor today came out to clarify that his remarks on the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya were quoted out of context by the media. Tharoor asserted he never said that Hindus do not want a temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya. In a tweet today, Tharoor said that he made the remark at the literary festival in a personal capacity when he was asked for his opinion. He said that his remark should not be seen as the Congress party’s view on the matter.
“I condemn the malicious distortion of my words by some media in the service of political masters. I said: “most Hindus would want a temple at what they believe to be Ram’s birthplace. But no good Hindu would want it to be built by destroying another’s place of worship,” he said in a tweet.
“I was asked for my personal opinion at a literary festival and gave it as such. I am not a Spokesperson for my party & did not claim to be speaking for Congress party,” he added.
Speaking at ‘The Hindu Lit for Life Dialogue 2018’ on Sunday, Tharoor had said that “while a vast majority of Hindus believes that Ayodhya was the birthplace of Lord Ram, no good Hindu would want to see a Ram temple built by demolishing somebody else’s place of worship.”
Tharoor’s remark invited sharp criticism for him and the Congress party from the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party, with the BJP accusing the Congress of insulting Hindus. Senior party leader and Union Minister Prakash Javadekar said that this could be Congress president Rahul Gandhi and Tharoor’s view but Hindus want a grand temple at the same piece of land where Babri Masjid was razed.
“Astonished that Shashi Tharoor believes that true Hindus don’t want a Ram Temple in Ayodhya. This could be a view of Tharoor or Rahul Gandhi, not of people. This shows how cutoff they are from reality and how they only become Hindu during elections,” he said.
Party’s Muslim leader Shahnawaz Hussain also objected to Tharoor’s remark. He said, “Is he demanding a removal of the makeshift temple where pooja is performed daily in the tent? No one till now has made such a demand.”
The Ram Mandir case is presently pending before the Supreme Court. The top court will start hearing in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid case from October 29. The Allahabad High Court had in its 2010 judgment favoured bifurcating the 2.77 land into three parts but the parties involved in the case had moved the Supreme Court.