New Delhi: Congress MP Shashi Tharoor has raked up a controversy with his remarks against the construction of a Ram Temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya.
Referring to the demolition of Babri Masjid, Tharoor said “no good Hindu” would want a Ram Temple to be built by “demolishing somebody else’s place of worship”.
Speaking at the Hindu Litfest, Tharoor made the following statement:
“ON THE RAM JANMABHOOMI, AS A HINDU OBVIOUSLY I AM VERY CONSCIOUS THAT A VAST MAJORITY OF MY FELLOW HINDUS BELIEVE THAT THIS WAS THE SPECIFIC BIRTHPLACE OF RAM AND FOR THAT REASON MOST GOOD HINDUS WOULD WANT TO SEE A RAM TEMPLE AT THE SITE WHERE RAM WAS SUPPOSED TO BE BORN. BUT I ALSO BELIEVE THAT NO GOOD HINDU WOULD HAVE WANTED TO SEE THAT TEMPLE BUILT BY DEMOLISHING SOMEBODY ELSE’S PLACE OF WORSHIP.”
Speaking at a literature festival in Chennai, Tharoor also alleged that the BJP would resort to communal polarisation ahead of 2019 Lok Sabha elections.
At the event, Tharoor also expressed concerns over the undermining of religious institutions and conceded that the Congress was “ready to admit its mistakes”.
“It is a party that imposed the Emergency that has become one of the best custodians of democracy,” he said.
Hitting out at Tharoor, BJP spokesperson Shahnawaz Hussain 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.”
Mahant Dharamdas, a litigant in the case, said that Tharoor was opposing the Mandir due to his affiliation to the Congress, linking it Kapil Sibal’s earlier submissions that the matter should be deferred till after the 2019 elections.
Calling it naivety, Dharamdas added, “The matter is ongoing in the Supreme Court. No politician has the right to speak on the matter while the hearings are to happen. They want to disturb society. It should be banned.”
Shia Waqf board head Wasim Rizvi said, “Tharoor’s good Hindu means only Rahul Gandhi. The rest are all bad Hindus — those who are seeking the Mandir’s construction. This speaks of a state-of-mind. It’s the Congress’ conspiracy to insult the Ram Janmabhoomi by rebuilding that which has been demolished.”
However, Tharoor accused the media of “distorting” his words. “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 tweeted.
— Shashi Tharoor (@ShashiTharoor) October 15, 2018
This is hardly the first controversial remark made by Shashi Tharoor regarding Hindus and Hinduism. In July, the former Junior Minister had said that if the BJP won the 2019 elections, they would create a ‘Hindu Pakistan’.