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Wednesday, October 28, 2020

Outlook magazine apologises for wrongly attributing Ashok Singhal quote to Rajnath Singh

The discussion resumed only after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan expunged the remark though Rajnath Singh earlier insisted Salim withdraw his remark and tender an apology.

By: Express Web Desk | New Delhi | Updated: December 1, 2015 10:04:28 am
outlook-759 The cover of the Outlook Magazine edition that carried the quote wrongly attributed to Rajnath Singh.

On Monday, initiating the Lok Sabha discussion on ‘growing intolerance’, CPI(M)’s Mohammad Salim angered the treasury benches with a quote attributed to Home Minister Rajnath Singh, leading to a stalemate and repeated adjournments.

Salim had relied on a report in Outlook magazine that had attributed the remark to Rajnath in the aftermath of the election of Narendra Modi as Prime Minister.

Watch video: Decoding the ‘intolerance’ debate in Parliament

After the controversy broke in Parliament, Outlook clarified the quote was wrongly attributed to Rajnath and tweeted: “It was not our intention to denigrate the home minister or Parliament. Outlook sincerely regrets the embarrassment caused to Mr Rajnath Singh and Mr Mohammad Salim.” The tweet provided a link to a page where Outlook said, “… A remark (‘first Hindu ruler after 800 years’) made by the late Ashok Singhal of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad was erroneously attributed to… Rajnath Singh.”

The discussion resumed only after Speaker Sumitra Mahajan expunged the remark though Rajnath Singh earlier insisted Salim withdraw his remark and tender an apology. The CPM MP, in turn, refused to do so — he did not find much support though from other Opposition members, barring those from the Left.

Rajnath, while disowning the remark, said, “I have never felt as hurt as today.” He challenged Salim to reveal “when and where did I make such a statement” or “apologise”. “A home minister who makes such a statement has no moral right to be the home minister… I speak after weighing every word… People know Rajnath Singh can never make such a statement,” he told the House.

In a statement published on their website, Outlook said:

In a Lok Sabha debate on November 30, 2015, Mr. Mohammad Salim, the honorable Member of Parliament of the CPI-M, referred to an Outlook cover story (“The Mirror States”, dated November 16, 2015).
In this story, a remark (“first Hindu ruler after 800 years”) made by the late Ashok Singhal of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad was erroneously attributed to Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh. Outlook deeply regrets the lack of diligence in verifying the source of the statement.

It was not our intention to denigrate the home minister or Parliament. Outlook sincerely regrets the embarrassment caused to Mr. Rajnath Singh and Mr. Mohammad Salim.

The online version of the said article has been corrected to put the facts on record.

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