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.
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.
— Outlook Magazine (@Outlookindia) November 30, 2015