The Congress may have accepted the Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict and said that they have always wanted the construction of the Ram Temple in Ayodhya, but a publication affiliated with the party has landed in a hot spot after questioning the judgment.
The National Herald had published two opinion articles that they subsequently took down after being lambasted by BJP spokesperson Sambit Patra. The article, titled "Why a devout Hindu will never pray at the Ram temple in Ayodhya" was taken down by the Nation Herald and a Twitter post apologised for the same.
"We apologise if the article ‘Why a devout Hindu...’ hurt anyone or any group’s sentiments. The views expressed in the article are author’s personal views and do not reflect those of the National Herald," the publication wrote. The article had been written by Sujatha Anandan who is a frequent columnist for the paper.
A now-deleted tweet promoting the article had asked, "Can God reside in a temple built by force, violence and bloodshed? Can prayers be ever addressed in such a temple even if God does decide to reside there?" The article said that “strangely (former Shiv Sena chief) Bal Thackeray wanted a school or a hospital built there.”
The Herald also took down another article written by Amnesty International India's Executive Director, Aakar Patel titled "‘Why the Ayodhya verdict reminds us of the Supreme Court of Pakistan’. In this case, the article began by stating that the Supreme Court of India "has ruled exactly what Vishwa Hindu Parishad and BJp wanted from the beginning, even after accepting that installing idols and demolition of the mosque was unlawful".
Soon after the articles came out, Patra hit out at the Congress, reminding that Congress President Sonia Gandhi and Rahul Gandhi were out on bail in the National Herald case.
"Is Congress party via the National Herald trying to say that the Supreme Court gave that judgment which the VHP and BJP wanted? This is an extremely sad matter. There is no judicial system in the whole world, as transparent and as democratic as the judicial system of India," he said.
He also singled out other parts of the article for criticism. Taking up a part of the article that said that General Musharraf of Pakistan was "validated in the same fashion" and that opined that "all dictators have operated under legal cover. And their actions have been seen as legitimate".
Patra wondered if the Herald was implying that there was a dictatorship in India. "You cast aspersions over the SC. You are trying to save Pakistan," he said.