Various Muslim organisations have expressed their reservations over Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s initiative to resolve the impending Ram Temple issue in Ayodhya, saying that the spiritual leader should first disclose his plan.
“It is being said that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is talking to all the stakeholders in the case but he has not yet contacted the top leadership of the All India Muslims Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) which is leading the Muslim side,” AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani was quoted as saying by PTI. “About 12 years ago, Sri Sri had made a similar move and had concluded that the disputed site be handed over to Hindus…what new formula he has found this time should be disclosed,” he claimed.
The AIMPLB general secretary also took a strong exception to the statements of Shia Central Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizvi and termed them as unnecessary. Raising objection to the stand taken by Rizvi, who had said that a temple be built on the disputed site, Rehmani stressed that the chairman of any board does not have the authority to hand over any disputed site to any party. “If Rizvi’s logic is that Mir Baqi, who got the Babri mosque constructed, was a Shia then also it (mosque) was made for all Muslims,” said Rehmani.
Rizvi had claimed yesterday, “It was amicably decided that no new mosque would be built in Ayodhya or Faizabad and the Shia Waqf board will identify a piece of land in a Muslim-dominated area and inform the government.”
Recently, the Shia Central Waqf Board had staked claim to the Babri mosque, saying that it was a Shia mosque and has also impleaded itself as a party in the Ayodhya case by submitting a 30-page affidavit to the Supreme Court on August 8.
Maulana Yasoob Abbas, Shia Personal Law Board spokesman refused to comment on Rizvi’s statements but said his board was with the AIMPLB on the matter.
On Rizvi, Jilani said he might be the chairman of the Waqf Board but had no standing in the court of law. “There was also no mention of Shia Waqf Board in the Allahabad High Court’s decision in September 2010,” Jilani said.
“As far as the efforts of Sri Sri is concerned, he should first disclose his formula and our executive will deliberate on it,” Abbas said. Meanwhile, Masjid Action Committee convenor Zafaryab Jilani said if Ravi Shankar had any proposal other than rejecting the claim of the Muslim side, the meeting of the executive committee would be convened to discuss it. Jilani further said that an atmosphere was perhaps created before Ravi Shankar that all the stakeholders were ready for his mediation but the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) had itself started objecting to it.
VHP media in-charge Sharad Sharma had said that there was no logic of holding any dialogue as archaeological evidence was in favour of the Hindus and court went only by evidence. “The Ram temple issue will be discussed during the 15th Dharam Sansad in Karnataka to be held between September 24-26,” Sharma said.
Ahead of his visit to Ayodhya on Thursday, Shankar today Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in the state capital. Shankar had said in Delhi earlier this week he was involved as a mediator in the Ram Temple dispute of his own will and would visit Ayodhya on November 16 to meet all stakeholders. He said he did not have an agenda and would listen to everybody.
The Allahabad High Court, in 2010, had ruled a three-way division of the disputed 2.77-acre area at Ayodhya among Sunni Waqf Board, Nirmohi Akhara and Lord Ram Lalla.
(With PTI inputs)