Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar arrived in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh, on Thursday in a bid to mediate the Ram temple-Babri Masjid dispute. He is expected to meet Ramjanmabhoomi Nyas chairman Nritya Gopal Das, among others. Ravi Shankar, who offered to resolve issues “of his own will”, had earlier denied visiting the city with an agenda and said he will listen to everybody.
“Environment is positive, people want to come out of this conflict. I know it is not easy, let me talk to everyone, it is too early to reach a conclusion,” Ravi Shankar said in Ayodhya, reported news agency ANI.
Sri Sri also claimed that Muslims are not opposing the Ram Temple. “I know some may not agree with this, but Muslims by and large are not opposing the Ram temple. A solution may sometimes seem impossible but our people, youth and leaders of both communities can make it possible,” said Ravi Shankar.
Shankar’s involvement has been met with resistance from the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP), who have voiced reservations over his role in the dispute.
The AoL founder on Wednesday paid a “courtesy call” to Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath. Following the meeting, Shankar said, “I want unity… I want amity. This is just a beginning. We will talk to all,” reported PTI.
Meanwhie, Adityanth, who has welcomed Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s role in talks, said, “Since the government isn’t party to the case, I had already told the stakeholders that if they can come to a final decision on the matter through dialogue, then the government is committed to fully back it. But if they can’t come to such a decision… if they can’t talk it out… then it is in the court… and we will obey whatever is the court’s decision.”
(With inputs from agencies)