Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has given his first reaction to being appointed to the three-member panel that will mediate between the parties in the Ayodhya case, as ordered by the Supreme Court on Friday.
Sri Sri, who has undertaken a mediation attempt in the decades-old matter as recently as last year, has been appointed as one of the panel members for the court-monitored mediation, along with panel chairman Retired Supreme Court Justice Kalifulla and Sriram Panchu. Here's his first reaction to the development:
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had earlier attempted a mediation in the dispute, speaking to multiple stakeholders, at the end of which he had made tripartite proposal detailed in a letter to the AIMPLB:
THE FIRST POSSIBILITY IS THAT OF THE COURT DECLARING THE SITE BE GIVEN TO THE HINDUS BASED ON THE ARCHEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE THAT THE TEMPLE EXISTED LONG BEFORE THE MASJID. IN THIS SCENARIO, MUSLIMS WOULD HAVE SERIOUS APPREHENSIONS ABOUT OUR LEGAL SYSTEM AND THEIR FAITH IN THE INDIAN JUDICIARY MAY BE SHAKEN. THIS COULD ALSO LEAD TO MUSLIM YOUTH RESORTING TO VIOLENCE AS ONE OF THE MANY REPERCUSSIONS.
EVEN THOUGH THE MUSLIM PERSONAL LAW BOARD AND THE OTHER COMMUNITY LEADERS SAY THAT THEY WILL ACCEPT IT, INTHELONGRUN THE FEELING THAT THE COURT HAS DONE INJUSTICE TO THE COMMUNITY WILL PREVAIL FOR CENTURIES.
THE SECOND OPTION IS THAT THE HINDUS LOSE THE CASE AND THE ENTIRE LAND IS GIFTED TO THE MUSLIMS FOR RECONSTRUCTION OF THE BABRI MASJID. THIS WILL CAUSE TREMENDOUS HEARTBURN IN THE HINDU COMMUNITY BECAUSE IT IS A MATTER OF FAITH AND ONE, FOR WHICH FOR THEY HAVE BEEN FIGHTING FOR 500 YEARS. THIS COULD RESULT IN HUGE COMMUNAL DISTURBANCES ALL OVER THE COUNTRY. IN THEIR VICTORY, THE MUSLIMS WILL LOSE OUT ON THE GOOD WILL AND TRUST OF MILLIONS OF HINDUS RIGHT FROM THE VILLAGES UP. WINNING THIS ONE ACRE OF LAND, THEY WOULD HOWEVER, PERMANENTLY LOSE THE GOODWILL OF THE MAJORITY COMMUNITY.
THIRDLY, IF THE COURT UPHOLDS THE ALLAHABAD HIGH COURT'S VERSION, WHICH SAYS THAT THERE SHOULD BE A MOSQUE BUILT ON ONE ACRE, WHILST THE REMAINING 60 ACRES BE UTILISED FOR BUILDING TEMPLE, IT WOULD REQUIRE THE DEPLOYMENT OF 50000 POLICE PERSONNEL TO KEEP THE PEACE, GIVEN THE PROXIMITY OF THE TWO PLACES OF WORSHIP AND THE HUGE SECURITY RISK. THIS TOO WILL NOT IN ANYWAY BE BENEFICIAL TO THE MUSLIM COMMUNITY.
Here are the terms of the Supreme Court-monitored Ayodhya mediation ordered by the Supreme Court:
The decades-old Ayodhya issue also has enormous political ramifications. Construction of a Ram Mandir at the Ram Janmabhoomi site is a 2014 election manifesto promise of the BJP, whereas the Congress has attempted to slow down the Supreme Court's hearings in the case, with Kapil Sibal appearing as the counsel of one of the parties and telling the apex court to conclude the matter only after the 2019 elections.