On Saturday, Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar stated that there was a great understanding between both the Hindu and Muslim parties during the Ayodhya mediation process. While conceding that some differences were visible in the public domain, he contended that the friendly attitude displayed by all the parties was a pride of India. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also appreciated the co-operation of the leading personalities of the country. He was a part of the Ayodhya mediation panel headed by former SC Justice Kalifulla. The panel submitted its report to the SC outlining its proposals to resolve the dispute.
Speaking to Republic Media Network's Editor-in-Chief Arnab Goswami, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, “This is not just about the panel. We received co-operation from the leading personalities of the country such as Champatrai ji who was connected with this from the beginning. They would fully respect the other party. Whether it is Hindu or Muslim, the friendly attitude on display is the pride of India. While some disagreements were visible on the outside, there was a great understanding among all the parties.”
Revealing that he had originally put forth a proposal in 2003, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar stated that the sentiments of both communities were taken into account. He appealed to everyone for maintaining peace. Refusing to take the credit for the mediation, he instead thanked the entire country. Thereafter, the Art of Living founder discussed how both Hindus and Muslims shared an excellent rapport at the ground level. He hoped that this would serve as an example for the world.
"Yes yes. We had put forth the proposal in 2003 also. But it is good that this matter got solved via the court. And now, no one should have a problem. The sentiments of both communities were kept in mind. And so many citizens and many people desired that this should be solved in an amicable manner. And there should not be any kind of celebration or procession in any part of the country. Brotherhood and friendly attitude should be strengthened. Every person in the country has the responsibility of maintaining a peaceful atmosphere in their own place, their own village etc," Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said. He added, "The work which has happened is because of the sacrifice of many people. It is not that one person or the mediation panel should get credit for this. The entire credit of this goes to the culture of India. The credit goes to India. The mindset of India is to bring everyone together."
Elaborating on the ground-level bond between Hindus and Muslims, he observed, "Hindus have offered to help in the construction of Masjid. Muslims at many places have offered that they would help. This attitude is rooted in our society. So it will happen with the co-operation of everyone. In Ayodhya, there are many people working for the Mandir. The people making garlands are Muslims, people making the clothes of Ram Lalla are Muslims. At many places, the people making idols are Muslims. The impression being created that there are differences is not true. On the ground-level, there is a lot of harmony and love. I hope that this will continue to persist. This should be an example for the world."
There has been a longstanding legal dispute about the ownership of land in Ayodhya, which is considered as the birthplace of Lord Ram. The Allahabad High Court gave its judgement on this disputed land in 2010, partitioning it among the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla. Thereafter, 14 appeals were filed in the SC against this judgement of the Allahabad High Court. On Saturday, the Constitution bench of the SC, comprising of Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi, Justices SA Bobde, DY Chandrachud, Ashok Bhushan and S Abdul Nazeer pronounced a unanimous verdict, awarding the entire disputed area to the Hindu parties. It directed the Centre to formulate a scheme within three months which will be responsible for building a temple. On the other hand, the SC ordered that an alternative land of 5 acres in Ayodhya would be given to the Sunni Central Waqf Board for the construction of a mosque.