Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has spoken exclusively and at length to Republic TV about his mediation and views in the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute, which has run for almost seven decades but is nearing a critical phase.
With the Ayodhya case set for its next hearing in the Supreme Court on March 14, and a massive 'Ayodhya meet' planned to work towards a consensus in the matter, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has outlined the various possibilities and potential outcomes, as well as the ramifications, some of which, he describes as "grave", and others, positive.
"They say 'It's no point in talking to Sunni Waqf board, or Personal Law board.' They say it is useless, "they're not going to agree, you will only be insulted and if they insult you, it's not only a personal insult, but an insult to the Hindu community. So we don't think you should go and talk to them, we're pretty sure they're not going to agree, they're going to fight this tooth-and-nail". This is their contention. I don't believe in that. I believe that people are sensible and they're considerate. There is so much more belongingness among the community. So they will agree with what I'm saying, with this hope only I'm talking to them."
While speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar also enumerated the options and possible ramifications from the potential courses of action - court verdict or settlement.
"The first one is that they'll say there was a Mandir was there before the Masjid was built. Archaeological evidence shows... so let's give it to the Mandir, let's build a Temple there. What does the Muslim community gain from this. Nothing. A defeat. And it can also cause damage to their faith in the judiciary," said the Art of Living founder.