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.
"It's a centre of people's faith. It's a faith issue. I'm sure when people realise that it is going to be for the good of both communities, and create a very happy situation in the country. My dream is, once this dispute is settled, in 10 lakh Ram Temples of this country, we'll invite Imams of local Masjid and honour them and they honour the priest and create a celebration which both communities can participate in. The entire country will be taken over by a wave of celebration, rather than one community celebrating and the other sulking. That is my dream. We should put this to rest. There's a lot more to do in this country -- poverty, illiteracy. There's a lot to do."
While speaking exclusively to Republic TV, Sri Sri also spoke about whether we'll see construction on the Ayodhya Mandir beginning in 2018:
"It will. Just the date has been postponed. We've moved the date a little further but we're going to do that. We may do that in Lucknow itself and then go to Ayodhya."