Lucknow: A day after spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar pitched for an out of court settlement of the Ayodhya issue, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said today that only a court order on the matter was acceptable to it. The board also took exception to a recent reported statement made by the Art of Living founder on the Ayodhya issue.
“Sri Sri’s statement that after court’s decision situation of the country can become like Syria and Muslims should leave their claim on Ayodhya is threat to Muslims and the court both. This is an attack on the country’s well being,” AIMPLB General Secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani told PTI.
As far as the board is concerned, we have already said that the decision of court will be acceptable to all, he said.
Asked about a letter written to the AIMPLB by Ravi Shankar yesterday, in which he suggested Muslims gift one acre at Ayodhya site to Hindus who will provide five acres for a mosque, Rehmani said, “he will comment on it only after discussion with board members”.
Asked about Rabi Shankar’s concerns regarding communal violence, Rehmani said, “If he has any such apprehension, he should find a way out to avoid a situation of communal clashes.” Ravi Shankar had earlier in an interview reportedly said that “if the Ayodhya dispute is not resolved India will have a Syria-like situation”.’ The spiritual guru, who has been making efforts to find an amicable solution to the issue, had yesterday clarified that he cited Syria just as an example.
“It was a point of view, and not threat. There is no point in giving a threat. I cannot imagine it even in my dreams. We want peace and an atmosphere of harmony…I feel that the situation which is prevailing in other countries should never arise in our country. We are working in those countries,” he told reporters in Bareilly.
Ravi Shankar had also written a letter to AIMPLB yesterday in which he pitched for an out of court settlement on the issue.
“If the court holds the site be given to the Hindus based on the archeological evidence, 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 taking to violence as one of the many repercussions”, he said in the letter.
Even though the Muslim Personal Law Board and other community leaders say that they will accept it, in the long run the feeling that the court has done injustice to the community will prevail for centuries.
“If the Hindus lose the case and the entire land is gifted to the Muslims for reconstruction of the Babri Masjid, it 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 would cause huge communal disturbances all over the country,” he added.
“In their victory, however, 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”, the letter said.
“If the government brings about a legislation and builds a temple. In this case again, the Muslim community will feel they have lost”, it added.
“All options whether through the court or through the government, the result will be devastating for the nation at large and the Muslim Community, in particular. If the Muslims win, they will celebrate in every village and it will only invite communal tension and violence. Similarly, if the Hindus win, it could invite the wrath of the Muslim community and lead to riots throughout the country, as we have seen in the past,” it said.
The best solution, Ravi Shankar suggested, was an out-of-court settlement in which the Muslim bodies come forward and gift one acre of land to the Hindus who in turn will gift five acres of land nearby to the Muslims, to build a better mosque, he said.