Bengaluru, Feb 9: Renewing his efforts to thrash out an amicable solution to the Ayodhya issue, Art of Living (AOL) Founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Thursday held parleys with Muslim leaders, members of Sunni Wakf Board and All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB).
Briefing the reporters after the meeting AOL spokesman confirmed the meeting with Sunni Wakf Board and AIMPLB members and Sri Sri on the Ayodhya issue.
The AOL said eminent members of the Sunni Waqf Board, All India Muslim Personal Law Board and others met Ravi Shankar and expressed support for an out-of-court settlement in the Ayodhya matter.
A statement issued by AOL said that the Muslim leaders agreed to shift the mosque to another place outside Ayodhya. “Many Muslim stakeholders are cooperating in this matter”, the statement said.
It said that 16 leaders from multiple organisations attended the meeting at which representatives and scholars from various states were present too.
“A bigger meeting is slated to be held in Ayodhya soon,” the statement said.
Prominent among those who attended the meeting included AIMPLB executive member Maulana Syed Salman Hussain Nadvi, UP Sunni Wakf Board President Zufar Ahmad Farooqui, Maulana Wasaif Hasan of Teelay Wali Masjid in Lucknow, and retired IAS Dr Anis Ansari, the AOL executive said.
Among others, Centre for Objective Research and Development (CORD) director Athar Husain Siddiqui, businessman AR Rahman, London-based World Islamic Forum chairman Maulana Isa Mansuri, Lucknow advocate Imran Ahmed, former Haj committee of India chairman A Aboobucker and Dr Musa Kaiser of Bengaluru also participated in the meeting.
It may be recalled that the AOL had initiated mediation in Ayodhya issue in Novemebr last year with Sri Sri Ravishakar holding talks with concerned Muslims and Hindu leaders. He had even come to Nagpur to meet the RSS Sarsanghchalak Dr Mohanrao Bhagwat on the issue. However, that exercise did not bear any positive fruits.
Meanwhile, the Shia Wakf Board Chairman Wasim Rizvi had also come out with a solution to the Ayodhya issue demanding that a grand temple be built at the birthplace of Lord Sri Ram and mosque be shifted to some other place in Lucknow.
The fresh efforts come after a lull in the dialogue process initiated with “stakeholders” by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who had earlier claimed that "very good and positive signs" had emerged from both the communities.
The efforts had received a tepid and sceptical response from the Vishwa Hindu Parishad which had distanced itself from the spiritual leader's attempt to mediate in the protracted issue.
During the Dharma Sansad held at Udupi in Karnataka in November last year, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat and the VHP did not ‘appreciate’ Sri Sri’s efforts to resolve the Ayodhya temple dispute without taking them into confidence.
Ravi Shankar had also, in November last, met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath who then said “everyone knows where the talks would lead to”, especially when the matter is pending before the Supreme Court.
When the matter came up before the Supreme Court today, it asked parties before the Allahabad High Court in the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi dispute to file in two weeks English translation of documents exhibited by them.
A special bench headed by Chief Justice Dipak Misra said it would hear the appeals on March 14 and clarified that it never intended to hear the case on a “day-to-day basis”.