Spiritual leader and founder of Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who is trying come up with a solution to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute through mediation, has written to the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) suggesting that “Going through the court is a loss for both communities” and the issue could be amicably resolved outside the court for a ‘win-win solution”.
In his letter addressed to the body, he has urged Hindu and Muslim leaders to consider this option seriously, saying he feared a "large-scale" communal flare up and “civil war” if the case was settled in favour of one community by a court
Here’s the full text of the two-page letter he has written to the AIMPLB:
Through this letter I want to put forth the current situation and future possibility of our nation regarding the Ram Janmabhoomi Babri Masjid issue. As we all know, the issue has been an old and contentious one between the Hindu and the Muslim communities. As of now the case is in the Supreme Court. Let us examine the possible outcomes of the Supreme Court judgement favouring one community over the other.
The first possibility is that of the court declaring the site be given to the Hindus based on the archeological evidence that the temple existed long before the masjid. In this scenario, 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.
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.
The second option is, that the Hindus lose the case and the entire land is gifted to the Muslims for reconstruction of the Babri Masjid. This 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. 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.
Thirdly, if the court upholds the Allahabad High Court’s version, which says that there should be a mosque built on one acre, whilst the remaining 60 acres be utilised for building the temple, it would require the deployment of 50000 police personnel to keep the peace, given the huge security risk. This too will not in anyway be beneficial to the Muslim community. According to local Muslims, they do not need that mosque to go and pray as they have twenty two other mosques and only five thousand people who use them. This is another point of contention and we are giving a chance for a repeat of the 1992 Babri Masjid demolition situation and will be a continuous point of conflict. This is no solution at all.
The fourth option is that the government brings about a legislation and builds a temple. In this case again, the Muslim community will feel they have lost.
So, in all the four 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.
People from both communities who are adamant on following the court’s verdict are also driving the issue to a situation of defeat.
The best solution, according to me, is 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. It is a win-win situation in which the Muslims will not only gain the goodwill of 100 crore Hindus but it will also put this issue to rest once and for all. A palak nama will recognise that this temple has been built with the cooperation of both the Hindus and Muslims. It will put to rest the issue for future generations and coming centuries.
Going through the court is a loss for both communities. So I reiterate, that an out of court settlement will be a win win situation for both.
I urge the leaders of both faiths to take this action seriously, otherwise we are pushing our country to the brink of a civil war. The world has seen too much of this already. Let us instead, showcase to the world that India is different and that we can resolve our internal issues amicably.
Now, the big question is whether it is permissible by the Quran to shift the mosque to another location. The answer is yes. I have personally heard this from the respected cleric Maulana Salman Nadvi and many other Muslim scholars. They are not surrendering this land to the people who demolished the Babri Masjid or to a particular organisation. On the contrary, they are gifting it to the people of India. They must keep this in their minds and spirit. There is no surrendering. It is only reconciliation and an expression of their broadmindedness, benevolence, magnanimity and goodwill.
Let us be reminded that the Supreme Court itself suggested resolving the conflict outside the court. I request all the stakeholders to think over these options with the hope that they put the nation first above petty politics and sentiment and allow for the fostering and building of trust, love and brotherhood between the two communities.
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