BJP MP Subramanian Swamy stressed that the construction of Ram temple is non-negotiable.
New Delhi: The Supreme Court’s decision to refer the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for mediation by a panel headed by retired apex court judge F.M.I. Kalifulla on Friday, received a mixed response with the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) suggesting that it would be “most befitting” while the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas (RJN), Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) and the Hindu Mahasabha expressing that it would only delay the process and no concrete result will come out of mediation.
The apex court on Friday referred the case for mediation by a panel headed by retired apex court judge F.M.I. Kalifulla to explore the possibility of an amicable solution and gave the panel eight weeks to complete the process.
While a number of BJP leaders were of the view that construction of the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya is the only way out of the impasse, BSP leader Mayawati called the move “appreciable.” AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi said that Ravi Shankar should act in an “unbiased” manner. The Congress said that it respects the court’s decision and noted that the court’s verdict should be final and binding on all parties.
CPI(M) said that the previous mediation efforts had failed to yield results but this time, the apex court is monitoring it and all the parties who have gone to the court are in agreement with the decision and it is to be seen what will be the result.
“The Supreme Court has given this order and it needs to be welcomed.... It would be most befitting that the matter is resolved through dialogue...Let’s see what happens now,” said AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rehmani.
Union minister Uma Bharti said that one has to respect the apex court’s order but asserted that she stands for building the Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and a mosque can be built only outside its vicinity. BJP general secretary P. Muralidhar Rao said that keeping the dispute pending for long is not in anyone’s interest.
“It is important to resolve the issue but it is more important and essential to build a grand temple at Sri Ram Janmbhoomi. This cannot be kept pending for a long time,” he said.
BJP MP Subramanian Swamy stressed that the construction of Ram temple is non-negotiable. “There is no question of not building a temple where we believe Lord Ram was born,” he said.
Mahant Ram Das of the Nirmohi Akhara, one of the main litigants in the case, too welcomed the setting up of a panel of mediators, but said it would have been better had a Hindu judge, connected with the case, been included in it.
He added that besides the mediation efforts, the court hearing in the matter should also go on simultaneously so as to see that the case does not get prolonged further if the litigants are not satisfied.
“Earlier also, some efforts on this line had been made, but to no avail...Therefore, the hearing should also go on,” he stressed. Mahant Ram Das also said the seers of Ayodhya needed to agree to this move.
Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar, who is in the panel of mediators set up by the apex court, said he wanted a happy ending to the long-standing dispute.
“.... Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society — we must all move together towards these goals,” he tweeted.
Welcoming the decision, NCP spokesperson Nawab Malik, in a statement, said, “We welcome the appointment of the three-member mediation panel. If the dispute is resolved, it will be in national interest. The nation is hopeful that the issue would be resolved through consensus.”
Reacting to the apex court’s decision and composition of the panel, AIMIM’s Assauddin Owaisi said the panel should have had “neutral persons,” terming Sri Sri Ravi Shankar as a biased and “controversial” person in the panel.
“He (Ravi Shankar) had made controversial statements about Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid issue. He threatened to make a Syria out of the issue if Muslims don’t give up their claim on Ayodhya. There is an FIR registered against him here in Hyderabad. He was also fined by the National Green Tribunal which is also in the court,” said Mr Owaisi.