New Delhi: Spiritual guru and founder of the Art of Living Foundation Sri Sri Ravi Shankar may not have too many vocal supporters of his mediation in the Ram janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute but he says Chief Minister of Uttar Pradesh Yogi Adityanath is supportive and on board.
- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and Yogi Adityanath had met last month
- Case involving 2.77 acres of disputed land is in Supreme Court
- Sri Sri Ravi Shankar criticised as being self-appointed on the issue
The two had met last month but at the time the chief minister had refused to acknowledge that the Ram Mandir issue was even discussed.
"Yes, he is supportive. How could he not be? He wants peace and harmony. He has supported my stance," said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar when asked if Mr Adityanath was on board his proposal for the Muslim petitioners to give up their claim to the disputed site and instead build a mosque on another five-acre patch in Ayodhya.
The case that involves 2.77 acres of disputed land is being by the Supreme Court.
"According to Islam, you cannot pray in a disputed site so anyway they can't have a mosque there. This way everyone wins," said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
The spiritual leader, who has been criticised by stakeholders as being self-appointed and without any locus standi, said that the Supreme Court order would not resolve the issue.
"If court rules against a temple, there will be bloodshed. Do you think the Hindu majority will allow it? They will garner resentment towards the Muslim community.''
When asked by NDTV if that wasn't pre-empting the order and the government's job to implement it, he said, "There are thousands of orders that are not implemented. Do you think the majority community will accept such an order?"
Similarly, he said, if the court ruled for a temple, the Muslim community would feel left out. A status quo order would also not amount to anything, he added.
"If court rules in favour of a temple, Muslims will feel defeated. They may lose faith in the judiciary and there are chances of resorting to extremism. Exchange is the only solution. Muslims will get 5 acres of land in return, elsewhere in Ayodhya" said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
Since the beginning of his dialogue process, which he denies is at the behest of the government, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has spoken to over 500 people but several Muslim groups that are petitioners in the case say he hasn't approached them.
When asked about critics like Hyderabad lawmaker Asaduddin Owaisi, he said he was open to speaking to him. "I don't think he truly gets my perspective. Any sane person would agree to a win-win solution," said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.