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Ayodhya dispute: National Commission for Minorities chief asks Muslims to be 'big-hearted', makes pitch for mediation

New Delhi: National Commission for Minorities chairperson Ghayorul Hasan Rizvi on Sunday made a strong pitch for mediation in the Ayodhya issue, saying he will speak with all stakeholders for an out-of-court settlement of the matter.

He also appealed to Muslims to be "big-hearted" as it was a matter of faith for the Hindus.

Rizvi said in his mediation bid, he will make efforts to get an assurance for Muslims that if they agree to settle the Ayodhya issue, no dispute over mosques in other places such as "Kashi and Mathura" will arise.

In an interview to PTI, Rizvi said the commission, in its monthly meeting on 14 November, authorised him, as the chairperson, that if he wants to mediate, he can hold talks with all the stakeholders for an out-of-court settlement.

Last month, the Supreme Court fixed the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case for the first week of January before an "appropriate bench", which will decide the schedule of hearing.

The Ayodhya temple. File image. AFP

The Ayodhya temple. File image. AFP

"I believe that the court judgment will be in favour of one side and against the other side, so it would be better to have an out-of-court settlement. In that direction, I, as the NCM chairperson, will meet people from both communities and will try for an out-of-court settlement," he said.

If a solution is achieved outside the court respectfully, both sides will be happy and the division that has been created will be bridged, Rizvi said.

Asked about concerns of Muslims that if they agree for resolving the issue, disputes may arise over mosques in other places, the NCM chairperson said he would speak with both sides specifically on the issue.

Rizvi said he will soon meet Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) working president Alok Kumar and in Lucknow, Muslim Personal Law Board members, Sunni Waqf Board office-bearers, and Islamic scholars, to discuss the issue.

He said in talks it can be explored whether the Ram temple could be given to the Hindus as it is a matter of faith for them, and in the future there is no dispute on any other mosque in "Kashi, Mathura", or elsewhere.

Rizvi said if such an assurance is given, then he believes this will prove to be a landmark and a "big pillar" in facilitating an agreement between the two sides.

Asked if Muslims should take a "big-hearted" approach on the issue, he said, "Yes, I want to appeal that the Muslim community should be big-hearted (on the issue). Somebody will have to take a step forward. As places such as Mecca and Madina are important for Muslims, in the same way Ayodhya is important for Hindus. It should be seen in that context."

The entire Hindu community in the country has faith in the Ram temple and is associated with it, he said.

"If you see it in the context then you will see that place should be given for the construction of the Ram mandir...If Muslims show a big heart, take such a decision, then the divide that has been created over time will be bridged to an extent," he said.

If the Ram temple is constructed on the basis of the Hindu-Muslim unity, it will not only be good for the country's politics, but also for development, he said.

On whether he would also seek help in his mediation efforts from Prime Minister Narendra Modi or Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath, Rizvi said if talks move in the "positive" direction and towards a "concrete" solution" then the commission will speak with whosover it has to.

On demands of bringing a law or ordinance for the construction of the Ram temple, Rizvi said it is the government's job to decide on such matters and the NCM has no say in it. The government will do what is best in the national interest, he added.

The Supreme Court had last week declined early hearing of petitions in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title dispute case.

A bench comprising Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi and Justice S K Kaul had said it had already listed the appeals before the appropriate bench in January.

As many as 14 appeals have been filed against a high court judgment, delivered in four civil suits, that the 2.77 acre land be partitioned equally among three parties — the Sunni Waqf Board, the Nirmohi Akhara and Ram Lalla


Updated Date: Nov 18, 2018 19:13 PM

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