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Ayodhya dispute: Ansari’s move for talks welcomed

Lucknow, Oct 5, 2010 (Calcutta Tube) Intellectuals and religious leaders have appreciated Mohammed Hashim Ansari, the oldest litigant in the Ayodhya title suit, for seeking an out-of-court settlement of the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.

They said mediation would be the best option to resolve such a sensitive matter that may initiate another round of legal war if taken to the Supreme Court.

Ansari Sunday met Mahant Gyan Das, who wields considerable influence not only in Ayodhya but also among top Hindu priests, and urged him to jointly work out an amicable settlement of the Ayodhya issue.

‘His (Ansari’s) move is really praiseworthy…We must acknowledge that no religion is above humanity…In my opinion, the step taken by Ansari is just for humanity and not for any religion,’ Maulana Yasoob Abbas, the spokesperson of the All India Shia Personal Law Board, told IANS Monday on telephone.

‘I am sure that if the dispute is resolved amicably, it will strengthen the relations of Hindus and Muslims and will spread a message of communal harmony and peace across the globe,’ he added.

Echoing similar views, head priest of Ayodhya’s Ram Lalla temple Mahant Acharya Satyendra Das said: ‘It was really heartening to hear that Hashim Ansari met Gyan Das to jointly work out an amicable agreement.’

‘I wish now Nirmohi Akhada (one of the three parties in the Ayodhya title dispute) also responds to Ansari in a positive way,’ Das told IANS on telephone from Ayodhya, some 150 km from Lucknow.

‘We should not forget the judgment on the Ayodhya issue came after more than 60 years…And you will agree that there’s still a sense of uncertainty pertaining to the settlement of the case as some parties are reportedly gearing up to move the Supreme Court,’ Das said.

‘Taking this into account, it seems an amicable settlement would be the most viable option to resolve the dispute and end the uncertainty once and for all,’ Das said.

Expressing similar sentiments, chairperson of the All India Muslim Women’s Personal Law Board Shaista Amber, told IANS: ‘As the (Ayodhya) issue has already taken a political colour, it would be really great if the matter is resolved through talks and discussions.’

‘I welcome the step taken by Hashim Ansari and feel that an amicable settlement of the issue will be a slap on faces of those who want to keep it alive for vested interest,’ Amber said.

Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahli, a prominent Sunni cleric who heads Lucknow’s oldest Islamic seminary, said: ‘The move by Hashim Ansari is a good one.’

‘Considering the sensitive nature of the case, amicable settlement remains a better option…I personally feel that there’s no issue that cannot be solved through talks and discussions,’ he said.

Mahant Jugal Kishore Shastri, a priest with the Ayodhya-based Saryu Kunj temple, said: ‘At this stage, if other religious leaders from different parts of the country also come forward and join hands to work out an amicable settlement of the Ayodhya issue, I personally feel that the Ansari’s move would definitely produce the desirable result.’

A special three-judge bench of the Allahabad High Court’s Lucknow bench Thursday by a majority verdict ruled that the place where the Babri Masjid in Ayodhya stood, before it was razed by Hindu mobs in 1992, was indeed the birthplace of Hindu god Ram.

It also ruled that the entire disputed land in Ayodhya, a riverside temple town in Uttar Pradesh, should be divided among the Sunni Central Waqf Board, the Ram temple and the Nirmohi Akhara, a Hindu sect, that were among those who fought the court battle.

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