Petitioner Iqbal Ansari welcomes SC judgment
Iqbal Ansari, son of late Mohammad Hashim Ansari, who was one of the original litigants in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, distanced himself from senior counsel for Muslim litigants Jafaryab Jilani’s stand on the Supreme Court verdict on Saturday.
Earlier in the day, Jilani had said: “We are not satisfied with the judgment, but we will respect the order.”
Ansari, who is well-known in the temple town as a liberal face of the Muslim community, welcomed the Supreme Court’s decision.
It was after Hashim death on July 20, 2016, at the age of 96, that Iqbal Ansari became a petitioner in the Ayodhya title dispute.
Hashim Ansari of the All India Sunni Waqf Board and Mahant Bhaskar Das, late head of the Nirmohi Akhara, were closest of friends personally but arch-rivals over the suit.
Iqbal Ansari spoke to HT after the SC judgment. Here are the excerpts:
Q: Supreme Court has ruled in favour of Ram temple. How do you see this decision?
A: I have always maintained that whatever be the court’s decision, I will welcome it. Now, when the Supreme Court’s decision is in favour of Ram temple, I welcome it.
Q: But Zafaryab Jilani, lawyer of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board, is not satisfied with the court’s verdict?
A: I have nothing to do with his (Jafaryab Jilani) views on the court’s decision. It is his personal opinion and not my opinion.
Q: What the Supreme Court’s decision means for Muslims of Ayodhya?
A: The decision has laid to rest all controversies related with Ram temple in Ayodhya. Now, both Hindus and Muslims can heave a sigh of relief as the several-decades-old issue has been resolved. Construction of Ram temple will also usher in a new era of development in Ayodhya. Locals will get more job opportunities and traders’ businesses will also grow. Had my father been alive, he would have also welcomed the court’s decision.