Still not too late to give up claim on disputed Ayodhya site: Nadwa cleric
The Nadwa cleric, who was expelled from All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) last year for suggesting that the mosque could be relocated, said he was willing to initiate the process afresh but a compromise was only possible if all the parties to the dispute agree to a negotiated settlement.Updated: Aug 11, 2019 00:00 IST
Blaming hardliners in the Muslim community for the failure of the mediation process, Islamic scholar Maulana Salman Nadvi on Saturday reiterated his proposal of shifting the mosque from the disputed site in Ayodhya to resolve the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi- Babri Masjid land dispute case.
The Nadwa cleric, who was expelled from All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) last year for suggesting that the mosque could be relocated, said he was willing to initiate the process afresh but a compromise was only possible if all the parties to the dispute agree to a negotiated settlement.
The Supreme Court is currently conducting day-to-day hearing of the case. The dispute case -- pending for several decades -- was fast-tracked with daily hearings after a Supreme Court appointed mediation committee failed to develop a consensus among the parties to arrive at an amicable resolution.
“I have cited instances from Islamic history in which mosques were shifted due to various exigencies. My proposal was that the mosque should be shifted and constructed somewhere else. I had also said that adequate land must be provided for not only the mosque but also for an educational institute, which can propagate the message of peace,” he said. But hardliners from both the sides in the case stonewalled the attempts to arrive at an out-of-court settlement, he said.
Maulana Salman, who is a dean in Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema, a prestigious Islamic seminary in Lucknow, said merely repeating the ‘we-will-abide-by-the-court-verdict’ line was not going to do them any good in the long run.
“We do not have possession of the mosque since 1949 and the premise at present is virtually being used as a temple. The demolition of the mosque in 1992, the riots in its aftermath and the communal polarization today demand Muslim leadership to take inspiration from the decision taken by Hazrat Umar (caliph of Islam) in which he ordered the relocation of a mosque in Kufa to avoid conflict as it was located in a market place,” he said.
Instead Muslim should demand the right to worship denied to them in mosques located in Punjab, Himachal Pradesh, Haryana and New Delhi and strict enforcement of Place of Worship Act 1991 to maintain the status quo as it existed at the time of Independence at all religious places of worship, he said.
“A solution to the Ayodhya dispute was possible only through dialogue and talks. The mediation process under retired Supreme Court judge Kalifulla was one such opportunity which we wasted because of the rigid stance of one or two litigants, he said adding that majority of the Muslims still wanted an amicable settlement of the dispute.
He said the enactment of the Triple Talaq Act by the Parliament despite stiff resistance was a recent example of the Muslim leadership’s failure and how their stance and strategy was proving counter-productive for the community. “The TT Act should act as a wake-up call. Because the government’s next move would be to go for a uniform civil code,” he said.