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Dreams to reality, says Ayodhya mediator Sri Sri Ravi Shankar after SC order

The top court has appointed a three-member panel led by retired SC judge FM Khalifulah. Senior lawyer Sriram Panchu, who specializes in mediation and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are the other two members.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2019 14:45 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
New Delhi
Ayodhya,mediator,Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the spiritual guru who has long championed negotiations to end the decades-old Ayodhya temple land dispute, on Friday spoke about ending conflicts and maintaining harmony.(Photo by Waseem Andrabi / Hindustan Times)(HT Photo)

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, the spiritual guru who has long championed negotiations to end the decades-old Ayodhya temple land dispute, on Friday spoke about ending conflicts and maintaining harmony.

“Respecting everyone, turning dreams to reality, ending long-standing conflicts happily and maintaining harmony in society - we must all move together towards these goals,” the spiritual guru tweeted minutes after five judges of the Supreme Court decided to give mediation a shot.

The top court has appointed a three-member panel led by retired SC judge FM Khalifulah. Senior lawyer Sriram Panchu, who specializes in mediation and Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are the other two members.

The spiritual guru had volunteered to mediate earlier too and reached out to many of the stakeholders concerned. Not everyone was as enthusiastic to engage with him. Like the Rashtriya Swayamsewak Sangh.

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Shortly after Sri Sri Ravi Shankar attempted to engage him, RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat questioned the offer to play mediator, saying any such decision had to be taken through consultation at the Dharma Sansad.

“There is a very popular person who also proposed to negotiate, announced in the media, which is where I heard it from... that person also came to me as well, but I said that is not my job,” Bhagwat said at a closed door session of the three-day Dharma Sansad in November 2017.

The Art of Living founder held dialogue with stakeholders Ram Lalla Virajman, Nirmohi Akhara and Sunni Waqf Board and had also met chief minister Yogi Adityanath before travelling down to Ayodhya in mid-November last year. All appreciated his efforts but refused to adhere to any formula.

The formulas have ranged from construction of a temple where a makeshift one exists today on the debris of the demolished shrine while shifting the mosque elsewhere in the temple town to building a mosque and temple side by side.

The Supreme Court decision is an effort to try arriving at a negotiated settlement since this case wasn’t just about property but “about mind, heart and healing, if possible”. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had welcomed the Supreme Court’s recent stress on giving mediation a chance.

“We should keep our egos and differences aside and come together with a spirit of honouring and accommodating the sentiments of the communities concerned,” he tweeted this week after the Supreme Court’s constitution bench discussed the possibility in court.

The Uttar Pradesh government along with other Hindu parties had objected to the effort but the top court has ruled that there were “no legal impediments” to give negotiations a shot.

First Published: Mar 08, 2019 14:45 IST