Sri Sri Ravishankar meets Adityanath day before visiting Ayodhya
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Sri Sri Ravishankar meets Adityanath day before visiting Ayodhya

Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow before going to Ayodhya

india Updated: Nov 15, 2017 14:08 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Press Trust of India, Lucknow
Sri Sri Ravishankar,Yogi Adityanath,Ayodhya
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath in Lucknow.(ANI Photo)

Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Wednesday met chief minister Yogi Adityanath ahead of a crucial trip to Ayodhya as part of his efforts to find an out-of-court settlement to the long-standing Ram Janmabhumi-Babri Masjid issue.

Sources said a seven-member team led by Ravi Shankar held a forty-minute-long discussion the chief minister’s official residence. Details of the meeting were not available.

The spiritual leader has been tight-lipped about his efforts which is said to have begun with a meeting with several religious leaders in Bengaluru last month.

A Hindu mob demolished the historic Babri mosque on December 2, 1992 at Ayodhya. Muslims groups are opposed to building a temple at the site.

The BJP victory in Uttar Pradesh and the installation of Hindu hardliner Yogi Adityanath has seen a renewed push for construction of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, one of the key agendas of the party.

During his meetings, Ravi Shankar has been suggested with a formula that provides for construction of the Ram Temple at the site where mosque once stood and the construction of a mosque at a different place in the greater Ayodhya area.

Welcoming the mediation process, Yogi had said on Tuesday that efforts at any level were good and worth welcoming.

“In India, nothing can be undertaken or accomplished without the mention of Lord Ram. He represents our faith and is the focal point of all the beliefs in India,” he told a news agency here.

Ravi Shankar, who met seers in Mathura on Tuesday, is likely to seek the response of religious leaders, including Muslim clerics, later in the day.

The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has, however, decided to stay away from his visit.

“We got an invite from one of the mediators but have expressed our inability to meet him (Sri Sri) at this stage,” AIMPLB member Zafaryab Jilani told HT.

The Akhil Bharatiya Akhara Parishad – the apex bofy of Hindu saints -- has also distanced itself from the mediation efforts and targeted Ravi Shankar.

“He is not a saint. He runs an NGO and should stay happy with it. Ravi Shankar should not meddle with the reconciliation process. Such people try to get public attention,” parishad’s president Mahant Narendra Giri said.

Much significance is being attached to the mediation efforts as they come before the Supreme Court begins hearing the final arguments in the Ayodhya case on December 5, a day before the 25th anniversary of demolition of Babri mosque in Ayodhya.

The Supreme Court case involves three groups -- the Nirmohi Akhara, Ram Lalla and the Sunni Waqf Board.

First Published: Nov 15, 2017 12:52 IST