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Home / Lucknow / Barelvi clerics divided over meeting Sri Sri

Barelvi clerics divided over meeting Sri Sri

A day before Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar’s maiden visit, Barelvi clerics remained divided over the possibility of meeting him for a discussion on Ram Janma bhoomi issue.

lucknow Updated: Mar 06, 2018 12:26 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Bareilly

A day before Art of Living founder(AOL) Sri Sri Ravishankar’s maiden visit, Barelvi clerics remained divided over the possibility of meeting him for a discussion on Ram Janma bhoomi issue. While Tauqir Raza of Ittehad-E-Millat Council was open to meeting the AOL founder, other senior clerics of the city and Dargah Ala Hazrat did not appear keen.

Time line: Sri Sri and Ram Janmabhoomi issue
  • Nov 15: Sri Sri meets Yogi in Lucknow.
  • Nov 16: Sri Sri visits Ayodhya. “We must believe that the problem may be solved through dialogue and mutual respect, rather than conceit and accusation,” Sri Sri tweeted.
  • Sri begins meeting with religious heads of both communities.
  • December 6: Sri Sri meets Sri Vishwesha Tirtha Swamiji in Udupi, Karnataka to discuss the issue.
  • February 10: Meets AIMPLB member Maulana Salman Husaini Nadvi, tweets that Nadwi supports his proposal (of giving land for temple construction). AIMPLB removes Nadvi from board.
  • For past several months I have met and spoken to more than 500 prominent Muslim leaders who have expressed their total support,” Sri Sri tweeted.
  • February 27: Sri Sri meets Yogi in Gorakhpur.(*Source - Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s twitter handle)

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is scheduled to meet Barelvi cleric turned politician Tauqir Raza, before participating in a satsang, on Tuesday . The Ram Janma bhoomi issue is said to be on the agenda of the meeting.

Ravi Shankar is mediating over the Ayodhya dispute and though the matter is being heard in the Supreme Court, he has suggested an out of court agreement, openly declaring that “Muslim should gift Ayodhya land to Hindus.” Several Muslim clerics and All India Muslim Personal Law board (AIMPLB) leaders have opposed this and favoured construction of a mosque instead.

Barelvi clerics, on the other hand, have not only abstained from giving any statement on the issue but are divided over meeting him. “We have not received any intimation about any meeting with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar,” said Subhan Raza Khan, elder brother of Tauqir Raza and head cleric at Dargah-E-Ala Hazrat, the most revered dargah for the followers of Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam. “I will not go anywhere uninvited, but everyone is welcome at the dargah,” he added.

Speaking on the Ram Janmabhoomi Issue he said, “I have always advocated that everyone must wait for and accept the decision of the Supreme Court, even if it is not in their favour.”

Maulana Aszad Raza Khan, another senior cleric and Tauqir’s brother, refused to attend the meeting with Ravi Shankar. Other senior clerics of the city Mandani Miyan and Tausif Miyan will also keep away.

Tauqir Raza, who heads a local party Ittehad-E-Millat Council, has the same view on the issue but is open to meet Sri Sri to discuss it. “The Ram Janmabhoomi issue has long been troubling our country. If a settlement is reached outside court we must support it,” Tauqir said. “I will try to invite most clerics of Bareilly to discuss and debate over it with Sri Sri,” he added. His appeal, however, has yet to find any takers.

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