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After Ravi Shankar moots out-of-court settlement, Mudda examines Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi issue, speakers feel it is a face-saving exercise on the part of the godman

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, founder of spiritual entity Art of Living, met with stakeholders of the legal dispute about the construction of Ram Mandir in Ayodhya on Thursday. He talked about an out-of-court settlement for the Babri Masjid-Ram Janambhoomi issue.

Thursday’s edition of Mudda, APN’s daily current affairs show, debated the issue. Moderated by Anant Tyagi, the participants were BJP spokesperson Anila Singh, SP leader KC Jain, advocate Ranjana Agnihotri, president of All India Shia Chand Committee (AISCC) Maulana Syad Saif Abbas Naqvi, advisor of Haji Ali Trust Maulana Mufti Manzoor Ziayi, national general secretary of Samjhauta Varta Prabhari Pandit Amarnath Mishra, Hindu religious leader HS Rawat and consulting editor of APN Govind Pant Raju.

Anila Singh said: “This is his personal agenda. No government or political party is involved in this. He has the right as an independent citizen of India. He wants to find a solution which people of all religion will agree to. If he is able to resolve this issue outside court, it would be a welcoming step.”

Though she said no government of political party is involved with Ravi Shankar later on in the show she said outright that Ram’s temple should be and will be built in Ayodhya, Lord Ram’s birthplace.

On the other hand, Ranjana Agnihotri stated that she had met with the godman yesterday during which he clearly said he does not have any agenda. She added: “He had no intentions of getting the media involved in this. All he wants is that the temple should be built with everybody’s consent. The appeal is pending at the Supreme Court. We should wait for its decision.”

Mufti Manzoor Ziayi said one should not pay heed to what an “accused” (Ravi Shankar) says. And, Saif Abbas said it is not clear what Sri Sri wants and media reports are confusing. When asked if Ravi Shankar has given any model of working, Amarnath Mishra said the issue is not about model, it is about religion. HS Rawat raised questions on his visit and said he can put forth model only if he actually goes and meet all the stakeholders.

KC Jain said: “”He is trying to establish his own brand here. He is doing all these to divert the attention from the probe on his illegally amassed wealth. We will fully support the SC’s decision.”

Govind Pant Raju also said this is to elevate the godman’s image in the public. He reprimanded Anila Singh for bringing in BJP’s personal agenda in the legal dispute. He said: “The way she is saying that Ram temple will be built there, it seems the SC’s decision won’t make any difference.”

Sarvesh Dwivedi said one should resolve the issue constitutionally and not politically.

Compiled by Usha Rani Das

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