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Home > News > Report

Seer, Muslim board get flak over Ayodhya

July 02, 2003 18:40 IST

With the All India Muslim Personal Law Board scheduled to discuss on July 6 Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati's formula for the solution of the Ayodhya issue, several Muslim and Hindu leaders on Wednesday questioned their locus-standi and termed the initiative as a poll 'gimmick'.

The All India Ittehad-e-Millat Council chief, Tauqeer Raza Khan, said the AIMPLB does not have any authority to interfere in the issue.

The council, based in Bareilly, Uttar Pradesh, advocates the cause of Sunnis, who constitute approximately 80 per cent of Indian Muslims.

At a press conference in New Delhi, Khan said the ongoing negotiations being held between the Kanchi seer and the AIMPLB are 'a cause for concern to Muslims'.

"Muslims in India have repeatedly said that they will abide by the court verdict. Therefore, when secret parleys are being held outside the purview of the court, then we have genuine reasons to be worried," he said.

"Koi kichdi pak rahi hai (something is cooking)."

The AIMPLB has only been asked to look after Muslim personal law, but it is exceeding its brief, he said.

According to him, the issue is 'fully religious' and a committee constituting various Muslims bodies should be set up to negotiate with the shankaracharyas and dharma gurus.

Alleging that 'there is no transparency in the dealings' of the AIMPLB, the chief of the Delhi Jamaat-ul-ulema, Mufti Zaffahudin

Ahmed, said initially the board had promised that it would not budge from its stand that the 'mosque will have to be constructed on the spot where it was demolished, but now it seems they have diluted their stand'.

Disputing the authority of the Kanchi seer to 'singularly strike a deal on behalf of the entire Hindu community', Adhokshajanand Maharaj, who claims to be the shankaracharya of Puri, said the views of all other shankaracharyas should also be taken into consideration.

"The Kanchi shankaracharya will end up losing all his respect after this futile exercise," he said.

He said the seer, who is being kept in the dark on many aspects of the issue, is just a 'pawn in the hands of the government, which is using him for its own selfish goals'.

The pontiff said the government has the habit of raking up the Ayodhya issue before every round of polls.

Stating that the issue can be solved only through negotiations between a wide spectrum of Hindu and Muslim leaders, Swami Manoharanand and Pandit N K Sharma of the Pushkar Math in Rajasthan wondered whether the 'flurry of activities on the Sangh Parivar side was prompted by the preliminary findings of the ASI (Archaeological Survey of India) that no temple existed below the mosque'.

With Inputs from Tara Shankar Sahay

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