Regardless of the repercussions of the Allahabad High Court judgment, several Hindu saints, sadhus, Muslim sufi saints as well as Mohammad Hashim Ansari, the oldest litigant in the Ayodhya case, took a pledge to resolve the Ram Temple-Babri Masjid ownership issue through negotiations.
They also chanted “Jai Shri Ram” and offered flowers and milk to the Saryu, revered by Hindus world over. Those present on the Saryu Ghat included prominent sufi saints from Gujarat such as Syed Mehendi Hasan, Syed Zahid Ali and Syed Murtaz Mehendi. Mahant of the famous Jamwant Kila temple Awadh Ram Das and Shani Peethadheeshwar mahant Har Dayal Shastri were also present on the occasion.
The saints were joined by scores of “pandas” (priests at the ghat who help devotees to do the puja), who also took a solemn pledge to resolve the issue amicably. “We do not want any political interference...we will resolve the matter amicably through negotiations...we have a taken a pledge to this effect,” said Syed Mehendi Hasan.
The sufi saints, who arrived in Ayodhya on Monday had also had a meeting with leading Hindu saints in the temple town. They lauded Ansari’s efforts towards a negotiated settlement of the issue.
“Political parties do not want to settle the matter. It suits them if the matter lingers on and the two communities fight with each other”, they said. Ansari, who has been making efforts to initiate negotiations to sort out the differences with the help of All India Akhara Parishad chief Mahant Gyan Das, also said the people of Ayodhya would not allow any one to play politics over the matter.
He said he would soon hold meetings with the representatives of Nirmohi Akhara, one of the main plaintiffs in the case, as well as Ram Janambhoomi Trust chairman Mahant Nritya Gopal Das.
Ansari also said he would brief the All India Muslim Personal Law Board on his efforts when the latter meets in Lucknow on October 16.