Few takers for Sri Sri's Ram temple initiative

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar's initiative to resolve the vexed Ram temple-Babri masjid dispute in Ayodhya may have created ripples in political circles but it has not enthused the warring sides.

Both the Hindu and Muslim plaintiffs in the Ram Janambhoomi-Babri Masjid Title suits expressed doubts if Sri Sri's initiatives would bear fruits.

''Any effort to resolve the dispute through mutual discussions is welcome but Sri Sri should first put his compromise formula on the tablelet us see thathe should also make it clear if he is representing the Centre,'' said Mahant Dharm Das, one of the Hindu plaintiffs, in Ayodhya.

Haji Mehboob, one of the Muslim plaintiffs in the suits, also echoed similar sentiment. ''It should be made clear if Ravishankar is authorised to speak to the parties concerned we also want a peaceful settlement of the dispute but Ravishankar is not a party in the case,'' Mehboob said.

Oldest litigant in the suits Hashim Ansari's son Iqbal Ansari said that the spiritual guru should visit Ayodhya and hold talks with the parties concerned. ''Merely making announcements in the media will not serve the purpose,'' he said.

Former BJP MP and Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ram Vilas Vedanti had also rejected Ravishankar's mediation efforts and questioned his locus standi.

'First visit temple'

"How can a person (Ravishankar), who has never paid obeisance at the makeshift Ram temple, mediate in the matter,'' Vedanti had said. He asked Sri Sri to first visit the makeshift Ram temple and then start his initiatives.

Ravishankar had on Tuesday met the Shia Waqf Board chairperson Waseem Rizvi in Bengaluru as part of his initiative to resolve the dispute.

The matter is currently pending in the Supreme Court, which is likely to start hearing the case from December 5.

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