Wednesday, March 6, 2002, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Kanchi seer’s formula on temple accepted
VHP to honour court verdict; to build wall around disputed site
Satish Misra
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 5
The impasse on the thorny Ram temple issue appears to be close to a resolution, with the Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamkoti Peetham Jayendra Saraswati’s efforts to evolve a formula being acceptable to all sides coming to almost a fruition.

The Shankaracharya had a second meeting with Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee tonight.

The seer, in the company of his disciples, arrived at the Prime Minister’s 7 Race Course residence around 10.30 pm. He had an over two-hour meeting with Mr Vajpayee yesterday.


— VHP agrees to await Supreme Court’s verdict on the disputed site and abide by it.

— To defer till the Supreme Court order the construction of ‘Garbhagriha’ of the temple proposed on the disputed site.

— VHP agrees on construction of wall around the disputed site to separate it from “undisputed land”.

— All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) agrees to consider the VHP proposal routed through Shankaracharya Jayendra Sarawati of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam.

— AIMPLB to hold two-day meeting on Ayodhya tangle beginning March 9.

Union Home Minister L.K. Advani and NDA convener and Defence Minister George Fernandes were also present at today’s meeting with the Shankaracharya, who had this afternoon announced a compromise formula for resolving the mandir-masjid dispute in Ayodhya.

A Ram temple at Ayodhya finally appears to be near reality as the Shankaracharya said the Ram Janambhoomi Nyas would accept the court verdict on the disupted site where the Babri mosque stood till December 6, 1992.

The meeting between the Prime Minister and the Shankaracharya is believed to have focussed on ways to meet the challenges to the formula and make the minority community accept it, sources said.

The Shahi Imam of Jama Masjid Maulana Syed Ahmed Bukhari and some other Muslim organisations have expressed their reservations about the formula.

Even the CPM has come out against the formula.

The government is trying to rope in some prominent Muslim intellectuals to meet the challenges being thrown in by these organisations, the Left parties and the Shahi Imam.

While the Vishva Hindu Parishad has stooped to conquer by relenting on its earlier position that a court verdict on the disputed site was not acceptable to it, the National Democratic Alliance government won a fresh lease of life by roping in the services of the Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamkoti.

While the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh’s mediatory efforts would also have been acceptable to the VHP, it would not have any credibility with the rest of the political parties and that is why the Shankaracharya from South, who also enjoys respect and reverence in non-BJP political parties including the main opposition parties like the Congress, was brought into the picture.

What Jayendra Saraswati has achieved for the VHP appears to be beyond its expectations as its three demands are being met and it is being allowed to “symbolically” begin the construction at the undisputed site.

The VHP had demanded yesterday that all restrictions on movement in Ayodhya and the ongoing yagna should be removed and permission to carry the building material from March 15 should be conveyed till March 12 and portion of undisputed land, now under the government’s trust, should be transferred to Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas.

The Prime Minister is expected to announce the details of the understanding arrived at with the VHP, the All-India Muslim Personnel Law Board (AIMPLB) and the government.

According to well-placed sources, the government would ensure the hearing on the disputed land by the Allahabad High Court was done on day-to-day basis which would expedite an early verdict.

An indication towards it was available when VHP General Secretary Acharya Giriraj Kishore said that a court verdict should be done on the basis of documentary evidence.

Jayendra Saraswati, apart from the last night meeting with Mr Vajpayee, met Mr Advani, Mr Fernandes, former President of India R. Venkatraman, former Supreme Court Chief Justice Rang Nath Mishra and a Rajya Sabha MP of the Congress, former UP Governor Romesh Bhandari, members of the AIMPLB and host of other important people.

A positive signal that the Shankaracharya’s efforts are on the brink of success came when AIMPLB convener S.Q.R. Illyas said that the board had agreed to consider a VHP proposal for constructing the Ram temple outside the area where the masjid stood before its demolition till the court gives its verdict on the disputed site.

Mr Illyas further said, “Under the proposal, the VHP has agreed to construct a boundary wall outside the masjid area. The fate of the disputed site would be decided by a court verdict and the VHP has agreed to abide by it”.

With the VHP relenting on the court verdict issue and the AIMPLB agreeing to allow the handing over of undisputed land to the former, way for a Ram temple at Ayodhya is appears to be clearing.



Temple issue to be resolved by March 12: Shankaracharya
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, March 5
Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetam, who is brokering between the Government, the Vishwa Hindu Parishad and others on the Ayodhya issue, today asserted that an amicable solution would be found by March 12, the deadline given by the Hindu outfit for removing all hurdles before the construction of Ram Temple.

The Shankaracharya, who arrived here yesterday on the request of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, said the Ram Janmabhoomi Nyas and the VHP had given in writing to him agreeing for constructing the Ram temple outside the area where the Babri Masjid stood before its demolition till the court gives a final verdict on the disputed site.

They have also agreed to construct a boundary wall around the disputed site so as to separate it from the “undisputed land” claimed by them for construction of the temple.

“They (Nyas and VHP) have agreed to await the court verdict on the disputed site and to defer the proposed construction of ‘Garbhagriha” of the temple till the the Apex Court verdict,” the Shankaracharya told a crowded press conference.

However, the VHP has insisted on a decision on the handing over of the “undisputed land” by June 2, 2002.

The Kanchi Seer, who held discussions with several Muslim leaders here at the Kanchi Mutt since morning, claimed that the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) had agreed to consider the VHP proposal.

“Once I get a letter from the AIMPLB, I will forward the two letters (VHP and AIMPLB) to Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, who in turn will consult leaders of alliance partners before laying the agreement before Parliament for approval,” the Shankaracharya, who held a two-hour-long meeting with the Prime Minister last night, said.

“I am sure an amicable solution will be found before March 12,” a visibly confident Shankaracharya said.Back

Home | Punjab | Haryana | Jammu & Kashmir | Himachal Pradesh | Regional Briefs | Nation | Editorial |
Business | Sport | World | Mailbag | In Spotlight | Chandigarh Tribune | Ludhiana Tribune
50 years of Independence | Tercentenary Celebrations |
122 Years of Trust | Calendar | Weather | Archive | Subscribe | Suggestion | E-mail |