Saturday, June 21, 2003, Chandigarh, India

National Capital Region--Delhi


M A I N   N E W S

Muslim board receives Kanchi seer’s proposal

Lucknow, June 20
The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today received the Kanchi Shankara-charya’s much-hyped proposal to resolve the Ayodhya row.

AIMPLB spokesman Maulana Sajjad Nomani confirmed the receipt of the courier sent by Hindu religious leader Jayendra Saraswati five days ago. “The packet was addressed to AIMPLB Chairman Maulana Rabe Hassan Nadvi.”

The packet, which was yet to be opened, seemingly contained the “suggestions” that Maulana Rabe Hassan and the Shankaracharya had discussed during the Hindu religious leader’s Lucknow visit, the spokesman said.

The AIMPLB Chairman would go through the contents when he returns to the state capital from a tour.

“As decided with the Shankaracharya, we called him up over telephone to confirm the receipt of the courier.... He mentioned that the packet carried the suggestions discussed in Lucknow,” Maulana Nomani told reporters.

He said the AIMPLB welcomed pushing ahead the culture of talks in the country, which has people of various faiths and traditions. In order to ensure justice and peace, the board welcomes talks, the AIMPLB spokesman said.

The board has already ruled out discussing the Shankaracharya’s proposal at a meeting to be held in New Delhi tomorrow.

Maulana Nomani, however, said it would consider any proposal reportedly dispatched by the Shankaracharya in the best interest of society and in the light of Sharia, but only after the June 21 meeting.

He said since most of the board members must have already left for Delhi, it would be difficult to intimate them about the Shankaracharya’s proposal — which they were yet to receive.

The Sharia, he added, has several references dealing with mosques and their construction and added that the board had its own suggestions which it would disclose later.

The Maulana said the working committee of the board was authorised to take a decision with regard to Kanchi seer’s proposals.

He, however, said it would take at least 10 days to convene a meeting of committee since several of its 51 members hailed from outside the state.

On the venue of the proposed meeting, he said it could be held either in Lucknow or in New Delhi.

He said the board “would not take much time” in taking a decision on the seer’s proposals in the interest of society and the country.

Though the matter was already pending before the Allahabad High court, there was nothing wrong in considering any worthwhile proposal if it could help resolve the dispute amicably.

“There is a great need to develop a culture for having dialogues for resolving contentious issues rather than opting for confrontationist attitude”, he said.

The Maulana said the initiation of the dialogue by the seer was his own and “we did not take any initiative but at the same time we would never fight shy of considering any meaningful proposal by a highly respected Hindu pontiff”.

Asked whether the proposals would be made public before being referred to the board’s working committee, he said any decision in this regard would only be taken by AIMPLB Chairman.

He said the board would “tread cautiously” while considering the seer’s proposals and would consider all aspects before arriving at a decision. UNI

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