Thursday, July 3, 2003, Chandigarh, India


M A I N   N E W S

Locus standi of Kanchi seer, Muslim
Law Board questioned

New Delhi, July 2
With the Muslim Personal Law Board scheduled to discuss the Kanchi Shankaracharyas’s formula for the solution of the vexed Ayodhya issue on July 6, several Muslim and Hindu leaders today questioned their locus standi and termed the initiative as a poll “gimmick”.

The Muslim leaders asked the AIMPLB to confine itself to personal law as “it doesn’t have the mandate to deal on the Ayodhya issue”.

Hindu leaders, led by Shankaracharya of Puri Adhokshjanand Tirth, said the Kanchi seer was just a “pawn” in the hands of the BJP and the RSS whose exercise will be “futile” with the “Sangh Parivar which has a non-negotiable stand on the issue holding the veto power”.

“The job-entrusted to the AIMPLB is to look after the Muslim Personal Law, but it is exceeding its brief”, president of the Anjuman Ajmir Sharif Toquir Raza Khan said at a seminar hosted by Minhaj-e-Rasul, a Muslim organisation.

Speaking at a separate press conference earlier, Khan, also the chief of the All-India Ittehad-e-Millat council, announced a move to create a separate “purely religious” board comprising ulemmas and other religious dignitaries within a week to solve the dispute.

Alleging that “there is no transparency in the dealings” of the AIMPLB, chief of the Delhi Jamaat-ul-ulema Mufti Zaffahudin Ahmed said initially the board had promised that it would not budge from the stand that the “mosque will have to be constructed on the spot where it was demolished, but now it seems it has diluted its stand”.

Disputing the authority of Kanchi Shankaracharya to “singularly strike a deal on behalf of the entire Hindu community”, Adhoksjanand said the views of all other Shankaracharyas on the issue should also be taken into consideration.

“Kanchi Shankaracharya will end up losing all his respect after this futile exercise”, Adhokshajanand said, adding that the seer who was being “kept in the dark on many aspects” of the vexed issue was 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 to garner votes and the latest one using the Kanchi seer should also be seen in that perspective.

Stating that the Ayodhya 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 aimed at solving the issue was prompted by the preliminary findings of the ASI that no temple existed below the mosque”.

The general Secretary of the Jamaat-e-Ahlate Aziz Moulana Azhgar Ali Imam Salfi said an out-of-court settlement of the issue is impossible as “extremist elements” in both communities will continue to create trouble, and thus a judicial verdict is the only option. — PTI

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