Monday, July 7, 2003, Chandigarh, India

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Muslim board rejects formula
Our Correspondent

Chairman of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board
Chairman of the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadvi (second from right, sitting) and Maulana Kalbe Sadiq (third from right, sitting) take part in the board's meeting in Nadwat-ul-Ulma in Lucknow on Sunday. — PTI photo

Lucknow, July 6
The All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) today rejected the formula of Kanchi Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati to resolve the Ayodhya issue. It said the proposed formula was “against the dignity, honour and self -respect of Indian Muslims”.

“The seer had sent two letters to the chairman of the AIMPLB. The first letter, had four proposals while the second letter, dated July 1, was a veiled threat to Indian Muslims to surrender themselves before Hindus, which was not acceptable to us,” Mr Y.H. Muchhala, a member of the AIMPLB, told reporters here.

He, however, specified that the doors were still open for dialogue provided the suggestions were reasonable, rational, consistent with all past resolutions of the board and under the Constitution of India.

In all, the AIMPLB and Shankaracharya exchanged three letters in the last fortnight. The first letter written on June 16 was a two-page proposal given by Shankaracharya to resolve the Ayodhya issue. The board chairman Maulana Rabe Hasan Nadvi sought, clarifications in his letter dated June 28. On July 1, Shankaracharya sent his reply to the Maulana.

“The second letter of Shankaracharya was contradictory to the first letter and we feel that Shankaracharya wrote the second letter under pressure from the Sangh Parivar and the VHP,” Mr Muchhala said.

He said the first letter had four proposals, including a request to the AIMPLB to handover the undisputed land to Hindus so that they could start the construction of the Ram temple there.

“A clarification was sought by the AIMPLB chairman on two points - whether the Hindus would abide by the court order and whether the Muslims would be allowed to construct a mosque,” he said.

Instead of clarifying these points, Shankaracharya shot off a letter on July 1 which was a sort of veiled threat asking the Muslims to hand over the Ram janmabhoomi complex to the Hindus as a gift.

This was not acceptable, he added.

Meanwhile, members of the board voiced their disappointment over Kanchi seer’s formula to resolve the Ayodhya issue.

“We have been disappointed by seers’ second letter sent to the AIMPLB as it was contradictory to the first letter”, the vice-president of the board, Maulana Kalbe Sadiq told reporters here.

Despite the contradiction, the board felt that the doors of negotiations should remain open so that the issue could be resolved through negotiations, he said.

Sources said majority of the board members were piqued over Shankaracharya’s yesterday’s statement in which he had claimed that there was no need to construct a mosque in Ayodhya.

Maulana Kalbe Sadiq said the AIMPLB should form a committee to meet Shankaracharya shortly and suggest its solution to resolve the issue.

Earlier, the meeting started at 9.30 a.m. at the library of Nadwa-e-Tul-Darul-Ulm. Of the 41 members, 36 took part in the meeting which lasted more than five hours.

Reacting to the board’s decision, the state president of the BJP, Mr Vinay Katiyar, told reporters that his party was not expecting any positive move from the board members. “I was never under an impression that the AIMPLB would accept Shankaracharya’s formula”, he said adding that “Babar had not taken the tample through dialogue. He had used force and the Hindus will now take that land from Muslims by using force.”



No outright rejection: seer

Kancheepuram, July 6
Kanchi Sankaracharya Jayendra Saraswathi today said that he did not believe that his fresh proposal on the Ayodhya issue had been rejected by the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board outright.

“The discussions are on. I have received communication that they will be consulting with me”, he told reporters here when his reaction was sought to the rejection of his proposal.

Refusing to agree that the talks had failed, he said, “They have rejected once before also, but again they came back. So there is always hope that they will come back. This can be solved not out of anger but out of love”.

Asked who had communicated to him from the AIMPLB, he declined to disclose it. Asked whether it was Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee, who had spoken to him, the seer asked: “Why would the Prime Minister come into this?”.

Replying to another question on why talks were having a setback, he said it was because it was becoming a conflict of “egos and a prestige”. He also declined to comment on the reason for the rejection.

Meanwhile, reacting to All-India Muslim Personal Board’s rejection of Kanchi Shankaracharya’s proposal, the Shiv Sena said it was no expecting any miracle from the board.

KANYAKUMARI: The RSS chose not to react to the reported rejection by the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board of Kanchi Acharya’s formula, saying‘unless the official version of the Board was known they could not comment on it.

“We do not know how many people on the board rejected the proposal and how many accepted it. We were expecting that Kanchi seer’s sincere efforts would succeed.” Mr Madan Das Devi, joint general secretary of the RSS, told reporters. 



Seek legislative option: VHP

Kanyakumari, July 6
Angry over the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) rejecting Kanchi seer’s proposals to resolve the Ayodhya tangle, both the RSS and the VHP today asked the Centre to seek legislative option for the construction of the Ram temple.

All political parties should seriously think of a legislation following AIMPLB rejection of Shankaracharya Jayendra Saraswati’s proposals to settle the Ayodhya issue, RSS spokesman Ram Madhav told reporters here.

Shankaracharya’s efforts had gone unrewarded and it had now become clear that AIMPLB was not sincere in resolving the issue, Mr Madhav said at the end of the two-day RSS national executive meeting here.

VHP general secretary Praveen Togadia said, “It is a folly now to think that negotiations will help.”

It was a misconception for any party to think that they only could take up the Hindu cause, Mr Togadia said in an apparent reference to rulers at the Centre.

Stating that nobody could prevent seers from carrying out talks to resolve the issue, Mr Madhav said “it is foolish to put too many eggs in the negotiation basket.”

Meanwhile, the RSS said the AIMPLB was not the ultimate representative of the Muslims and the seer’s efforts should not be considered unsuccessful.

RSS spokesman Ram Madhav told reporters here that the Shankaracharya’s efforts would continue along with other efforts.

Though the RSS itself was not talking to any representative of the Muslims, it hoped that when some respected personalities were trying to resolve the issue, all leaders of the community should have come forward for the discussion, he said. — PTI


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