M A I N   N E W S

RSS chief meets Muslim leaders
Tribune News Service

New Delhi, December 28
Conscious of the importance of the Ayodhya issue and the minority’s electoral value for its political progeny, the Rashtriya Swyamsevak Sangh (RSS) recently discussed various issues including that of the Ram temple in Ayodhya, with influential Muslim leaders.

RSS chief K S Sudarshan, its spokesman Ram Madhav and VHP President V H Dalmiya met Jamait-i-Ulema-e-Hind PresidentMaulana Mehmood Madani and its two other top leaders, Mr Niaz Farouqi and Maulana Nomani, sometime last week, sources said.

The choice of the Jamait-i-Ulema-e-Hind is significant as this particular organisation had opposed the Partition of India and has stood for right of the minorities and their economic development, the sources pointed out.

The meeting, which lasted about three hours, was held at the initiative of the RSS and was ostensibly held to clear deep-seated suspicions and doubts about each other, the sources averred.

The leaders, the sources said, “agreed that the Ayodhya issue should be resolved through talks”.

“The talks were aimed at building mutual trust and understanding over contentious issues, including Ayodhya,” the sources said, adding that the leaders agreed to meet again.

Significantly, two days after the meeting, RSS spokesman Ram Madhav expressed the hope on Friday that a “solution to Ayodhya issue was on the cards” and admitted that the meeting had taken place and said it was aimed at “building understanding” between the two communities.

At the same time he admitted that though the Ayodhya issue “came up for discussion” at the meeting but it was being handled by the VHP.

To a question, the RSS spokesman said the government may also be involved in such talks.

Maulana Madani, when asked about the meeting, said it had no pre-decided agenda but various issues came up during “detailed and frank” discussions.

“There are a lot of misunderstandings among Hindus and Muslims about each other. The meeting deliberated upon ending these differences between the communities in the national interest,” he said.

Pointing to the government’s aim of making the country a developed nation by 2020, the Jamait-Ulema-e-Hind chief said the communities needed to end their petty differences if the national goal was to be achieved.

When asked about the Ayodhya issue, he said the meeting did not “concentrate” on it but added that there was no issue which could not be resolved through talks.


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