The Art of Living founder Ravi Shankar, has warned of bloodshed in the event that the Supreme Court did not rule in favour of the Hindus on the Babri Mosque dispute. He said that India will turn into Syria if the Babri Masjid dispute is not resolved soon.
In an interview with a TV channel, Shankar said “If Ram Mandir issue is not solved, we will have a Syria in India,” he claimed. “Muslims should give up their claim on Ayodhya as a goodwill gesture. Ayodhya is not place of faith for Muslims…We cannot make Lord Ram to be born in another place.”
The spiritual leader also indicated that the Supreme Court’s order on the disputed site will not make a difference, according to NDTV. The only way forward, he claimed, is for Muslims to give up their claim on the site and build another mosque on a five-acre land in Ayodhya.
“According to Islam, you cannot pray in a disputed site so anyway they can’t have a mosque there,” Ravi Shankar said. “If court rules against a temple, there will be bloodshed. Do you think the Hindu majority will allow it? They will garner resentment towards the Muslim community.’’
Similarly, if the court rules in favour of a temple, Muslims will “feel defeated”, he said. “They may lose faith in the judiciary and there are chances of resorting to extremism. Exchange is the only solution.”
If Muslims build a mosque on 5 acres of land elsewhere in Ayodhya, “everyone wins,” he said. Ravi Shankar claimed that Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Adityanath supported his plan as he also wants “peace and harmony”.
Ravi Shankar, whose organisation AOL was fined Rs 5 crore for damaging the Yamuna flood plains by holding a three-day cultural festival, also said that he was open to speaking to the AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi. He said, “I am open to speaking Asaduddin Owaisi. I don’t think he truly gets my perspective. Any sane person would agree to a win-win situation.”
The National Green Tribunal last year had issued notice to Ravi Shankar on a contempt plea against him
The 16th century Babri Mosque was demolished by Hindutva fanatics led by BJP leaders on 6 December 1992. The destruction of the mosque had triggered nationwide communal riots that killed thousands of people, mostly Muslims. Ravi Shankar is looked at with suspicion by Muslims for being a known proponent of the right-wing Hindutva ideology.