Nirmohi Akhada chief Mahant Dinendra Das has rubbished Art of Living founder Ravi Shankar’s claims made in the NDTV interview on Monday.
Speaking exclusively to Janta Ka Reporter from Ayodhya, Mahant Das denied approaching Ravi Shankar for mediation adding that it was the AOL founder, who had invited him to Bangalore.
Quoting Mahant Das, Ravi Shankar had said in the TV interview, “First the Nirmohi Akhada mahant had come to Bangalore ashram (of Art of Living). They wanted a peaceful resolution for this process. They are ready to give some land for the mosque to be built. The offer came from the Hindu saints. We will offer a place for the mosque, why not Muslims give that piece of land (sic).”
The NDTV journalist then pointedly asked the AOL founder if the Nirmohi Akhada’s mahant came to Ravi Shankar or he reached out to them. To which the AOL founder categorically said, “No, first they came to me, then I started reaching out to people.”
Ravi Shankar also said that ‘some people (like Muslim Personal Law Board) were opposing the out of court settlement’ while warning about the consequences if the Supreme Court was to decide on the matter.
However, once again Nirmohi Akhada’s Mahant Dinendra Das contradicted him. He said, “Of course we would like a peaceful resolution. But that’s not so say that we will not abide by the court’s verdict if we are not able to achieve the out of court settlement. We’ve always wanted a peaceful resolution of this issue even when Babri Masjid structure was intact. Of course the VHP and others demolished the structure in 1992 and that was our mistake.”
In his TV interview, Ravi Shankar also warned of bloodshed if the Supreme Court’s verdict on Babri Masjid went against Hindus. In another interview to India Today, the controversial and self-styled guru also said that India will turn into Syria if the Ram Mandir issue was not resolved implying that the country will witness indiscriminate killings of women and children as has been happening under Bashar al-Assad regime.
He told NDTV that Muslims will get 5 acres of land saying that ‘Nirmohi Akhada people have promised to do that.’ However, Mahant Das told Janta Ka Reporter that Ravi Shankar was lying.
“Aur kitna jhoot bolenge Sri Sri? We had spoken about 2.5 acres of land and not 5. We only have 2.5 acres of available land. We are followers of Shri Ram. The followers of Shri Ram will never talk about bloodshed. Our aim has always been to maintain communal harmony.”
The 16th century Babri Mosque was demolished by Hindutva fanatics led by BJP and VHP 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.