Sri Sri Ravi Shankar – who was allegedly asked to mediate the Ram Mandir-Babri Masjid dispute between the concerned Hindu and Muslim organisations – faced a wave of backlash on Tuesday, 6 March, for a remark he made on Syria.
While speaking to India Today, the Art of Living founder said, “If Ram Mandir issue is not solved, we will have a Syria in India.”
Adding to this, he also said, “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.”
In an earlier interview with NDTV, he had also said that any order put forth by the Supreme Court – which is hearing appeals against a 2010 Allahabad High Court order that suggested a three-way split of the disputed land – would be redundant.
Instead, he said, Muslims should give up their claim on disputed territory and build another mosque on a five-acre plot in Ayodhya.
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.Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told NDTV
Sri Sri’s problematic statement has earned him severe backlash from various political parties.
He does not believe in the constitution, he does not believe in the law. He feels he is the law himself. He feels he is so big that everyone should listen to what he says. He is not neutral.AIMIM Chief Asaduddin Owaisi told ANI
NCP leader leader Majid Memon, expressing his disappointment in Sri Sri’s incitory statement, told ANI: “I would also very respectfully like to ask that the intervention you are doing, where were you from the past 25 years? He is coming out and talking about the issue just when the time when the Supreme Court is about to announce its decision.”
Congress leader Sandeep Dikshit mocked the Art of Living founder’s statement and said it has “good entertainment value,” said ANI.
Facing this backlash, Sri Sri, instead of apologising for his problematic statement, tweeted out that he was only putting across a mere caution, and had not referred to any threat.
Speaking to ANI, he clarified his stance further, saying:
Main sapne mein bhi nahi soch sakta ki main kisi ko dhamki dun. Jo humne kaha ki humare desh mein aisi hinsa nahi honi chaiye jaise Middle East mein, isse humein darr lagta hai (I can’t even dream of threatening the country. I just don’t want the violence that’s happening in the Middle East to happen in India).Sri Sri Ravi Shankar told ANI
The SC has adjourned the hearing in the case till 14 March, as some documents and translations had not yet been filed.
(With inputs from ANI, India Today and NDTV)
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