Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam’s reply to Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s proposal on Ayodhya issue
The following is the text of the reply:
February 6, 2019
Dear Revered Swamiji,
Hope it finds you in good health and cheer.
This letter is in response to your call to some familiar names in Indian Muslim society, a copy of which has been kindly forwarded to me by AOL director, Shri Gautam Vigji. Thanks a lot.
I, along with many other Indian Muslims, take you as a holy person, and have the best wishes for you and your mission of mental and physical health, tranquility, spiritual enlightment and peace for hundreds of thousands of people worldwide.
I do agree with the Jordonian queen Rania’s remarks that India is lucky to have a person like Swamiji. We are even luckier that you are our contemporary.
Revered Swamiji, I was brought up in the Islamic tradition that puts a great stress on the respect of holy people of every faith, that is incumbent on every Muslim. It also says human beings, being rational, are bound to have different perspectives on vital issues. It has clearly laid out that difference of opinion is Allah’s rehamt (grace), because it makes us see issues from several perspectives.
Before coming to accept your advice, I will like to briefly refer to certain things which put the issues like “Babri Masjid is like a thorn in the hearts of Hindus since 500 years” in perspective. This is, historically, a rather too simplistic view of things and represents only one perspective. I would rather not elaborate because of respect for you and appreciation for your efforts at national reconciliation.
Secondly, the point that a court judgment will hurt and annoy the losing side and create an enduring resentment among the losing faith community. I assure you, Right Reverend, Muslims are not going to nurse a grievance against the court or our Hindu brethren, with whom we share our ancestry and are always conscious of it. Just look at the case of Lahore gurudwara, built after demolishing a mosque. Muslims fought a long case, up to the Privy Council in London, which ruled that at present it was a gurudwara and would remain a gurudwara. Muslims just forgot it and did not claim it again even after Independence and Partition. It still remains so.
Revered Swamiji, please rest assured Muslims will not resent it if the court says it is a temple. We respect the law of the land and anything coming from the highest court is acceptable to us. After all, we are Indians and it is our law of the land and our apex court.
I am not sure about the Hindu brethren. We have seen Babri Masjid being demolished amid large-scale anti-Muslim violence. Might is right, and a temple can as easily be built on the site as easily the mosque was demolished, law or no law.
Having said my part of it, I do appreciate the need for national reconciliation. Your letter says we should persuade the 15 Muslims to withdraw the case. Swamiji, I would not tell you a lie, never. I hardly know any of them. I have not been to the holy city of Ayodhya, or Faizabad.
However, if there is some modality in which Hindu sages and Muslim ulema sit together, and also call in the litigants of the two sides to work out a reliable, legally-binding agreement, even if it is based on your ideas. I would like to be part of such broad, representative proximity talks, that could lead to a final settlement even outside court.
With warm regards,
Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam
Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies
(Also see: Link of Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s communication)