Bharatiya Janata Party leader Subramanian Swamy on Wednesday accused Muslim bodies of creating hurdles in resolving the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute. “All Muslim parties had said on TV yesterday [on Tuesday] that this [out-of-court negotiation] is a waste of time…They created hindrances in the hearing and are somehow trying to delay it,” he told PTI.
Swamy had sought an early hearing of his plea seeking permission to build a Ram Temple in Ayodhya, Uttar Pradesh.
The BJP leader has also set an “outer limit” of April 2018 to resolve the dispute. “Either we reach a solution through mediation under Supreme Court judges, or there are day-to-day hearings. If they [Muslim parties] try to avoid [the hearing] with adjournments, then the outer limit is April 2018,” he said, without clarifying what he meant.
Swamy made the comments even as Muslim organisations voiced their support of the apex court’s suggestion. The All India Muslim Personal Law Board on Wednesday said it was ready for negotiations to resolve the Ayodhya row. “The observation of the Supreme Court is welcomed by the Muslim law board, and we are ready for an out-of-court settlement under the apex court in the Ram Mandir case,” AIMPLB member Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahali told ANI.
Muslim cleric Maulana Suhaib Qasmi believes that talks can resolve all problems in the world. “When a matter is in court, someone has to lose. And I believe that such matters should be dealt with sensitively by considering the views of all sides. So this issue of the Babri Masjid should be solved through talks,” he said.
Swamy, however, was not entirely incorrect in his statements. On Tuesday, a few Muslim outfits had expressed their scepticism of the Supreme Court’s suggestion. Babri Masjid Action Committee Convenor Zafaryab Jilani had pointed out that negotiations had failed earlier, and an out-of-court settlement was not possible. The top court bench had also offered to appoint a mediator if the out-of-court negotiations fail.
On December 6, 1992, the Babri Masjid was demolished by lakhs of Hindu karsevaks (volunteers) gathered at the site. Senior BJP leaders such as LK Advani and Uma Bharati were purportedly present at the site. The incident had triggered communal riots across the country.
In 2010, the Allahabad High Court had said that Hindus had the right to worship at the disputed land since Lord Ram was believed to have been born there. But the Supreme Court had stayed the implementation of the high court order.