Resolution of the Executive Committee of AIMPLB dated July 6, 2003
In the background of the meeting the president of the AIMPLB had with the Shankaracharyaji on June 7, 2003, and the correspondence that ensued thereafter, the Executive Committee of the AIMPLB met on July 6, 2003. The president acquainted the Executive Committee with facts and correspondence that ensued, which were deliberated upon by the Committee and has passed the necessary resolution. The salient features of the background are as follows:
- The meeting on June 7 was at the instance of the Shankaracharya and the president conveyed to him that he
wouldn’t discuss any other issue.
- However, in the meeting of June 7, the Shankaracharya conveyed his desire to discuss the Babri Masjid and
he was requested to communicate his proposal in writing which would be placed before the Executive Committee.
- Thereafter, on behalf of the Shankaracharya the letter dated June 16 was delivered to the president which
contains the following formula:
1. Your board, on our request, may consider giving a ‘‘No Objection’’ statement regarding construction of mandir upon the undisputed/acquired area.
2. Disputed area can also be discussed after some time and then amicable settlement may be given to the court and the court, based on the settlement, can give verdict.
3. In order to protect the disputed area, a wall may be constructed separating it from undisputed/acquired area.
4. If we reach a final negotiated settlement on the undisputed area, we shall both ensure the support for the same from the various religious groups/sub-groups on each side to ensure that no further demands would be raised on the undisputed area.
5. Once we arrive at a cordial understanding, we may together approach the Government for its effective and time-bound implementation.
The formula contained in the letter dated June 16 was lacking in material particulars and was silent on many major issues, namely whether the Hindus will abide by the verdict of the court. This was all the more necessary because the Shankaracharya earlier in the meeting with the delegation of the Board held on March 5, 2002, at New Delhi, had categorically and fairly assured the Board as follows:
Both Hindus and Muslims will abide by the court verdict in case of the disputed site and further that the Muslims would be allowed to reconstruct the masjid at the same spot where it existed before the demolition, if they win the title suit in the court of law....
Such clarifications were sought before July 6 and on behalf of the Shankaracharya, a letter dated July 1, 2003, far from sticking to the assurances held out by the Shankaracharya in March 2002, totally resiled from the proposal/formula that he had conveyed in his letter dated June 16, 2002. On the contrary, the letter dated July 1, 2003, contains an appeal to the Indian Muslims to donate the Babri Masjid site in Ayodhya and also contains veiled threats to the Indian Muslims to prepare themselves for giving up the mosques at Kashi and Mathura.
The Committee came to the conclusion that the stand taken by the Shankaracharya in his letter dated July 1, 2003, he has left no scope for any further discussion.
Considering the above, the Committee reiterates its oft-repeated stand that under the Shariat, the site of Babri Masjid is the property of Allah and cannot be alienated by sale, gift or otherwise.
The Committee is of the view that the proposed gift will not promote any communal harmony or national integration because such gift is under duress and not based on the principles of fair play, justice and constitutionalism. The proposals for the settlement must be within the parameters of the basic values of the Constitution namely rule of law, secularism, equality of treatment of all without discrimination on grounds of race and religious sentiments of the Muslims pertaining to their places of worship. Consistent with these values, the Board has always kept and still keeps its doors open for negotiations.
Adverting to the suggestions in the letter dated July 1, 2003, the Board feels distressed that the convoluted vision of history is used for the divisive purpose and a fait accompli achieved by the trespass into the religious place belonging to other denomination and undermining the basic values of Constitution is sought to be hallowed with religious sentiments depicted as if the same is of the entire Hindu community; the Board puts on record with due respect to the Shankaracharya that it looks upon the proposals contained in the letter dated July 1, 2003, as thinly veiled threats to the Muslims to submit and surrender themselves unconditionally to all the unreasonable demands made by the Sangh Parivar. The Board, therefore, resolves that such proposals are not just and reasonable and are totally inconsistent with the honour, dignity and self respect of the Indian Muslims and the same cannot, therefore, be accepted.
The Committee takes this opportunity to appeal to the people of the country to rise to the occasion, to uphold the rule of law and fundamental and human rights enshrined in the Constitution and raise the stature and dignity of our country internationally by joining hands with secular forces of the country.
The Committee authorises the president of the Board to deal with any proposal on the issue of the Babri Masjid consistently with the previous resolution of the Board dated December 3, 1990, January 9, 1993 and March 10, 2002.
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