MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
It is unfortunate that since decades people are trying to find a solution to the endless problem of building the Ram Mandir at Ayodhya. There have been arguments and counter arguments on the right of the Hindus, the majority community, to build a temple since Ayodhya is believed to be the birthplace of Ram as per the Ramayana. It has been argued that the Mughals built the Babri Masjid after flattening the Hindu place of worship. Despite the matter being sub judice, on December 6, 1992, a huge gathering of Hindu kar sevaks arrogated to themselves the power to demolish the 16th century mosque. Since then there have been unending renewed demands and court litigations to build the temple. Now amidst the election fever hotting-up, the Supreme Court has preferred to suggest the mediation path for resolving the dispute and appointed a three-member panel comprising of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a spiritual guru, Justice FMI Kalifulla, a former SC judge and Sriram Panchu, a senior advocate and well-known mediator. We are well aware that mediation could be a viable solution only if both the contending parties adopt the principle of give and take without resorting to blind rigidity that can only wind up in futility. Even before anything could be initiated, AIMIM chief Asaduddin Owaisi has already pointed an accusing finger at Sri Sri Ravi Shankar saying that he is not a neutral person and that in the past he had made contentious comments on the issue. The Shiv Sena, controversial as ever, has contested that mediation can never lead to any conclusive path, as the same has failed for the last 25 years. They have bluntly and recklessly proposed the ordinance route, knowing that with the numbers at the disposal of the ruling party, it can yield a fast solution, but that would defy the civilised route and only herald in anarchy. It is worth recalling that in the past there have been several failed mediation efforts notable among them was in March 2017 when the then CJI JS Khehar had offered himself to be the mediator.