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What is Sri Sri’s locus in Ayodhya issue?

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The statement of self-proclaimed Hindu spokesperson Sri Sri Ravi Shankar does not collide with majority of Hindu views. His statement also gives validity to Muslim community over false sense of resentment over an issue on which they don’t have any legal as well as moral locus. The spiritual leader claimed that the only solution is for Muslims to give up their claim to the site and build another mosque on a five-acre plot in Ayodhya. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said India will turn into Syria if the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi controversy is not resolved soon. He should know that India can never become Syria; Hindu community can never become like ISIS. He should read history and respect our nation and its people.

Sri Sri brought up the issue of civil war in Syria, where at least 520 people have been killed over the past few weeks, to say that Muslims should give up their claim on the Ayodhya site in Uttar Pradesh. Statement like this does not lead to any solution but it makes a case of further conflict between Hindu and Muslim communities. Ravi Shankar should leave aside things, which are beyond his comprehension. Let the court take care of such issues. Harmonious solution is the only way to end this 500-year long conflict. Though, India and Syria have had good relations historically, Syria is amongst a few countries that recognise India’s claims on Kashmir. Before the civil war began, India and Syria had good trade relations too.

India does not want war. The decision of going to war would be hugely unpopular one. India has got a remarkable history in peacekeeping efforts and offering asylums unlike “peaceful” nations of the west. Be it UN operations, NAM or the recent Yemen Evacuation, India hasn’t hesitated in overlooking existing tensions for humanitarian work. India is a diverse country and the second-most varied landmass in the world after Africa. Internal conflicts are by this statistic, obvious. To make sure that these internal conflicts don’t result in deaths, they need to be resolved by keeping internal security persons, which is counted as a negative in the GPI. The countries that are at the top are not as diverse as India.

The spiritual leader, who has been criticised by stakeholders as being self-appointed and without any locus standi, said that the Supreme Court order would not resolve the Ayodhya issue. He cannot blame the judiciary or force his wish on one particular community. If BJP and their well-wishers like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar are preparing for the upcoming 2019 elections by provoking communal riots, then they are damaging this nation and its people.

In India, 1 in 10 million people die from terrorism every year (131 civilian deaths in 2015 – South Asia Terrorism portal out of a population of 1300 million) and most of those from a couple of frontier or interior regions. You are far more likely to die of common cold or a fall from a bicycle than die from terrorist attacks even in those regions.

We are already suffering with many issues without becoming Syria. These so called custodians of religion are responsible for internal disturbances. It has always been the case that India has suffered more due to human atrocities than due to nature. If we look at communal unrests in 1984, there are — Sikh Riots, Babri Masjid demolition, Godhra Kand and many more, which had led to human bloodshed and disturbing nation’s peace and humiliating the Motherland. Be it Maoist, be it Naxals, be it Ulfa or be it Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) or be the ones who are fighting in the name of Khalistan or separate J&K. All have contributed more in nation’s underdevelopment, humiliation, breaking peace and bloodshed.

Daily strikes, rallies and dharnas — even though it doesn’t affect directly but affect the life cycle of people and nation. Other crimes like murdering, kidnapping and many others also add to the list. Politics and political actions had always been the cause behind spreading violence in the nation. Bottom line is that until we end our internal disturbance we can’t make peace. And once we are done with internal peace achieving external peace is layman’s job. Our nation is already in pain with some or the other issues; in such crisis situation, why to add more to it.

Sri Sri claims to be a spiritual person; he should actually value human lives over any other demands. He should not hint about turning this country into Syria.

He should address issues like reservation, inequality, and politics above all or money above all policies and the most toxic religion based politics like religion above national interest. A nation must never be secondary at any point of time against any odds.

Perhaps, people like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has led our India so low in the list of peaceful countries in spite of maintaining peaceful relations with neighbouring countries, as well as with other nations in the recent past. Incessant threats of war with Pakistan, internal strife, bloodshed are thankfully not abundant, but peace is not the essence that India gives off to the rest of the world.

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Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman
Vaidehi Taman an Accredited Journalist from Maharashtra is bestowed with three Honourary Doctorate in Journalism. Vaidehi has been an active journalist for the past 21 years, and is also the founding editor of an English daily tabloid – Afternoon Voice, a Marathi web portal – Mumbai Manoos, and The Democracy digital video news portal is her brain child. Vaidehi has three books in her name, "Sikhism vs Sickism", "Life Beyond Complications" and "Vedanti". She is an EC Council Certified Ethical Hacker, OSCP offensive securities, Certified Security Analyst and Licensed Penetration Tester that caters to her freelance jobs.
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