The Vishwa Hindu Parishad today distanced itself from spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravishankar’s attempt to mediate in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute, saying he should not have involved himself in the matter.
"He (Ravishankar) did not discuss the matter with us. If he is mediating, he is doing so at his personal level. VHP has nothing to do with it," VHP general secretary Champat Rai said here.
He was briefing reporters on the opening day proceedings of the three-day 'Dharma Sansad", a congregation of 2,000 Hindu saints, mutt heads and VHP leaders from across the country at this temple town.
Rai also said if Ravishankar succeeded in arriving at a solution, he would have to submit it in the Supreme Court, where the matter is being heard.
"It is not a dispute between four-five parties but between two communities,” he said.
Speaking to PTI later, Rai said, “Sri Sri Ravishankar should not have involved himself in (resolving) the Ram Janmabhoomi dispute."
He claimed that the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat too has not ‘appreciated’ Sri Sri’s efforts while addressing the gathering of saints in the second session of the meeting.
"Mohan Bhagwat will never ever appreciate Sri Sri’s efforts but he did not criticise it too. Bhagwat Ji clearly said (from the podium) that Sri Sri has not discussed with us about (mediating on) the Ram Janmabhoomi issue.
"He also said whoever discusses this matter has to ultimately come to us (dharma sansad)," said Rai.
Ravi Shankar recently met various religious leaders in Ayodhya and Lucknow as part of his efforts to mediate a solution to the protracted Ram temple dispute.
But his efforts have found favour only with a section of both the communities, while the major parties including the AIMPLB (All India Muslim Personal Law Board) and VHP have expressed reservations over his role.
In his briefing, Rai said during the Dharma Sansad today VHP denounced temples being under government control. Earlier in the day at the inaugural session, international working president of VHP Praveen Togadia demanded at the inaugural session that the governments should be kept away from temples and they should be maintained by the temple managements only.
“Is there a single instance of government managing a mosque or a church? Why then the government is taking over the management of Hindu temples?” Togadia questioned.