LUCKNOW: Supreme Court’s verdict on setting up a three-member panel for mediation to resolve the controversial Ayodhya dispute, takes 30 years back, when a similar exercise was initiated for the first time, but made no headway. Eight prime ministers in this route, but failed.
The only difference in drawing an outcome through mutual dialogue is that in 1990, it was inspired by the Central Government and this time it was led by the Supreme Court.
A formal process of negotiation was first taken in 1986 between then Kanchi Shankaracharya and then president of All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), Maulana Abul Hasan Ali Hasani Nadwi, popularly known as Ali Miyan.
“Ali Miyan spoke to the Shankaracharya, who was ready to be a receiver in the dispute and initiate talks while the court case continued. A proposal was made to be made and board members were ready for talks, but the Shankaracharya backed out and apologized for not taking up the role, citing pressure from different corners, “said convener of the
Action Committee (BMAC), Zafaryab Jilani “This mediation ordered by SC, will be the first with legal sanctity,” said Jilani.
In 1990, then Prime Minister VP Singh initiated the first out-of-court settlement through some officers, but before he was formalized the process he was dislodged
succeeded him as PM
In 1991, Chandra Shekhar kickstarted the out-of-court settlement process by deputing controversial godman Chandraswami, who held a series of meetings with both parties. Then minister of state for home Subodh Kant Sahay constituted a high-power committee comprising three chief ministers –
, Sharad Pawar and Bhairon Singh Shekhawat – for the purpose But before he could make any impact, Parliament was dissolved and fresh elections held.
In 1992, P.V. Narasimha Rao resumed the dialogue process. And again Chandraswami was the interlocutor But by the time the talks were mature, VHP made an appeal to the leader of the demolition of Babri Masjid, a long period of both halting the out-of-court process and both parties.
resumed the discussions between the two parties by formalizing an Ayodhya cell in the PMO and chaired a series of meetings between the VHP and the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board. Kunal Kishore, a senior IPS officer, played the anchor role in the mediation process, but the process again proved a course in futility.
The AIMPLB was again approached by the new Shankaracharya of Kanchi Kamakoti Peetham in 2002-2003, who came to Lucknow’s Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama with a slew of proposals. Few points of the proposal were rejected by AIMPLB While no overt moves were made during the
regime, justice (retired) Pulak Basu of the Allahabad High Court on a signature campaign in 2010, drawing a conclusion that the mediation process should be left to local people of Ayodhya.