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INTERVIEW: Maulana Syed Nizamuddin
‘The continuance of the issue serves their interests’

Maulana Syed NizamuddinThe Babri masjid issue is getting hotter with every passing day. The fundamentalists are trying to make maximum use of this emotional issue. Though they are showing that they are interested in talking to ‘the Muslims’ on the issue but they are announcing in the same vein that they wouldn't accept the judicial verdict if it goes against them! The Dharma Sansad, sponsored by the VHP, has also announced to start the construction of the Ram temple on Babri site after March next year. 
   Syed Ubaidur Rahman of The Milli Gazette talked to Maulana Nizamuddin, general secretary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB). He was recently in the capital to attend the executive committee meeting of the AIMPLB on 21 January to discuss the recent developments on the Babri front. The Maulana is also the Amir of Imarat-e-Shariat, Bihar & Orissa.

What do you believe is the solution of the Babri Masjid problem?
The demolition of the Babri Masjid was the worst crime in the history of independent India. We have made our stand known after the meeting of our executive committee. The Babri Masjid was a mosque. It is still a mosque and will remain a mosque forever. Though the mosque is demolished, its position has not changed. 
Our stand is that no talks are possible with the people who demolished the mosque. Those people should be dealt sternly and punished severely. We are, however, ready to talk to the government on the issue. We may also consider talking to the VHP and other organizations if they are ready to reinstate the pre-demolition status of the mosque. The mosque has unfortunately been demolished. They should prepare the grounds for talks by vacating the Babri Masjid site and must commit themselves to accept the outcome of the talks.

The Dharm Sansad of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad has announced to start the construction of the temple at the Babri site. How do you react?
It is a very cheap gimmick. They want to incite us so that we come to the streets and forget the constructive activities that we are engaged in. They want to force us to opt for confrontation. But we don't want to react in the same way they plan. We will not give up the constructive activities we have started of late. Through announcing the dates for the construction of the temple they want to make maximum political mileage. They are not interested in solving the issue. The continuance of the issue is more important to them than the construction of the temple itself. 

Do you see the issue being solved?
We believe that the issue will be solved by the court. The only way to solve the issue is through judicial process. 

Is the judicial process continuing?
Yes. It is continuing and we are following up the case. Our lawyers are doing every bit in every court wherever the case is going on. They are also appearing in the Liberhan Commission and examining the witnesses. 

It seems that the Muslim Personal Law Board is not giving its due attention to the Babri Masjid issue.
I will repeat that we don't want to get emotional on the issue. We should not react to their advances as they wish. If we go to the streets it is going to be counter-productive. On the other hand it will help them and we will again be accused of taking the issue to the streets and inciting the masses. This will again create the environment which we witnessed after the demolition. So it is our view that we should refuse to react as they wish. We are working in our own way. We have full faith in the Indian constitution and our judiciary. And I believe that we wouldn't be let down.

Don't you think that the people who demolished the Babri Masjid can try to start the temple construction? Anyhow they have already announced the dates for the construction.
I will again say that the continuance of the issue serves their interests. They want to gain politically through keeping the issue alive. They want to get the elusive two thirds majority in Parliament through raking up this emotional issue. And if they are announcing the dates for the construction when the matter is sub-judice they are challenging the government and the judicial system of the country.
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