New Delhi: An assembly of religious leaders, academics and scientists on Monday passed a resolution proposing construction of a multi-religion "temple of humanity" in Ayodhya to resolve the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid issue.
The resolution also urged Prime Minister Narendra Modi to form a 27-member steering committee under his leadership to initiate an inter-religion dialogue on the issue.
It said that 67 acres of government land contiguous to 2.77 acres of disputed land should be used for construction of "Vishwadharmi Shri Ram Manavata Bhavan", consisting of places of worship for Hindus, Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Sikhs, Jains and followers of Judaism and Zoroastrianism, "giving equal respect and status to all the religions".
However, the Delhi Declaration added that apart from a multi-religion temple, "a magnificent and beautiful temple dedicated to Lord Ram be constructed on his very birthplace" -- the 2.77 acres of disputed land presently trifurcated by the Allahabad High Court.
The resolution was passed at the national round-table organised by the MIT World Peace University on the need to amicably resolve the contentious issue through inter-religion dialogue.
The participants included Ram Vilas Vedanthi, Arif Mohammed Khan, Vijay Bhatkar, Swami Agnivesh, Syed Kalbe Rushaid Rizvi and Vishwanath Karad, among other academics and religious scholars.
According to the conference declaration, the multi-religion temple would serve as "India's contribution to promoting the message of culture of peace and harmony".
"The Bhawan be open to all, where prayers, meditations and devotional services can be offered by individuals and communities belonging to different religions and faiths and institutions as decided and scheduled by the trustees of the temple," it added.
"We sincerely feel that in the greater national interest and to minimise the possible hatred, jealousy, violence and suspicion, particularly between the two major communities of the country, it is essential...to make sincere and sustained efforts to resolve this vexing, long-standing conflicting issue of Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid at Ayodhya," Vishwanath Karad, Founder President of MIT World Peace University, said.
The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute encompasses 2.77 acres of disputed land, at present allotted to three litigating parties by the Allahabad High Court -- the All India Hindu Mahasabha, Nirmohi Akhara and All India Sunni Waqf Board.
With each party getting only 0.9 acre of the disputed piece of land, it was not enough to construct either a Ram temple or even a mosque, the declaration said.
"Further, according to Islamic belief, no mosque or place of worship can be constructed on a disputed piece of land, and according to the Hindu belief, temple of Lord Ram should be necessarily constructed on this very site -- the birthplace of Ram," the Delhi Declaration said.