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'Ram temple should be built in Ayodhya but with consent of all'

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 

Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar today lent his support to the demand for construction of Ram temple in Ayodhya but said that it should be built with the "consent of all".

"Ram temple should be constructed in Ayodhya but with the consent of all," he said.

Asked to comment over chief Mohan Bhagwat's recent remarks over the construction of the temple, Shankar said, "That is his agenda. He (Bhagwat) will keep saying that."

Yesterday, at an event in Kolkata, Bhagwat hoped that the construction of Ram temple might be completed in his lifetime.

Ravi Shankar was speaking at an event here in which 11 spiritual and faith leaders including him signed a joint declaration against modern slavery.

The Art of Living founder also expressed his concerns toward the need of creating awareness among people to counter the threat of recruitment of Indian youths in ISIS.

"A feeling of fear and terror, when induced into the minds of youths, lead them to follow wrong path. Therefore, it is important to build confidence within people. It is need of the hour to educate people to live with mutual harmony," he said.

On the ongoing debate over "intolerance" in the country, Shankar called for the need to send a collective message of tolerance from faith leaders of different religions.

"The faith leaders should together send a message of tolerance," he said.

On the issue of Yamuna river cleaning, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, "Our volunteers will resume the cleaning drive of Yamuna river which we had began before the Commonwealth Games in Delhi. A cultural festival will be celebrated in March prior to which we aim to clean Yamuna."

At the event, Nobel Laureate Kailash Satyarthi called upon all faith leaders across the country to join the movement to end modern slavery by changing the mind sets of people.

"Faith leaders have a wide outreach and a strong following. Millions of people watch them every day but I am sorry to say that I have never heard from their mouth that those who are sitting here must pledge that they will not use a domestic child labour," he said.

Narrating an incident from a rescue operation that he undertook, Satyarthi said that the enslaved children were working in a glass factory.

"One boy told me that he was handling molten glass and accidentally it fell in his palm and he was beaten up instead of being treated. When I asked his name, 'he said I am Muhammad'. We are enslaving Muhammads and we are fighting for temples and mosques," the Nobel Laureate said.

First Published: Thu, December 03 2015. 20:07 IST