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Celebs do not represent Muslims: Lawyers on Salim-Javed's Ayodhya remarks

The veteran screenwriters had on Sunday reacted to Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict by saying Muslims should set up schools and hospitals instead of a mosque on the 5-acre plot to be given to the Sunni

Ayodhya case | Ayodhya | Ram Janmabhoomi dispute

Press Trust of India  |  New Delhi 


Lawyers who represented Muslim parties in the land dispute on Monday expressed displeasure over the remarks of legendary screen writers, Salim Khan and Javed Akhtar, that the five acres of land which is to be given for construction of a mosque as per the apex court's decision be used for building "schools, colleges and hospitals" there.

The lawyers asserted that that celebrities do not represent the Muslim community and have no role in the case.

Advocate M R Shamshad, who appeared for a Muslim party in the Supreme Court, said that building hospitals on the land, to be allotted by either by the Centre or the state government, will only cover-up the issue.

"Hospitals are needed everywhere in India in big number. The Babri issue has been test of the working of the system in the country. We should do everything to make the system functional on the basis of rule of law.

"Making hospital there will only cover-up the issue. Sunni Board has lots of land in It should give a patch of land to them (celebrities) to build Babri Masjid Hospital/College," he said.

A prominent lawyer attached with the case, who did not wish to be named, said the present matter related to the representation of Muslims, and the celebrities do not have any role in it.

"I don't want to name any celebrity. This matter is either constitutional or religious. There is no role of celebrities in this. Neither we want to listen to their advice in the matter nor do we want to comment on it," he said.

"This is a matter representing the Muslim community. The celebrities have never represented the Muslim community nor can they represent them now," he said.

Senior advocates Shekhar Naphade and Meenakshi Arora, who had appeared for Muslim parties in the apex court, however, refused to react to the statements.

Both the veteran screenwriters had on Sunday reacted to Supreme Court's Ayodhya verdict by saying Muslims should set up schools and hospitals instead of a mosque on the 5-acre plot to be given to the Sunni Waqf Board.

Khan (83), the co-writer of legendary movies like Sholay and Deewar, had told PTI it was good the issue had finally ended.

"Like a film, it has come to an end. It doesn't matter if you criticise it, call it good or whatever, it's the end. This was going on for years and was long drawn, becoming more complicated than ever. The Supreme Court took time and gave a verdict. You cannot go on about it now," Khan had told PTI.

"We have to offer namaz, but we can do it from anywhere, in train, plane, while travelling. All we need is a clean place. We don't need a masjid for that. Today's priority is schools, colleges, hospitals. We must look into that," he had added.

"We must build schools, hospitals and colleges on the five-acre land. Our tall leaders will come from educational institutions. In fact the first chapter of our Holy Book focuses on the importance of education," Khan had stated.

He had said the film industry did not have good writers because "no one reads books here anymore", stressing that "we need to change this".

His former writing partner Javed Akhtar had tweeted, "It would be really nice if those who get the 5 acres as compensation decide to make a big charitable hospital on that land sponsored and supported by the people all the communities."

In a historic and unanimous verdict, a five-judge Constitution bench headed by Chief Justice Ranjan Gogoi had cleared the way for the construction of a Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya, and directed the Centre to allot a five-acre plot to the Sunni Waqf Board for building a mosque.

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First Published: Mon, November 11 2019. 19:45 IST