LUCKNOW: The Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar met Sunni cleric and Imam of Aishbagh Eidgah, Maulana Khalid Rashid Farangi Mahali, here on Friday as part of his efforts to mediate a solution to the Ramjanmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute.

Sri Sri and Farangi Mahali, along with the national secretary of Sri Ram Janmbhoomi Nirman Nyas Pandit Amarnath Mishra, held closed door talks for 20 minutes in Lucknow on Friday. After the meeting, they exuded hope that the dispute could be resolved peacefully through talks between the two communities.

The meeting with Farangi Mahali was the only one Sri Sri had with a Muslim religious head during his three-day visit to Ayodhya and Lucknow. Farangi Mahali is an executive committee member of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board(AIMPLB). He, however, clarified that AIMPLB had no connection with the meeting and that he met Sri Sri in his capacity as Imam of Aishbagh Eidgah.

On the outcome of the meeting, Sri Sri said, “I have full faith that these talks will definitely lead to a big positive outcome for the country. We all respect the court, but down the line, a decision by the court will remain that of a court which cannot bind hearts.”

He added that there has been a consensus with Farangi Mahali to work on building bridges between Hindus and Muslims.

Maulana Rashid said that the warm welcome with bouquets given to Sri Sri by madrassa students was an example of Ganga-Jamuni tehzeeb. He said, “All religious heads need to sit together and talk regularly to find a solution.”