Sri Sri’s AoL should reaffirm spiritual values by apologizing to threatened activists, postponing the event
Puja Bhattacharjee | March 9, 2016 | New Delhi
Sri Sri Ravishankar and the Art of Living Foundation (AOL) have been carrying out a noble mission of spreading spiritual values for 35 years now. Sri Sri advocates a stress-free mind and a violence-free society. But for the past two months, the preparations for the World Culture Festival organised by AOL has been doling out more stress than it has eradicated. The festival organised on the 35th anniversary of the foundation on the flood plains of the Yamuna during March 11-13 has brought on an offensive from environmentalists who rue the destruction of the river plains.
READ: Art of Living event is violence on environment: Bharati Chaturvedi
While the National Green Tribunal (NGT) is about to rule on a petition filed by Yamuna Jiye Abhiyaan (YJA), and the upper house of parliament is in uproar, Swami Omjee, a Hindu Mahasabha leader, has openly threatened Vimlendu Jha, secretary of Sweccha, a voluntary organisation, who has mobilised support for the petition filed by YJA and has even called him anti-national and a CIA agent.
READ: “#OccupyYamuna”? Before Sri Sri’s extravaganza, it was Akshardham
Whatever be his association with AOL, if Omjee has truly understood Sri Sri’s message, he would have acted otherwise. In a truly peaceful society, one that Sri Sri envisions, disagreements are dealt through dialogue, not intimidation. There is no concept of nation or nationalism in the spiritual sphere where, they say, one is all and all is one. Everyone is a world citizen.
In fact, the festival aims to celebrate the diversity of cultures through music art and the individuality of each person.
Maybe, after all this is over, Sri Sri should sit down with the lumpen elements and teach them the Art of Living Peacefully. Sri Sri would have truly achieved world peace in some measure if he can change the impassioned and irrational reactions of his supporters, however well-meaning they might be, from hostility to amity and agree to disagree, peacefully.
Just after the UP assembly election in 1996, I was among the scores of reporters waiting at Kalyan Singh’s residence, waiting to get the first inkling of the future course of the BJP. The party had secured the maximum seats – 174 out of 425 seats – but was short of the majority mark
“Company Secretaries, once known as secretaries to the board and management, have transformed themselves into key managerial and governance professionals. Today they are recognised for their importance on corporate landscape and have become gatekeepers of corporate governance,” said Ajay Tyagi,
Any good news which promises to bring about qualitative improvement in the lives of people, especially in rural India, is always welcome. It was heartening indeed to learn that every single village in the country now has access to electricity, as announced by the prime minister on April 29. This is most ce
The paved road, the few concrete houses and men on motorcycles – these are deceptive signs of development in Madralalpur village. Only a couple of weeks ago, Babu, a 47-year-old distressed farmer, had hanged himself from a babool tree. Villagers were gathered at his house as his wife, mother, sister-
Statistics has come a long way from the time when British prime minister Benjamin Disraeli observed: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.” Statistics is now an accredited branch of applied mathematics; statistical methods are routinely used to prove or disprove the
Of all offences, it’s the crime of rape that fires public sentiment the most, eliciting an outrage that exceeds the seemingly worst felony of all – murder too. It has probably more to do with the offence and associated gory details staying, even being replayed ruthlessly, in memory with continu