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‘Mission is completely neutral’

With reference to the article “Modi a hit in Advani Base” published in today’s (July 23) edition of The Indian Express

Published: July 24, 2013 2:17 am

With reference to the article “Modi a hit in Advani Base” published in today’s (July 23) edition of The Indian Express,I would like to say that politicians and statesmen of every shade and hue (not to mention religious leaders across the spectrum like Mother Teresa,the Dalai Lama and Suma Ching Hai) have been guests of honour at the Mission; starting with Dr Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan in the early ‘60s,former PM Shri. Rajeev Gandhi in the ‘80s,followed by President Zail Singh,Dr Abdul Kalam,Central Ministers Shri Shivraj Patil,Shri Sushil Kumar Shinde as well as former CM Vilasrao Deshmukh,among others. Mr Modi’s visit to us was as the CM of Gujarat,where the Mission has done yeoman’s work in the relief and rehabilitation of quake victims. We hold Shri L K Advani in the highest regard — as a pillar of our community and our movement. He has been a long-standing friend and wellwisher of the Mission and has attended several of our programmes in Pune as well as New Delhi. The fact is that Mr L K Advani will be presiding over the main 95th birthday programme on August 2. During the course of the next week,we will also be blessed by the presence of Dalai Lama,while Aamir Khan,Dr Shashi Tharoor,Minister of State HRD and Ms Chanda Kochhar of ICICI will all be visiting us. This is only to point out to you and your readers our absolute neutrality in such matters. We welcome everyone as friends and well-wishers. Rev Dada teaches us to see the good in everyone and he himself appreciates everyone he meets.

Naresh Singhani

The PR Office

Sadhu Vaswani Mission

Do not politicise Modi visit

It seems most inappropriate to juxtapose two political figures with a spiritual leader like Dada J P Vaswani. He is globally known as an individual for whom the entire world is one country,with no demarcation of caste,creed,religion or belief. His religion is love for all of the Almighty’s creation. His behaviour or demeanour towards Mr Advani or Mr Modi is not based on their political entities,but as individuals towards whom he is warm and welcoming,as is his innate nature. By picking out certain excerpts from Mr Modi’s or Dada’s talk,the appearance is given of two individuals scratching each others’ backs,when that was not the situation at all. Dada warmly welcomed Mr Modi,as he does every guest to the Sadhu Vaswani Mission. His talk included spiritual advice based on ethical and correct human behaviour. He talked about India’s need for sincere volunteers capable of “doing”. With that reference,he encouraged Mr Modi with to be a “doer”. Mr Modi,with great respect,accepted both,the advice and the encouragement. All this,in no way,reflects negatively on Dada’s feelings for Mr Advani,nor does it in any way demean the latter’s efforts for his country throughout his lifetime. Each one of them is an individual entity in his own right and not defined or limited just by his political persona. Sometimes,the apparent presentation of “facts” can be distorted,depending on the manner in which they are presented. I have known Dada J P Vaswani closely for the past 40 years,and I have seen him bestow this same love,warmth and respect on all and sundry,irrespective of who they are or what their status in life may be.

Sheela Bhojwani

Pune

Our Editor replies:

The intention of the column was purely to make a comment on the politicians and their game of one upmanship. It was,in no way,intended to imply that the Sadhu Vaswani Mission or Dada were involved in any kind of politics. The Mission is well known for its secular and apolitical stance and we have always acknowledged the same in this newspaper and continue to do so.

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