Do not politicise events which concern India’s prestige: Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

He claimed that his Foundation has already received invitation from Australia, Mexico and other nations for holding the next edition of the event.

By: PTI | New Delhi | Published:March 13, 2016 9:42 pm
sri sri, art of living, yamuna, delhi art of living, art of living event, world culture fest, world fest delhi, delhi fest, delhi culture fest, art of living fine, yamuna banks, delhi news, india news Sri Sri Ravi Shankar waves to his followers during the inauguration of a massive cultural festival on the banks of the river Yamuna, in New Delhi, India, Friday, March 11, 2016. (AP Photo)

Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Sunday said parties should not politicise events having a bearing on the country’s reputation and suggested that the media has been “harsh” in its criticism of the World Cultural Festival organised on the Yamuna flood plain.

He claimed that his Foundation has already received invitation from Australia, Mexico and other nations for holding the next edition of the event.

“We need a certain maturity. I don’t mind but I request all political parties, whenever such a grand event is being organised, party politics should be kept aside.”

“You should come together so that India’s prestige on the world stage rises. It is not easy to organise an event of this magnitude…. It is a major thing… so that people from across the world can feel connected,” the spiritual guru said.

“People from across the world are amazed. We got a letter from the Australian Prime Minister asking us to hold the event there. They are ready to give all the help we need, from Mexico…. The countries are keen to host this event. At the same time, the international media is asking why the Indian press is so harsh towards this festival. I smiled and said that I don’t know,” he said.

Defending the organising of the festival on the flood plains of Yamuna, he said they would work for the rejuvenation of the river.

Replying to a query related to his statement that he would not pay the five crore fine imposed by National Green Tribunal, he said the NGT has made it clear that it was not a fine but compensation to rejuvenate the area.

The AOL founder said his organisation will come with up a concrete plan for conservation of Yamuna river.

“We had consulted a couple of environmentalists before the event and they had said there would be no damage to the flood plains if this event was held. Further, we will also consult some environmentalists and work on rejuvenation of Yamuna with a concrete plan of action for Yamuna,” he said.

He said they had initially thought of holding the event in a stadium, but then the idea had to be dropped because of the magnitude of the programme.

“Any stadium would not have been able to accommodate these many artists and people,” Ravi Shankar said as the three-day cultural extravaganza ended today.

He said over 172 dignitaries from across the globe had come for the event, which drew intense criticism and also litigation over allegations that it damaged the ecology of Yamuna flood plains.

Questions were also raised on deploying army personnel for its preparation and the traffic woes due to the massive event.

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  1. B
    Bhagwan
    Mar 13, 2016 at 6:17 pm
    Now I am convinced that this too is a dhongi Baba. Spirituality is just a camouflage for hiding his business interests and his sectarian affiliations.
    Reply
  2. S
    Shankar Shankar
    Mar 13, 2016 at 5:30 pm
    Haha! India's prestige. Ghanta!
    Reply
  3. S
    sb
    Mar 14, 2016 at 6:09 am
    Great Efforts by Sri Sri RaviShankar. The Indian Media largely has been a bied left of centre . If people were to believe them we shall forever be under the clutches of congress dynasty and leftist communists and mired in poverty forever.
    Reply
  4. K
    Krishna Kumar
    Mar 13, 2016 at 5:02 pm
    Yes.. it was a good effort by 2SRS. It will boost India's image for peace and religious harmony, the very essence of India.
    Reply
  5. R
    Rahul
    Mar 13, 2016 at 5:34 pm
    Yes, of course, only CWG can highlight India's prestige.
    Reply
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