Under fire,Sri Sri says meant ‘sick’ govt-run schools

Sibal targets Art of Living guru,petition filed in Jaipur court

Written by Express News Service | New Delhi | Published: March 22, 2012 1:36:20 am

Facing fire for his remarks that government schools should be privatised because they produced Naxals,Art of Living guru Sri Sri Ravishankar on Wednesday said he was referring only to “sick” schools in Maoist-affected areas.

“I did not say that all government schools breed Naxalism. Great talents have emerged from these schools and I would never generalise. I specifically referred to sick government schools in Naxal-affected areas. Many who have turned to Naxalism have come from these schools. The Art of Living is running 185 free schools in such areas. I urge more institutions to join this effort to spread peace through education,” he said in a statement.

Among those who slammed Ravishankar’s comments was HRD Minister Kapil Sibal. “When I read the statement,I was surprised. I am confident that perhaps the person had not made such a statement… Any person with a sense of balance cannot make such a statement… There must be some mistake in reporting because any person with some element of sanity would not have made such a remark. I am sure the individual you are talking about is fully sane…,” Sibal told reporters.

Pointing out that people serving in the highest positions in the government,judiciary and former Presidents have studied in government schools,Sibal asked whether they could all be called Naxalites.

Meanwhile,Surender Daka,a former head of the Sanganer Bar Association,filed an application in a Jaipur court against Ravishankar,accusing him of defamation.

“We moved an application against Sri Sri Ravishankar for his remarks against government schools. The court will decide on whether a complaint should be registered on Thursday,” Daka’s lawyer Mahavir Jain said.

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