Top political leaders from the country threw their weight behind spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on the concluding day of the World Culture Festival Sunday. Even as the debate raged over the environmental impact of the massive three-day event on the floodplains of Yamuna, political leaders backed Sri Sri while attacking his detractors.
Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu maintained that the ‘Yamuna will not be polluted’ but ‘some minds are polluted’ referring to those who raised objections on the venue. “I saw in the media some people saying Yamuna will be polluted… No, Yamuna will not be polluted but some minds are polluted’,” Naidu said. “This is a historic occasion. Human values and morals are going down… Violence, obscenity, vulgarity is increasing in certain parts of public life. We should live together as citizens of the world… It is very easy to say and easy to write but these many artistes and musicians from different parts of the globe displaying their culture in a dignified manner makes everyone happy. I also congratulate the Art Of Living volunteers who have done so much work silently in spite of verbal violence of a handful of people… I say don’t worry about them. In every society there will be some people like that… but our minds are clear… guruji is working for universal peace.”
Union Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad too dismissed the allegations. “There is no pollution here, only a flow of culture… there is no danger to environment, there is only sanskar,” Prasad said, referring to the controversy over a possible threat to the Yamuna, Also in attendance was Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal.
The Chief Minister sought Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s intervention in helping the central and state governments to come together to help clean the dying river.
“I thank Guruji for inviting me…But I am a little selfish… I have two things to ask for, the Art of Living volunteers are so disciplined and humble and they are always smiling. The Delhi government holds several events and I would ask them (volunteers) to join and support us there,” Kejriwal said.
“Second, we have all pledged to clean the Yamuna, if Guruji takes the initiative and is determined we will be able to do it,” he said.