As social media was not too long ago awash with jokes on Art of Living’s (AOL) spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar posted his ‘statement’ that Pakistani activist Malala Yousafzai did not ‘deserve’ the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, one wonders as to what really went wrong for the organization in 2016. For the record, Yousafzai (17 in 2014) became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate (she was a co-winner with Kailash Satyarthi of Madhya Pradesh) for work of human rights advocacy and education for women in her native Swat Valley, in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of Northwest Pakistan.
It may also be remembered that Malala’s efforts bore fruit despite the stiffest of opposition from the Taliban and the teenager almost lost her life in an assassination attempt on a school bus in 2012, which had gunmen firing three shots onto her head. But then what really prompted Sri Sri to remark that Malala won the Nobel ‘without any body of work’ and that ‘political factors’ influenced the winners?
Time for me to jump on to that Yoga mat!
That is what Twitterati claimed in the Tweet melee that ensued later on but then AOL were prompt to state that Sri Sri was ‘misquoted’ in the press. Despite Sri Sri saying that he never did ‘good work’ with ‘expectations of winning a prize’ still what surprised many was his statement that he would have ‘turned down’ the Nobel if it were ever offered to him.
Though we may never know as to whether Sri Sri may or may not win the Nobel in the near future but then does winning that ‘coveted prize’ really matter?
Let me stay put in that mudra pose!
AOL has been under intense media scrutiny recently thanks to their ongoing issue with the National Green Tribunal (NGT). It may be remembered that the NGT had slapped a massive five crore fine on AOL for ‘damaging’ ‘flora’ and ‘fauna’ of the Yamuna flood plains during the World Cultural Festival held earlier this year at Delhi.
Five minutes gone by and I can’t wait to snap out of the mudra!
More trouble in store?
Also not to forget that Sri Sri’s recent efforts of a ‘dialogue’ with Islamic State (ISIS) also ended on a bad note when the terror outfit had sent him a picture of a beheaded man with threats also levelled against AOL. And the latest in the list is that of their Twitter feud with former Bollywood actress Twinkle Khanna.
Apparently a ‘not so funny’ tweet from Miss Funny Bones aimed at Sri Sri irked AOL followers to such an extent that they threatened to boycott the upcoming movie ‘Housefull 3’ (which incidentally stars Twinkle’s actor hubby Akshay Kumar).
But then it was Twinkle who had the last laugh as Twitterati took her side with many even suggesting that AOL members needed to take a dose of their own course!
Just one minute more of excruciation!
It may be noted that AOL have definitely been on the back foot in 2016 as the above mentioned controversies show that negativity has chased them like never before. So what exactly is going wrong for AOL?
Was it that Malala statement from Sri Sri which spiralled into a huge snowball of controversy?
Or was it that ‘boycott’ ‘threat’ to Twinkle which backfired badly?
Damn…end of course!