The Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had to end his speech midway at a peace event in Srinagar after protestors disrupted the function by chanting pro-Azadi slogans. Thus, the spiritual leader’s initiative to restore peace in trouble-stricken Kashmir didn’t cut the ice with audience as many of them left the place within six minutes after the commencement of his speech. Many people who had come from nearby districts of Srinagar were made to sit for long hours at Sheri Kashmir International Convention Centre without food and water by the organisers. Later the event was called off by the organisers. Of late, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been grabbing headlines for all the wrong reasons by issuing provocative statements about Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid controversy.
Holistic counsellor Aasha Warriar said that spirituality is beyond religion and citizens need to understand the thin-line between this. She said, “Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is doing a good job for the promotion of peace and harmony. I can’t comment directly about his viewpoints but according to me the citizens of our country need spiritual guidance.”
“Spirituality and politics are two different aspects. When political-spiritual nexus happens it is dangerous for the country,” she added.
Ravi Shankar had received flak for his statement that India will face a Syria-like situation if Ayodhya issue remains unresolved. Opposition parties too had criticised the spiritual leader for his statements asking Muslims to give up their claim on Ayodhya. They alleged that Ravi Shankar is an agent of the BJP government and hence, he is trying to mediate in the Ayodhya dispute. Shiv Sena had asked whether Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has been given a supari for making these statements.
What is Ravi Shankar’s intention behind raking up sensitive issues like Kashmir and Ayodhya dispute? Is he trying to take forward the BJP agenda ahead of the 2019 Lok Sabha polls. By issuing controversial statements, is he trying to remain in the limelight?
BJP Mumbai Vice-president Krishna Hegde said, “As a spiritual leader, I have immense respect for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. I can’t comment on his statement pertaining to Ayodhya issue as I am unaware about it.”
Ravi Shankar is known for promoting Art of Living among citizens but by associating himself with these kinds of controversial issues, won’t this affect his image as a spiritual leader? Already he has been asked to concentrate on spirituality instead of interfering in political matters. Ravi Shankar’s effort to mediate in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute had failed and now he has suffered another setback after his peace event has been called off in Srinagar.
Former Congress MLA Madhu Chavan said that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is not above the law. He stated, “Self-proclaimed spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is trying to polarise voters by issuing controversial statements. Ravi Shankar is trying to display his supremacy.”
“Whatever development has happened in India is due to Congress party and BJP is only trying to spread lies about our party looting the country. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is an agent of BJP and the party is indirectly supporting him,” he added.
BJP has often known for bringing the Ram Janmabhoomi -Babri Masjid issue on the forefront for gaining political mileage. Already the Hyderabad Police has booked Ravi Shankar for making provocative remarks about this issue.
All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Waris Pathan stated, “Who is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to intervene in Ayodhya dispute? We will have to abide by the verdict delivered by the Supreme Court in this matter.”