The Candid Eye

February 5, 2010

Thackerays need to calm down: Sri Sri

Reacting to the raging controversy on the ‘Mumbai is for Indians’ issue, noted spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar on Thursday advised the leaders of Maharashtra to follow his organisation’s breathing technique and other courses in order to gain peace.

Guruji Sri Sri Ravishankar

“There are a lot of problems in society already. Let us not create any new problems,” he told Zee News on being asked if the Thackerays needed to follow his teachings.

“The Thackeray family strictly need Art of Living lessons,” he said.

Sri Sri was in the Capital to announce a mission to clean up the River Yamuna that his Art of Living is starting from March 7. The mission encompasses involving volunteers, 82 NGOs, World Bank, UNESCO etc in a campaign to create awareness about Yamuna.

“India’s strength lies in unity in diversity and this cannot be put at stake because of such insignificant issues. We should look at a united India from Kashmir to Kanyakumari,” he added.

Having said that the leaders need to bring people together and not divide them, Sri Sri also added that locals should not be ignored.“Regional people should be given due importance, no doubt, but those from other states should not be opposed,” he said, adding “it is not part of our Indian culture.”

In a lighter, yet meaningful, vein he said that cleanliness campaigns needed to be launched everywhere- be it in politics, medical profession, business etc. “But don’t ask me to clean up everything,” he said followed by peels of laughter.

He said peace and reconciliation are possible and even the Maoists had responded positively to his call for talks. “We held a satsang in Orissa’s Maoist zone and there were over a lakh who attended, it was unprecedented.”

Called ‘Meri Yamuna, Meri Dilli’, the campaign will see awareness drives, cleanliness campaigns at various banks of Yamuna, coordination between various government agencies involved with Yamuna etc. Sri Sri said they were starting with Yamuna as it was more polluted than Ganga.

“Our Ganga clean up programs are already on, though,” he said. The campaign is being organised in view of the Central Pollution Control Board’s (CPCB) latest report that the faecal content in the water of the Yamuna is so high that the river resembles a drain.

”I saw devotees drinking and bathing in dirty Yamuna water. I was so pained to see that and decided to do something about it,” he added.

He said people and government were both to be held responsible for the mess in Yamuna that had not been cleaned up despite investment of hundreds of crores and people needed to demand answers from the authorities about the same.

“In our study, we found that the main problem is a lack of coordination between various government and non-government agencies. We will try to be a link for all so that we can plan all plan what to do about the Yamuna,” he said.

The program will not ask for money from those getting involved- corporates, citizens, World Bank etc.- and it would be all voluntary work, Sri Sri informed.

On being asked if it was possible to link development with nature, he said it was the only way for sustainable progress. “There is no other way. A balance will have to be achieved between growth and nature.”

He also dismissed questions about it all being a gimmick. “Our programs are for all to see. We make it compulsory for those who attend our spiritual camps to work for society. Where can we run from our issues? There is no escape…”

Source: Zee News

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