World Acculturation ?

Disclaimer – I am not a member of the Art of Living foundation and personally I don’t follow Guru Sri Sri Ravishankar, as a matter of fact I don’t agree with him on many things !

But, today I wish I had listened to my dear friend Anu and attended the World Culture festival on the banks of Yamuna or the floodplains as its alleged. Anu has come all the way from the US with her family to attend the festival.

Today I spent some time going back in time, for two reasons – one because our dear friend SethuMadhavan passed away and next because something about the hue and cry over the World culture Festival of Sri Sri didn’t add up… For one, Arvind Kejriwal not saying anything about it is deeply concerning to me. Here was one more event in which NaMo was being hauled over the burning coals and he never took even one potshot ! Why ? Whatever happened to his need for “being in the news” 24/7 ? And this is truly international – people from 155 countries are here in Delhi and AK stays quiet …. is it because he is waiting for AOL to do the dirty work of cleaning Yamuna and then he can give advertisements saying AAP got it done as part of his clean Yamuna project :):) ?

I went back in time to 2010 and found two articles and yet again, a few common names came up and it wasn’t amusing …

R. K. Pachauri was to head a committee to decide if the Commonwealth games village can be built on the floodplains of the Yamuna. That committee is yet to meet and the houses in the games village have been sold, maybe some of them have been resold a couple of times already. It’s the same R K Pachauri of the TERI fame (read notoriety), who subsequently has been promoted. Did we even hear a whimper about this in the media or the two houses of the parliament ? Because this was wrong, it doesn’t make Sri Sri’s use of the Yamuna flood plains right, but it’s just to show how selective news is highlighted.

The next article that I came across is Where does the Yamuna flow. Read this and please understand that the damage to the river Yamuna has been done for many years. While the World culture Event being held on the floodplains is not justified, but dumping all the blame on AOL is also not justified. AOL is an international organization with many environmental experts who are followers of Guruji – and whatever else you may say for Sri Sri Ravishankar, he doesn’t have the intention to harm India through any of his actions. So I find it a little far fetched to make the connection that if this is being organised by a religious/spiritual leader, then its definitely going to harm the environment… this man is also educated, his followers are educated and NGT isn’t the only organization who cares about the Yamuna !

Actually the private media houses have lost credibility completely, so much so that I am wary of taking any news reported by them at face value. What is really bothering the HMVs ? is it the Vedic chants on the banks of Yamuna or is it the unstable stage that didn’t fall unlike the CWG games village beds or is it that 35 lakh people from 155 countries came because a Hindu man called Sri Sri RaviShankar said so or did it hurt to see heads of state of foreign countries praising him and India … Not everyone has the unique ability to avoid controversy to please past pay masters…. Least of all, Mr. Modi.

So there is a lot more muck on the banks of the Yamuna that cannot be cleared till the cabal of pseudo intellectuals and HMVs decide to clean up their act and I know thats giving up their sole profession, so its hard. I also understand if some of my friends find this article not supporting their feelings about the damage to the floodplains of the river Yamuna. I just don’t think any of us know the reality and thats the real tragedy. Am merely trying to present my thoughts and reasoning the way I am working through it.

P.s It felt great to hear the Argentinian group sing “hare Rama” and “Jai Jai Seeta Ram” …. And to see 1070 and 1500 Bharatanatyam and Kathak dancers dancing  ! I am hoping and praying that the Art of Living foundation cleans up the Yamuna as the program ends and the world culture festival helps with the acculturation of the world with India’s cultural gifts.

2 thoughts on “World Acculturation ?”

  1. Bindu-ji, I agree with most of what you say. One may or may not agree with SriSriRavishankar’s philosophy: but at least he is an alternative to fanatical Hinduism. And fanatical Hinduism would not even be in the limelight had not the fanatical Secularists promoted it! You’re right about the mercenary media!
    What worries me is that within India, liberal Hinduism (which is what it is meant to be) is being undermined by fanatic Secularists. Hinduism is already secular, so where is the need for a separate brand of self-promoting secularists? You guessed right– these guys are self-promoting!
    My one point of disagreement—I am not particularly enamoured by Argentinians singing ‘Hare Rama’ or white men practising Yoga. We do not need foreign certification for our traditions.
    I hope your prayer for Yamuna is answered! I’m with you.

    • Kaushik ji – I think they did clean the Yamuna. We criss-crossed the venue a couple of times on 12th and 13th and the event was organised brilliantly. No traffic snarls and so many volunteers managing the traffic. So guess, it didn’t harm the river but a lot of good publicity came to India. So the true purpose of the event was served.


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