You Have No Sense of Responsibility, NGT tells Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Published on: April 20, 2017

The country's top environment court, the National Green Tribunal came down forcefully today on spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, stating,  "You have no sense of responsibility. Do you think you have the liberty to say whatever you want?" The report was first flashed by NDTV.


Sri Sri ravishankar


The country's top environment court, the National Green Tribunal came down forcefully today on spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, stating,  "You have no sense of responsibility. Do you think you have the liberty to say whatever you want?"

Last year, in January 2016, Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Foundation fined Rs 120 crore for damaging Yamuna floodplains. A panel appointed by the National Green Tribunal found that the organisation had harmed the ecology around the banks of the river while making preparations for the World Culture Festival.

 
In a hearing yesterday, Sri Sri had callously said that if any damage has been caused to the environment by the huge three-day cultural festival he held on the banks of the River Yamuna in Delhi last year, it is the government and the court who should take the blame, because they allowed the event.
"If, at all, any fine has to be levied, it should be levied on the Central and state governments and the NGT itself, for giving the permission. If the Yamuna was so fragile and pure, they should have stopped the World Culture Festival," the 60-year-old, who has lakhs of followers around the world, said in a Facebook post.
 
A team of experts has testified to the National Green Tribunal that the event, which included a 7-acre stage for musicians and dancers and sprawled across 1,000 acres, had "completely destroyed" the riverbed. They said reversing the damage will take at least 10 years and about 42 crores. In January 2016, Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Foundation fined Rs 120 crore for damaging Yamuna floodplains. A panel appointed by the National Green Tribunal found that the organisation had harmed the ecology around the banks of the river while making preparations for the World Culture Festival.

 
Sri Sri and the Art of Living Foundation, which was founded by him, have denied all allegations of damaging the fragile ecosystem of the Yamuna.
 
Environmentalists last year asked for the "World Culture Festival" to be disallowed, but the National Green Tribunal said it was too late to call off the event and fined the organization five crores. Sri Sri at the time said he should be given an award for hosting a spectacular event that drew people from across the globe to the banks of one of the world's most polluted rivers.

Showing India and the world that he cared little for the mass destruction being caused to the Yamuna, the event had opened with Prime Minister Narendra Modi on stage next to Sri Sri. Modi, in one aspect of his public marketing image likes to show at least that he is committed to the movement against climate change !!

In March last year a further controversy was generated around the issue when a Gujarat based activist, Roshan Shah alleged that “Facebook Violating Article 19, "Filtering" Content Critical of Sri Sri's AOL”. This was on March 12, 2016. Roshan Shah, an  Ahmedabad-based activist had, in a communication with the Director General of Police, Gujarat and the ACP, Cyber Crime Cell asked for registration of a first information report against Facebook for “intercepting messages” and “filtering content.” .The complaint related to the controversy afoot over days in March last year relating to the World Culture Festival where Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who runs the Art of Living Foundation receiving a Rs. 2.5 cr as a government grant, using Indian army for the construction of a bridge, and chopping off trees.

Scroll.in had in an investigative report shown how “India’s spiritual gurus are the newbie gods of consumer goods” (April 2016)