Raipur, Feb 28: Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar on Monday appealed to Maoists to shun violence and join mainstream before taking up their issues with government. "Naxals should quit the path of violence and join the mainstream and then should talk about their rights with the government," the Art of Living founder said.
He was addressing the MLAs and other dignitaries at the Shyama Prasad Mukherjee auditorium in Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly annex. Chief Minister Raman Singh, the Assembly Speaker Gaurishankar Agrawal, the Leader of Opposition TS Singhdeo besides the ministers and MLAs were present on the occasion.
He asked the naxals to "distance themselves from bullet and restore their faith on ballot", which he said was the only means through which they can achieve their rights. "I addressed people in Bijapur (naxal-affected district in Bastar region) yesterday and urged naxals there to quit the path of violence. I asked them to leave bullet and go for ballot. Pick pens or bats and contribute in development of the region," he said.
On a question about the role of the government in resolving the left wing extremism, he said every institution of the society must work together to tackle the menace. "Government cannot do all the things. Neither the government nor the officials are only responsible to build confidence and trust among people. It is the work of social workers. Those who are working in religious, spiritual and social areas, it's their responsibility.
"Therefore, the government should do some work, some by industries and some by non-government institutions together to bring peace (in conflict affected places). Media also have their role to play. There is no such problem which can't be sorted out if all these institutions work together," the spiritual guru said.
He said talking and understanding besides spirituality are the solutions (to Maoist problem). "Recently, insurgents groups from North-East met me. During the discussion, I came to know that they all have a pain in their heart that nobody listened to them patiently. You have to hear them patiently, then only it can be sorted out," he said.
"I asked them (members of insurgent groups) what they are fighting for. What is their motive and what they have gained till now. I told them, if they are fighting for social justice, then we are with them but not through guns and bombs," Ravishankar added. He also stressed the need to focus more on the "Swachh Bharat" mission, farmers' welfare issues and imparting skill training to youths.