Criticised for doing good, says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Bengaluru, May 9: Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Tuesday said his organisation was facing criticism over holding the World Culture fest along the Yamuna in Delhi when its aim was to bring the river pollution into the limelight.
"Our objective was to attract people's attention to the dirt and pollution in the Yamuna through the event (last year). We wanted to follow the pollution issue with the government to clean the river," he told the Natural Farming Summit in Bengaluru.
"'Magar yaha pe ulta chor kotwal ko dante'" (But it turned out to be a case of pot calling the kettle black), he added.
Ravi Shankar said there was no proof that the festival caused pollution in the river.
The spiritual leader also batted for the promotion of natural and organic farming along with rejuvenation of rivers.
On April 19, the spiritual guru had said the authorities should have never given permission to hold the World Culture Festival if the Yamuna was 'so fragile and pure'. He added that "the fine should be levied on the National Green Tribunal, and the Central and Delhi governments for giving permission to hold the event."
"Ravi Shankar added that the event, which saw over three million attendees from 155 countries over a three-day period, polluted neither air, water nor land."
"The Art of Living, that has rejuvenated 27 rivers, planted 71 million trees, revived several ponds, is being projected as destroying a dead river," Ravi Shankar said.
On April 28, The NGT had issued a notice to AOL chief Ravi Shankar after a plea was moved against him. The plea opposed his remarks against the Centre and the panel for damaging the Yamuna floodplains by allowing AOL's event which was held in March last year.
AOL spokesperson and legal adviser Kedar Desai had said that there was no such order that was passed and the matter was postponed to May 9
The event was held on the left bank of the river between the Barapullah elevated road and the DND flyway between March 11 and 13, 2016.