New Delhi: In India, whether its communist or capitalist ideology, freedom of speech has always been honoured at any cost, it's there in the 'genes' of the country, said spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, while speaking exclusively to Zee Media, adding, that the group of students who had allegedly raised 'anti-India' slogans recently should 'meditate' since they were a bunch of 'misguided' youth.
He added that in his opinion, universities were lacking how to teach students to make perfect use of their 'enthusiasm'.
Further denouncing people for questioning the judicial proceedings of the nation, Sri Sri said, “If a person (Afzal Guru) was proved to be a terrorist and was punished as per the constitution then no one should question it. It's an insult to the court.”
“Saying things like ‘Bharat ko barbaad karke rahenge’ will not be tolerated by any democracy and any civilised society,” he added.
A Padma Vibushan awardee, Sri Sri spoke on a range of subjects, from freedom of speech, JNU-Afzal Guru row, 'Award Wapsi' and many more.
“We need to decode the real intention or motive behind such provocative things. It has to be seen that whether JNU row was based only on an incident was a planned scheme to attack the government. It can't be left unattended,” said Sri Sri.
“I am always there for students to channelise their energy,” Sri Sri added, while saying that it was easy to 'destroy' but very difficult to 'build'.
Further talking on the recent 'Award Wapsi' incidents, the Art of Living founder said, “Tolerance prevails in India's DNA but people of this country are indifferent to things happening around them. By returning 'Awards' people have maligned India's image. If you are not satisfied with the government's work then protest against it. Refuse the awards in advance, as I did.”
Putting his weight behind his event - World Culture Festival – scheduled to take place on the banks of Yamuna, which is expected to be attended by 3.5 million people from around 155 countries, Sri Sri said, “People from worldwide like, Uruguay, Perugia, Chilli, South America are eager to listen this program. They have booked big halls where this event will be broadcasted. In India, even in a small village situated in Kerala, people are looking forward for the event. So, I think the function will spread a big message to the world. It is high time that we bring closer the people of this world under 'spiritualism' so that we can provide a terror-free world to our future generation.”
"The Art of Living should be lauded and rewarded for even choosing such a polluted place for a prestigious international event,” he added.
While stressing that they will not cause any harm to the river, the spiritual guru said, “It takes enormous courage and commitment to ready a place where once, one could not even breathe due to the stink. It's joke of the year when people say 'Art of Living' is polluting Yamuna.”
The spiritual guru further applauded the volunteers of the program for doing a commendable job by cleaning the Yamuna. “Our volunteers have created some special enzymes which has lowered the pollution level and the bad odour of the river,” he said.
The 'World Culture Festival' will be held on the 35th anniversary of the Art of Living foundation.
However, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had pulled up the Delhi Development Authority (DDA) for granting permission to hold Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's 'World Culture Festival' on the banks of Yamuna.
The three-day event will be held on the flood plains of the Yamuna river near DND toll bridge and massive construction is underway for the festival starting March 11.