Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addresses 'World Culture Festival', says 'yes, it's private party - with whole world invited'

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's mega 'World Cultural festival' kick started on Friday.

Updated: Mar 12, 2016, 00:58 AM IST
PlaySri Sri Ravi Shankar addresses 'World Culture Festival', says 'yes, it's private party - with whole world invited'

New Delhi: As Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's mega 'World Cultural festival' kick started on Friday with cultural extravaganza, the founder of the Art of Living Foundation took on to his critics calling the event as a private party in which the entire world is invited.

While addressing the event, Sri Sri said, "People from so many countries have gathered to send a message that we are one world family."

"Yes, this is a private party, because the entire world is my family," Sri Sri said, appearing to respond to a controversy over government's help and funding for his event.

Speaking on the controversy over his event, by the NGT, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said, "When you want to do something great, there will be obstacles."

The cultural program is currently underway here. Prime Minister Narendra Modi is also present at the venue.

Despite the rain, PM Modi arrived here and was seated next to Sri Sri and a large contingent of dignitaries on an elaborate stage set up for him.

The event started with chants followed by a traditional dance with the accompaniment of 8,500 musicians.

The three-day long 'World Culture Festival' organised by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Art of Living (AOL) today crossed last minute hurdles as attempt to stall the mega show failed in the National Green Tribunal which gave more time to the organiser to pay Rs 5 crore fine.

 

Over the next three days, the festival will feature musical performances, mass meditation sessions and prayers led by Sanskit scholars. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has described it as "a Cultural Olympics".

 

Meanwhile, senior BJP leader Subramanian Swamy took to Twitter to offer his best wishes to Sri Sri and termed the event 'colourful and disciplined'.  

Thousands of people have gathered at the sprawling Yamuna floodplains for the event that is expected to draw lakhs of people over the next three days. People from different parts of the world are also expected to attend the mega event of music and dance. The National Green Tribunal on Friday cleared the decks for the event and gave Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's foundation three more weeks to pay Rs 5 crore in damages for holding the jamboree on the ecologically fragile Yamuna floodplains in Delhi.