We can rightly argue that the events
like the one being organized by Sri Sri Ravishankar (or Mr. Ravishankar) are
good for the overall health of the society - but when we see the grandiose scale
of such events which are at best fleeting in effect in a society like India with
millions of under-nourished, quality-illiterate poor people, we start
questioning utillity and futility of such initiatives.
The world peace simply means nothing
And it is my firm belief that that
every religious person has the moral and social obligation to work until there
is even a single person to be helped is left, something that means it is going
to be a lifelong, endless endeavour.
So, if Mr. Ravishankar has spent
around 30 crore or more in organizing this event that claims to bring the world
on the fragile Yamuna riverbed for three days, he needs to do some
soul-searching so as to find the rationale that has driven his decision.
An ordinary Indian needs hospitals,
schools and basic civic amenities first and not big temples, monuments, parks
and mega events like this World Culture Festival.
Yes, it may be argued, it is being
argued, and it will be argued that the Art of Living Foundation, the religious
organization of Mr. Ravishankar, runs many schools and hospitals but to claim
the 'spirituality' tag needs going much beyond it - like shunning the luxury of
these mega events until there is no needy left - and to invest the scare
resources in creating resources to help them.
In 30 crore or so, many clinics or
hospitals or schools could be started in our rural areas or in our hinterlands.
Yes, the way the event has been lined
up - with musical and cultural performances from across the world, it would
certainly be a breathtaking view - but for the very same reason, it leaves valid
questions for a spiritual-religious person, that Mr. Ravishankar claims to be, to
A poignant conversation from the
movie Schindler's List, that was based on a true story, captures the essence of
such an introspection:
Schindler: This car. Goeth would have bought this car. Why did I keep the car?
Ten people right there. Ten people. Ten more people.
Schindler: This pin. Two people. This is gold. Two more people. He would have
given me two for it, at least one. One more person. A person, Stern. For this.
Schindler: I could have gotten one more person... and I didn't! And I... I