Friday, March 11, 2016
Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday opening the three day World Cultural Festival organized by Art of Living Foundation founded by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar 35 years ago. It was attended by over 37,000 artistes from 190 countries withover 35 lakh visitors.
Narendra Modi during his ten minutes speech praised the spiritual guru for taking Indian culture to the world. ‘If we keep criticizing everything we have and do not take pride in our cultural legacy, why should the world look at us? , he said.
It will bring glory to India’, says Venkaiah Naidu
Dismissing the controversies surrounding the event, Union Minister of Urban Development M.Venkaiah Naidu said that the event will bring glory to the country. He said that 36,000 artistes participating in one event is in itself a record. It is a cultural event to celebrate diversity. Let’s not politicize this, he said in a series of tweets.
Earlier in the day, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) accepted the Art of Living (AoL) argument that it was a charitable organization and could not raise Rs.5 crore imposed at a short notice as an initial environmental compensation for three day festival. The Tribunal in its orders, ordered the AoL to pay Rs.25 lakh before the commencement of the programme and granted three weeks’ time to pay the rest. The Tribunal said that if AoL fails to pay up, then the Tribunal would attach the grant that the Culture Ministry is to release to AoL. The tribunal took strong exception to the remarks of Ravi Shankar on refusal to pay Rs.five crore environmental compensation and instated preferred to go to jail. It said that a man of his stature makes such statements, it hits the very rule of law. If anybody hurts the image of the tribunal, he will be taken to rule of law. Don’t treat tribunal as subject to your controversy with regard to the event’, a bench headed by NGT Chairperson Swatanter Kumar. The matter was posted to April 4.