Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Sri Sri supports Team Anna, asks politicians to introspect (ToI)

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Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravishankar on Sunday gave clean chit to anti-graft crusader Anna Hazare and his Team from the charges of corruption,impropriety and having hidden agenda leveled against them by a section of politicians and media. He said that both Anna and his team members have dedicated theselves to the service of country and have today emerged as role models for the youth.

He also advised politicians to introspect as to why people have lost faith in them and are looking up at spiritual gurus and civil society for solution of their problems and grievances.

"Had Anna and his Team members been corrupt, I would have not been supporting them," he said while addressing media-persons in Jaunpur, where he arrived to rousing welcome on Monday evening for a four day tour of UP, in which he will hold satsang at various places. After Jaunpur on Monday, he will holding satsang in Sonebhadra on November 8, Mirzapur on November 9, Sultanpur on November 10 and Kanpur on November 11. He would be administering oath to nearly one lakh people, asking them not to give or take bribe and shun all kinds of corruption and social evils during the trip.

Ravishankar reiterated that purpose of UP tour is to help people realize that they can change the corrupt system by changing themselves. He said that people in the country are in a state of despair and depression after seeing scams and dishonesty all around. "My aim is to rekindle hope in their hearts and motivate them to work for the common good of the country," he said. "On the issue of corruption, we all - be it Anna, Baba Ramdev or everyone including politicians fighting against the menace - are one", he added.

Ravishankar said that he will request all political parties and politicians to treat politics as service and not as business. He said today country need reforms at all levels, from personal to social and from economics to politics. He said that politicians alone cannot be blamed for corruption. "Every person will have to kill the corrupt within," he said. Every political party, he added, has good and bad people, hence we cannot single out one particular party responsible for corruption.

Ravishankar's yatra assumes importance in the light of Congress general secretary Digvijay Singh's statement that RSS has put up Sri Sri Ravin Shankar after its plan A (Baba Ramdev's campaign against corruption) and plan B (Anna Hazare's anti-corruption campaign) failed. Singh also said that he will be keeping a close watch on the moves of Sri Sri Ravishankar, what he says, whom he meets and who attend his satsangs.

Not only Digvijay Singh,even SP leader Azam Khan,also remarked sarcastically at Sri Sri's UP tour: "BJP is using 'babas' to tap public sentiments against corruption under Mayawati rule in the state and Congress government at the centre for gains in upcoming elections After after Baba Ramdev and Baba Anna, now another Baba (Sri Sri Ravishankar) with long curly hairs has arrived in UP for anti-corruption yatra."

The spiritual guru appeared uncomfortable when journalists repeatedly asked him queries related to statements made against him and his UP tour by Digvijay Singh and Azam Khan. Without taking names, he made it clear several times that he did not to be dragged into controversies created by politicians. However, when media-persons did not relent, he said "Those for those who are attaching political agenda with my satsangs, he can only wish that the God will give them some good sense."

Reacting to Digvijay Singh's comment that he is watching every move of the spiritual guru during his UP tour, Ravishankar, without naming Singh, said "I have no problem with people watching my activities and that of those coming for satsang". However, he politely added "Every political party has honest and corrupt, hence it would be better if honest keep an eye on corrupt besides watching my moves." He said that aim of his 'moves' is to create a non-violent, casteless and classless society. Replying to remarks made by some politicians that spiritual gurus are should keep away from politics, he said that the job of spiritual gurus is not to indulge in politics but to awake public conscience through spirituality and help people in reforming society and politics. He said making law is the duty of the government but the responsibility of changing the society and making people stand up against corruption lies with spiritual gurus, civil society and media.

Ravishankar said that his satsangs are not against corruption alone but also against alcoholism, female foeticide and all the ills prevailing in the society. He said that though he feels that there should be a strong Lokpal at the Centre and equally strong Lokayuktas in the states, he is also of the view that corruption will end only when we all will change.

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