The Bold Voice of J&K

Grapes are sour for Sri Sri Ravi Shanker

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Mahadeep Singh Jamwal

It is always painful when men of tall stature like Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, a spiritual Guru, known over the world, pass some statements, which appear even to a common man of low profile. He was hauled up by the country’s top environmental Court for jeopardising the already-fragile ecosystem. Recently his statements during ‘World Culture Festival’ were controversial in nature with regard to the verdict of NGT and now he has erupted another controversy by saying that ‘Malala Yousafzai’, Pakistani activist for women’s education, did not deserve the 2014 Nobel Peace Prize. As quoted in a report, Sri Sri said: “Nowadays, there is no value to the Nobel Prize. When you award it to a 16-year girl who hasn’t done anything, what value is left? It has become a political prize”. The Guru made a sensational disclosure that such prize earlier offered to him was refused by him, we have never earlier heard of this discloser. If it can be taken as a fact one can easily understand about reasons of the remark on Malala, and we can easily conclude that, these are based on the story of a Fox claiming that “Grapes are sour”. These remarks came when he was on a visit to the drought-ravaged region of Maharashtra at Latur. He has shown disrespect to jury awarding peace prize by saying that I am totally against honoring Malala Yousafzai with the prize and “it is of no use”. It seems being a poster child for woman’s education the world over and taking a bullet in her head, inspiring hundreds of millions of girls across the world, to insist on school in their localities, and innumerable other wonders that stem from Malala have not qualified enough for the Noble Peace in the jaundiced eyes of Guru. From the remarks, it is apparent that spiritual Guru is not fully conversed with the back ground of the girl, as she as a teenager stood up for education for woman and girls in her native region of Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province in Pakistan, a region infamous for being controlled by local Taliban, where girls had been banned at times from attending schools. It is very easy for the Guru, who is fully under SPG security, to pass such statements but he cannot realise and appreciate the courage of 12-year girl, who was shot while on way to school by a gun man for writing a blog for the BBC Urdu detailing her life under Taliban occupation, their attempts to take control of the Valley, and her views on promoting education for girls in the Swat Valley. She remained in Queen Elizabeth Hospital in Birmingham, England, for intensive rehabilitation. On the event even a group of 50 Muslim clerics in Pakistan issued a ‘Fatwa’ against those who tried to kill her. This event made United Nations Special Envoy for Global Education ‘Gordon Brown’ launched a UN petition in Yousafzai’s name, it helped lead to the ratification of Pakistan’s first Right to Education Bill. This was followed by conferring of number of awards at the national and international level such as;
*Time Magazine featured her as one of ‘The 100 Most influential people in the world’.
* Winner of Pakistan’s first ‘National Youth Peace Prize’.
* Recipient of the 2013 ‘Sakharov Prize’.
* ‘Honorary Canadian Citizenship’ was bestowed upon her by the Government of Canada.
* In February 2014, she was nominated for the World Children’s Prize in Sweden.
o In May 2014, she was granted an honorary doctorate by the University of King’s College in Halifax, Nova Scotia.
* Later in 2014, she was announced as the co- recipient of the ‘2014 Nobel Peace Prize’.
One should feel proud of the woman community in particular who had contributed more for the cause of the human society especially for women all over the world. Their services towards mankind stand acknowledged by the world and various woman from all the world conferred with ‘Noble Peace Prize’ are; Bertha Von Suttner from Hungary in 1901, 2 Betty Williams and Mairead Corrigan from United Kingdom shared in 1976, 3 Mother Teresa from India in 1979, 4 Alva Myrdal from Sweden in 1982, 5 Aung San Sun Kyi from Burma in 1991, 6 Rigoberta Menchu from Guatemala in 1992, 7 Jody Williams from United States in 1997, 8 Shirin Ebedi from Iran in 2003, 9 Wangari Muta Maathai from Kenya in 2004, 10 Ellen Johnson and Leymah Gbowee both from Liberia shared with Tawakel Abdel-Salam Karman from Yemen in the year 2011 and Malala Yousafzai of Pakistan shared with Kailash Satyarthi from India in 2014. The statement of Sri Sri Ravi Shanker is insulting to all these woman of world stature. Among all woman recipients of this Peace Prize, Malala is the youngest one honored at the age of 16-years. The words of Malala after receipt of Noble Peace Prize that “Both (She & Kailash Satyarthi) want to fight for peace, development, and progress of both nations” are great words from a teenager and on other side disrespectful words from word based spiritual Guru.
Before concluding few quotes are much relevant to the statement of Sri Sri Ravi Shanker, in the present context of his statement such as;
* Stephen Keague, author of book on public speaking ‘In presentations or speeches less reality is more’
* Alexander Gregg, first Bishop of Texas, United States, “There are three things to aim at in public speaking first, to get into your subject, then to get subject into yourself, and lastly, to get your subjects into the heart of your audience.
* Mark Twain, “There are only two types of speakers in the world. 1. The nervous and 2. Liars”.
* Dr. Mardy Grothe, an author of books on ‘word and language’, “Words have credible power. They can make people’s hearts soar, or they can make people’s hearts sore”.
Dr. Grothe’s quote is most relevant to the Guru’s remarks.

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