New Delhi, March 12 (IANS) Union Home Minister Rajnath Singh and External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj lauded Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Saturday for conveying the message of “Indian spirituality and heritage” to the world.
Participating in the ongoing World Culture Festival on the second day, they said that the spiritual guru has “made all Indians proud with his work”.
“This is the biggest cultural event happened anywhere in the world ever… Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has made us all proud as he has conveyed the message of Indian heritage and traditions to all over the world,” Singh in his address
Echoing similar sentiments, Sushma Swaraj said: “India is lucky as Sri Sri was born here.”
“The dias of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is a perfect stage of secularism. Spiritual leaders from all the faiths are here and they are giving a message of religious harmony and respecting all the beliefs,” she said in her speech.
“Sri Sri can have such a spiritual conclave anywhere in the world as he has followers all over the world. I have been a part of his convention at Times Square where thousands of his American followers had virtually mobbed him chanting his name,” Sushma Swaraj said.
Rajnath Singh also said India has taught the world about non-violence and peace. “Islam has 72 sects. We have people from all over here when even Islamist countries do not have. Christianity has six sects… we have followers from these sects while no other country has.”
“We had given refugee to Zorastrians when they were ousted from Iran. Even Jews have said that they have received the highest honour from this land,” Singh said while elaborating about pluralistic values of Indian culture.
Prominent BJP leaders including Madhya Pradesh, Chhattisgarh and Maharashtra Chief Ministers, Shivraj Singh Chouhan, Raman Singh, and Devendra Fadnavis respectively also shared the dais with the spiritual guru.
Delhi Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia was also present on the stage.
The Sri Sri Ravi Shankar-led Art of Culture Foundation, the organiser of the three-day World Culture Festival, were surrounded in a controversy recently when National Green Tribunal imposed a fine of Rs.5 crore on it for violating environment laws in organising the mega-event on Yamuna flood plains.
The spiritual guru denied that his foundation “violated any environment norms”.
The tribunal later allowed the organisers to hold the event after initially paying Rs.25 lakh of the “environment compensation” on Thursday.