Sri Sri Ravi Shankar cuts short address after protests in SKICC

Srinagar—Participants at a function organised by Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar in Srinagar on Saturday created noisy scenes and accused organizers of cheating them in attending it.


"We were told that we will be providing cricket kits but we were cheated,” a protester Javaid Ahmad, told reporters after the function that saw Sri Sri Ravi Shankar cut short his address and leave the venue— Sher-e-Kashmir International Convention Centre (SKICC), Srinagar.


“We were told that Pakistani diplomat is here but there was none. We were cheated by the organisers,” said another protester.


As soon as the participants, who were ferried from many parts of Valley to the venue for “free”, raised slogans and created noisy scenes as on as they came to know about the “real” event.


Spiritual guru and Art of Living (AOL) founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said he had been invited by some “well-meaning people” to speak at “Paigam-e-Mohahat” (Message of Love) function.


Sri Sri said the “well-meaning” people were working silently to redress the problems faced by the people of Kashmir and his present visit was “apolitical humanitarian initiative.”


He, however, had to cut short his speech and a subsequent press conference as many people attending the function stood up and shouted pro-freedom slogans.


The angry participants said they had been cheated by the organisers who had promised them that their bank loans would be waived at the function.


A statement issued yesterday by the AOL said his visit “likely to have a far-reaching impact on the process of peace and trust-building.”


“He has been invited by common people of Kashmir who have formed the J&K Coordination Committee. The idea behind organising this event is to find a lasting solution to the age-old Kashmir conflict,” the statement had said. (GNS)


Sri Sri misleading Kashmiris: Aasiyah

Dukhtaran-e-Millat (DeM) chairperson Syedah Aasiyah Andrabi on Saturday hit out at the chief of ‘Art of Living Foundation’ Sri Sri Ravi Shankar who is in the valley to “preach peace” to Kashmiris.

Aasiyah in a statement issued to GNS said attempts are being made by Sri Sri to “mislead” Kashmiris by organizing peace conferences. She said Sri Sri instead of preaching peace to the people of Kashmir should preach it to the government forces who have are being cruel to the people of Kashmir.

“His version of peace needs also be taught to the government, its policymakers and the RSS, that is trying hard to make inroads in Kashmir,” Aasiyah said.

“The Jammu and Kashmir Coordination Committee, which is behind the so-called peace conference is selling the interests of Kashmiris for their own benefits. The people who are working in the NGO have long ago shown their true face. Yet again, for receiving benefits and favours from the government agencies, these people have organized this drama, in the name of peace, for undue favours,” the DeM chief added.

She said that the motive of the NGO was to “sell the blood of Kashmiris”.

“We are Muslims, Alhamdulillah; Islam means peace. We have been taught peace by the Messenger of Islam, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) a long time ago. Therefore, we do not need lectures from Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on peace,” she said.

Andrabi said that peace will not prevail in Kashmir till “fascist India ends its occupation”. “We say Alhamdulillah Islam is for peace. Prophet (SAW) was the best preacher of peace. No other religion deliberates on peace so much as does Islam. Therefore Kashmiri Muslims know what peace is and how it is achieved,” she said.

Aasiyah warned the organizers, JKCC, to “stop fooling the people of Kashmir and abstain from luring people to such events”.

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