Let us go ga-ga over Sri Sri for teaching us the Art of Partying.
Now that he has shown us it is entirely possible, next time you wish to celebrate an anniversary, go and grab some space in a reserved forest, level out the ground, destroy the local fauna and flora, drive away the farmers, occupy their fields, construct a huge stage and invite the whole town to litter the eco-sensitive zone; dance, defecate, urinate, eat, take deep breaths and leave. Just make sure the buffaloes are happy.
At some point, if you need help with the preparations, say for building temporary loos, requisition the Army. They will hopefully take some men off duty in Siachen and send them to ensure your guests have a good time. Maybe the defence ministry will also send some subsidised booze from the canteen with its best compliments along with free labour. Old Monk, perhaps, in deference to the original inspiration.
Jai jai, Sri Sri, for showing us that the defence minister can be used as an event manager and the men in fatigues as volunteers. Just for putting the Army at our service, the Padma Vibhushan is richly deserved.
Oh, wait. But aren't we a country that breaks into tears every time somebody insults the army? Like, when Kanhaiya Kumar did when he did not shout those slogans we heard on those doctored tapes? Like, when the JNU did not refuse to fly the flag that was already flying at campus?
Where is that lachrymose, sentimental, patriot Major General (retd) Gagandeep Bakshi? Does his heart not bleed on prime time TV at the sight of soldiers lugging construction material for a private party? General Sahab, have you run out of both indignation and glycerine? In case you didn't notice, while the brave soldiers were dying in Kashmir, some Babas were using them to run their private errands and employing our security staff to guard their food parks.
Hypocrisy, it seems, is not the virtue of pseudo-nationalists alone.
It is apparent that all that meditation and sudarshan kriya have helped Guruji transcend the material world of environment, rivers, birds, trees and farmers. He has reached a stage where he cares only about the concurrence of buffaloes. (More about them later.)
It doesn't bother his conscience even when the President of India backs out of the event, refuses to deliver the valedictory speech at the party or the Prime Minister reportedly sits on the fence, perhaps to see which way the National Green Tribunal tilts, before taking a decision on his appearance at the event.
Guruji would happily preach children to not burst crackers on Diwali to save the environment. But when environmentalists argue that using the floodplains of Yamuna — a no-go area and no construction zone — for the event to celebrate 35 years of Art of Living will cause irreversible damage, he will call it the "biggest joke of the year."
Sri Sri will pontificate on the importance of moral and social values in life but when the Delhi government tells the National Green Tribunal that the event has no police or fire safety clearances, he will blast the critics, for being "biased". Guruji, just in case you don't know, the NGT is Constitutional body formed under an act passed by India's Parliament and unlike the defence ministry, it is, in this case, serving a public cause.
Sri Sri will brazenly argue that the floodplains are safe even when media reports expose the lie by reporting construction of bridges, mobile towers, dirt tracks and parking areas in the non-construction zone.
According to NDTV, over 1,000 acres on the river banks have been converted into a makeshift village for the three-day World Cultural Festival that will feature yoga and meditation sessions, peace prayers and cultural performances. A seven-acre stage has been set up for over 35,000 artistes and visitors from 150 countries. A photo-essay in the DailyO shows steel, cement, iron and other construction material being used for the event.
But, Guruji thinks he is doing the environment and the Yamuna a huge favour.
"Thanks to the efforts of over 100,000 Delhi households who for 3 months prepared enzymes to clean nallahs, methane emission has reduced.”
“Villagers have said that buffaloes who never ventured near the water are now entering the water. Even the buffaloes recognize!” Sri Sri tweeted.
Villagers have said that buffaloes who never ventured near the water are now entering the water. Even the buffaloes recognize! (5)
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) March 3, 2016
Thanks to the efforts of over 100,000 Delhi households who for 3 months prepared enzymes to clean nallahs, methane emission has reduced.(4)
— Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (@SriSri) March 3, 2016
You are right, Guruji, only buffaloes have the requisite intellect to "recognize" your contribution. And such has been your prevarication and subterfuge that you could immediately use a crash course of whatever your organisation teaches to cleanse the soul.
Thank you for teaching the art of partying. Now, please learn the art of living responsibly.