Sri Sri and Modi can teach you the art of bromance

Politicians have had this unholy alliance with 'godmen' for a long time and this will only continue.

 |  2-minute read |   09-03-2016
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Actions speak louder than words.

And Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's actions have done just that.

I do not grudge him here for using the Indian Army to build a couple of bridges for his private party.

I do not also hold against him the fact that his "forces" have commandeered thousands of acres of land on the banks of the Yamuna, thus endangering the fragile ecology of the area.

And I also do not blame him for thinking he could get away with all these violations.

This is because he always thought, and rightly so, that he had politicians of all hues in his pocket and he could command them to do what he pleased. This is evident from what the defence minister did by his directive to Army engineers to build the two pontoons to facilitate Sri Sri's carnival. His clout among the powers that be was also there for everyone to see since work on the project has been going on for several months now.

But that's a different matter. Politicians have had this unholy alliance with "godmen" for a long time and this will only continue.

What I strongly object to is the way Sri Sri is unabashedly going about his business of setting up his circus at a time when there are millions of people languishing in poverty, without medical aid, without any schools to go to, with virtually no food to eat and with very little to wear.

He doesn't have to look very far. He can just take a glance across the very Yamuna where he is going to perform in another two days and he'll know. That is, if he looks.

How can anyone who calls himself spiritual and boasts of millions of followers be immune to such miseries the human race is facing, especially in India? How can he openly flaunt his riches, his billionaire followers, leaders, politicians, businessmen and the like?

We know such "godmen" rake in the moolah through their millions, mostly, ignorant, followers but these sort of things done within the confines of ashrams and retreats is another matter. However, in full public view, and with the blessings of leadership, is unpardonable.

I have a feeling the show will go ahead in any case. Of course, the president is not coming and neither is the prime minister (thanks to "security concerns") but, hopefully, the "master" will get the point and realise the billions he (or as he would claim, his followers) are spending on this jamboree would have been well spent elsewhere - perhaps in building a few free schools, hospitals or toilets to support Mr Narendra Modi's Swachh Bharat Abhiyaan!

Writer

Mandeep Singh Mandeep Singh @mandysings

The writer is a journalist who worked with the Indian Express in Punjab and Gujarat. He witnessed and covered terrorism and the aftermath of the Babri demolition. He is now based out of Bahrain.

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