The carnival is on!
There you have it!
The Sri Sri carnival is on! And it has the blessings of no less than the prime minister himself who has now decided to attend after all.
There was never any doubt the event would happen. The clout Sri Sri wields among the high and mighty has come into play.The National Green Tribunal (NGT) did impose a "penalty" on the organisers but they have decided to not pay and go to court!
In the meantime, notwithstanding the harm the preparations have done to the environment (and continue to do so), Sri Sri and his team are having the proverbial last laugh.
The attitude the godman (many will claim he is no godman) displayed in television interviews immediately after the NGT imposed the "fine" was pure arrogance and disdain.
|Construction work for World Culture Festival on the Yamuna bank. [Photo courtesy: Vimlendu Jha]|
"I will go to jail," he said.
"We will contest the decision," he said.
"We will not pay," he also said.
And they haven't - so far - and they won't.
After all, everyone knows going to court means an indefinite timeline. Battles can continue to be fought by lawyers and legal luminaries but the event would have already happened and done with. The millions of people would have come, enjoyed the "culture" and gone home.
And who would have lost? The Yamuna. The environment. The ecology.
The Yamuna has been systematically violated over several decades and this latest intrusion would only add to its woes. But here was a golden chance for environmentalists at the NGT to put their foot down and prove they meant business. This has not happened.
|PM Narendra Modi with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.|
After all, what could a few "green fingers" do when the country's prime minister, senior ministers and even the Delhi chief minister have given their blessings to the jamboree?
If they were men and women who meant business, they could have stopped the event happening. They could have insisted the fine be paid depending on the court case outcome. They could've just put their foot down.
But, again, that can never happen in India - not now, not earlier, not ever!
The "bonhomie" between politicians across party lines - the sants, the babas and the godmen - is just too intricate to unwind. So it's better left to continue and slowly and surely eat away our systems!
God help India!