In a blow to the Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar whose reputation has already taken a beating on social media over the use of Army and PWD personnel in Delhi to organise his private event called World Cultural Festival, Indian President Pranab Mukherjee, who is also the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, has decided not to attend the event.
Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar has stretched the imagination when he earlier said that the event once given permission by the local authorities entails other departments to provide safety, and hence the Indian Army is being involved in the event organisation. In the name of safe passage of visitors and avoid stampede, the defence ministry has roped in army personnel to build one bridge and now is planning another bridge.
While there is no response forthcoming from Sri Sri Ravishankar, who is know for not encouraging any such favours from the government in the past, has remained silent on the latest controversy. The ponton bridge on the Yamuna for the Art of Living Foundation’s event called World Culture Festival, is expected to attract few laksh of people.
The event and its arrangements have now become a part of the government and Army indicating that every such religious organisation’s mega-event will become a headache of the government and the Army, especially at a time when they used our Jawans dying in the border defending the country’s defence that was reiterated by the Delhi High Court in its bail release statement of JNUSU leader Kanhaiya Kumar.
While every government takes care not to indulge the army in civil affairs barring national disasters and emergencies, this will be the first such show of Indian Army’s skills of constructing bridges in few hours in a civil, that too a religious event. “So, will it become a regualr beat for Army Jawans in the future to erect shamianas and panton bridges for Religious personalities from Sri Sri to Ramdev,” asks one twitter user.
Currently the Twitter and social media is going agogue over such extraneous religious fervour with the subtle support from the BJP-led government. Many tweets pointed out the demeaning and demoralising effect such events will have on our Army engineers and jawans, who should be defending the borders or confined to barracks.