Will Go to Jail but Will Not Pay Fine, Says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Sri Sri argues that it was the duty of the Army to ensure the safety of the bridge so that people could move safely.
The World Culture Festival organised by Art of Living Foundation was given a go-ahead by National Green Tribunal (NGT) but with a green fine of Rs 5 crore. In its verdict for World Culture Festival, NGT pulled up not just Art of Living but also various authorities in Delhi like DDA and DPCC and fined them too.
Speaking to NDTV after the verdict, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, spiritual leader and founder of Art of Living said that his event was a ‘cultural Olympics’ and that he would rather go to jail than pay the fine as he has done no wrong.
Ravi Shankar said that not a single tree was chopped and the debris present on the location of the event were rubles left from the construction of DND flyover. He then added that he would appeal against NGT’s verdict in the Supreme Court.
On being asked if he could have avoided the controversy by changing the venue altogether, Ravi Shankar expressed that it was unreasonable to shift the venue of such a huge event just two weeks ahead of its launch. He further argued that there was no place in Delhi where they could accommodate so many artists.
On being asked about the use of Army for a private event, Ravi Shankar argued that an event of such magnitude can not be termed private irrespective of who the organisers are. He further said that it was the duty of the Army to ensure the safety and security of the pontoon bridges so people could move safely.
When asked about how the Delhi and Central government, who usually find themselves on opposite sides are both backing your event, Ravi Shankar said that they were intelligent to support him and the event and all intelligent people who understand the gravity and magnitude of the event are supporting us.
On being asked what he would do if the Supreme Court upholds NGT’s verdict, he said that he would go to jail but he will no pay the fine. He said that he had done nothing wrong.
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