OpIndia, Our Sri Sri Story Isn’t Fake News. Just Face The Facts!
Our aim was to send out a reminder about how Art of Living had damaged the Yamuna floodplain during their 'World Culture Festival’ event in 2016, and dissuade the spiritual preacher and Art of Living from ever doing the same again.
Just to re-assert an incontestable FACT, the National Green Tribunal – empowered by law to rule on environmental issues – assessed the damage done to the Yamuna floodplain by the Art of Living’s World Cultural Festival, and put a figure of Rs 5 crore, which the foundation had to pay. Case closed!
However, let’s address your key point – the two farmers interviewed by you and by us seem to have made conflicting statements about farming near the Yamuna.
The Quint stands by what the two farmers Sukhbir Singh and Harvati said to us on camera. And for complete transparency, here is a link to the raw footage of the interviews we did with them. We interviewed them before the team from OpIndia, and nowhere have we made any attempt to ‘influence’ what the 2 farmers were saying.
In fact, in the interest of transparency, OpIndia should share the raw footage of its interview with Harvati and Sukhbir. That will allow readers to verify whether the two farmers were ‘instructed’ about what to say by the crew representing OpIndia.
Once again, we return you to the fundamental irrefutable point we were making, that the infamous Art of Living ‘festival’ should not have been held at the eco-fragile Yamuna floodplain.
We also found it interesting how you were unable to refute what environmental expert Vimlendu Jha had to say in our video. Perhaps before pointing fingers for spreading ‘fake news’, OpIndia should have checked if they could at all refute the well-known facts of the case.
The intent of The Quint’s video was to remind Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to use his influence and power to support positive change. He may have altered the lives of vast numbers of his followers, and we wish he continues to do that without disrespecting the law of the land. Until then, we are always here to send out such reminders.
Anmol Saini, The Quint
Video Editor: Ashutosh Bhardwaj
Camera: Shiv Kumar