Dear Chief Minister,
Now that even the army has expressed its resentment against being used for Mr. Mr. Ravi Shankar’s grand tamasha on Yamuna, it’s shocking that your government is facilitating the event. And NO, Sri Sri’s event is not a tourism event. Just having foreign delegates doesn’t make the event your Tourism Minister’s business. Even Muslim or Christian or Buddhist organisations can gather delegates from a number of countries. Will your government support and subsidies all such events?
Even before this episode, your government indulged in the dangerous cocktail of politics and religion by organising Saraswati Puja in February this year in New Delhi’s Central park. Such decisions by the Government of Delhi violates the spirit of the Directive Principles of state policy enshrined in the Constitution and sets an unacceptable administrative and legal precedent, because it will open doors open for misuse of public money. Citizens who are religious believers are free to hold any religious ritual at their will and expense. They can also seek state intervention if their freedom of religion is constrained in any way. But as regards sponsorship, the state machinery should stay neutral.
As the NGT order suggests, despite lowering the fine eventually, the serious nature of damage that this event is doing to the already fragile ecology of Yamuna river is simply unacceptable. It’s absurd that such a disastrous event is getting your support. This entire episode just shows how powerful these self-styles religious Furus have become and they enjoy patronage across the political spectrum.
The Hindutva brigade is doing everything to give it a communal color and get away with brazen violations by claiming its for Hindu glory. Activists and journalists are openly being threatened by Mr. Mr.’s associates.
Distancing yourself from this event and asking your Tourism Minister to resign is the least that we expect from you. Pandering to all religions is not the secularism enshrined in our constitution.
A Delhi Citizen