Sr Sri Ravi Shankar was left utterly disappointed on Monday when it emerged that President Pranab Mukherjee will not be attending his much publicised and now controversial World Culture Festival.
Billed as the most spectacular and greatest ever cultural fest to be organised in India, the President’s office decided to pull out of the event amidst raging controversy over the event damaging vegetation in the area.
The National Green Tribunal, which had pulled up Delhi Development Authority last week will resume hearing on Tuesday (today).
Sri Sri has denied allegations that the event was detrimental to the environment in the area adding that he had adequately compensated the farmers for the loss of crops.
He said that he was surprised by the controversy.
Meanwhile, the Indian army too has come under scathing criticism after it emerged that it was called in to build pontoon bridge on the Yamuna for the event being organised by Sri Sri’s Art of Living Foundation.
Many on twitter have expressed their outrage over the Benguluru-based spiritual guru’s proximity to the central government even to the extent of allegedly ‘misusing’ the security apparatus for his individual gains.
Event to push TV channel
Amidst utter uncertainty over the fate of the cultural festival, The Hindu reported that Sri Sri was expected to use the platform to push his newly acquired TV channel, Anandan TV.
Sri Sri reportedly got the permission to uplink last year, after Narendra Modi came to power.
Sri Sri had thrown his weight behind Modi during his Lok Sabha campaign, openly endorsing his candidature as India’s next prime minister.
Sri Sri is the virtual programming head of Anandan TV, as reported by the Chennai-based newspaper, with the channel being described as the exclusive broadcast partner of the event.
Sri Sri is reportedly looking forward to use the event give his channel the much-needed push in a bid to transform it into a platform, which will be alternative to 24/7 TV viewing experience in India.
The AOL founder is expected to indulge in aggressive ad campaign just ahead of the event (if it’s allowed to be held) with full-page advertisements in leading newspapers. The ads, according to channel sources, are expected to carry photos of Sri Sri with Prime Minister Modi and President Mukherjee.