Story by Iniyavan Banumathi
Thanjavur, being one of the worst affected districts by Cyclone Gaja, is yet to recover from the calamity. Most of the villages around Orathanadu, Pattukottai, Athirampattinam areas of Thanjavur where electricity supply is yet to be restored are still in darkness even after 2 weeks since the calamity. A huge disaster that it is, has brought thousands of families to the streets. It has also brought a huge agrarian crisis in the Delta region where livelihoods of thousands of farmers have come to a standstill.
At this time of huge crisis is when Sri Sri Ravishankar chose to arrive at Thanjavur and offer his spiritual gyaan. Sri Sri Ravishankar’s Art of Living announced an event, titled ‘Unveiling Infinity’ scheduled on December 7 and 8. The title itself is seem to be a mockery over the distress of the farmers whose loss have not been properly estimated yet. Art of Living is said to have received the required permission from the Archeological Survey of India and the Hindu Religious and Charitable Endowments Department to host the event at the Thanjavur ‘Periya’ Kovil (A World heritage site declared by the UNESCO), despite no such event was ever held in the temple premises before. Sri Sri Ravishankar and his foundation are infamously known for causing damage at Yamuna floodplains by hosting such an event. They were later fined by the National Green Tribunal.
The State government which is already being criticised from all the corners for their apathy towards the affected people of the Delta region, has shown it’s insensitivity yet again, by providing permission for such an event. However, on Friday, The Madurai bench of the Madras high court stayed the event after a public interest litigation was filed seeking cancellation of permission.