Naidu bats for Sri Sri, says don’t ‘politicise’ mega event

New Delhi: Asserting that the World Culture Festival by Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living will bring glory to India, Union Urban Development Minister Venkaiah Naidu said on Friday that the event must not be politicised as it celebrates diversity.

“World Culture Festival by Art of Living will bring glory to India. let’s not politicise this. 36000 artists participating in one event is in itself a record. Its a cultural event 2 celebrate diversity. Let’s celebrate & join d festival,” Naidu said in a series of tweets.

Reiterating the government’s stand on the involvement of the Indian Army in the construction for the event, he added that an ‘unnecessary fuss’ was being created about the Army building pontoon bridges for the mega festival.

“Unnecessary fuss abt army building pontoon bridge. In earlier regimes, several instances like Kumbh Mela,Sankranti in Nashik, Army did the same,” Naidu added.

Earlier, Union Telecom Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad downplayed the Opposition’s criticism over deployment of army for Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s event and said this was not for the first time that the Indian soldiers were deployed in a cultural event.

“Allegations have been levelled that the Home Ministry is giving special assistance in organising Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s World Cultural event, but I would like to say this is not the first time Army is being deployed in a cultural event,” Prasad told ANI.

Meanwhile, the National Green Tribunal has warned the Art of Living (AOL) foundation that it has time till today to deposit a fine of Rs. five crore, failing which the law will take its own course.

However, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar confirmed that Prime Minister Narendra Modi would be attending the three-day ‘World Culture Festival’ being organised by the Art of Living Foundation beginning today.

Talking to ANI, he said that Prime Minister Modi would be attending the event and added that he has received a letter from President Pranab Mukherjee wishing good luck. (ANI)