Sri Sri mediates between agitating Gujjars, state government
To provide solace to the protesting Gujjars, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met 50,000 members of the Gujjar community on the rail tracks of Pilukapura, Rajasthan on June 10, 2008. Significantly, it was the first time, since the agitation began 19 days ago, that the Gujjars were willing to listen to a mediator. After listening to their grievances, Sri Sri told them: “I know your problems and I realize that you all have been suffering. I also felt bad that we have lost some of our sons in this agitation but don't worry, I am with you.”
Sri Sri urged them to lay down their arms and hold dialogue in a peaceful manner: “Do not take to arms for that doesn't hold the answer. Instead, we can talk and I feel there will be a solution to your problem soon. We can achieve our rights in a non-violent way.”
The place for this unique meeting - Pilukapura – which was the nerve center of violence ever since the agitation began. Sitting on the rail tracks, under the scorching sun, the first words of peace were uttered here on Tuesday afternoon. “I am with you. I support your community,” Sri Sri told the agitated Gujjars.
Sri Sri went to Rajasthan to mediate between the state government and the Gujjars who have been caught in a 19-day imbroglio. The Gujjar community in Rajasthan have been demanding scheduled tribe status. Sri Sri's message to both parties was that only negotiations can bring about a solution. “There was a lot of mistrust between the state government and the Gujjars. Some mistakes have been made in the past but it's time to leave that behind and make a new beginning.”
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar held a meeting with Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundhara Raje in Jaipur. Several senior political leaders called upon Sri Sri to seek advice.
In a significant breakthrough, apparently due to Sri Sri's mediation, the Gujjars agreed to continue with a second phase of talks with the government.
A week before Sri Sri's visit, he sent some of his senior disciples to interact with the Gujjars.
Published in 2008.