Gujjar Protests, India
Gujjars, a minority group in Rajasthan, India launched massive protests across the government that led to clashes with police, deaths, and a deadlock with the state government. Invited by the Rajasthan government, Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar stepped in as mediator, which led to a successful resolution that ended the violence.
Nerve center of violence
Gurudev sent several Art of Living teachers to initiate talks with Gujjar leaders who coordinated mass demonstrations across Rajasthan. Thousands of people had gathered to block the main roads and rail tracks, obstructing transportation. The government sent in police who, without warning, fired on unarmed crowds, further straining negotiations. The Gujjar community had been calling for minority status that would qualify them for government jobs and university seats reserved for minorities.
Govt. invites Gurudev
The then, Rajasthan Chief Minister Vasundaraje Scindia and other senior political officials met Gurudev who was invited to mediate by the state government. On the Gujjar side, under the scorching sun,Gurudev met with 50,000 members of the community on the rail tracks of Pilukapura, Rajasthan, including Col.Kirori Singh Bhainsla, who had been leading the protest.
Conflict resolution through dialogue
Although acknowledging that some distrust had been created, Gurudev impressed on the two sides that only dialogue could bring a solution. Gurudev urged the Gujjar protestors to lay down their arms and negotiate 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.” -Gurudev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Both parties enter composite dialogue
In a significant breakthrough, apparently due to Gurudev's dialogue, the Gujjars agreed to continue with a second phase of talks with the government. Both parties soon negotiated an agreement that halted the protests and the violence in the area.