Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Says Politics Has Gone From Service to Business; Asks Youth to Make it Respectable Again

CHENNAI: He may have perfected the Art of Living, but when asked what could actually make our politicians more "positive", spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said that the solution was to get Gen Y to enter politics and "make the change".

Delivering the closing address of The New Indian Express' ThinkEdu Conclave, the spiritual guru said, "Politiicans are not some special class or species who have come from another planet. they are one among you, among us. So one of you must take the lead, if you have the passion for people and service to society, you must come, he said to a hall filled with starry-eyed students and curious academics.

He didn't merely end there. Explaining that the problem began with the way politicians looked at the way they viewed their 'jobs', "Unfortunately in this country, and everywhere else in the world, politics is no longer a service — it has lost it's sheen and respect, which it had during the time of Kamaraj and Mahatma's Gandhi and a few generations before us. That needs to be set right," he said and exhorted the youth to make that change. En masse.

"Not one or two persons can do it, but all of it collectively can. Youth of this country have the power to bring the change. So you need to ask politicians whether they're here for service or business," he concluded to rapturous applause.

Turning to another one of India's burning issues — corruption — he called it a debilitating factor that takes its toll on not only politics but impacts several spheres, obstructing a nation’s progress . "Corruption has entered every field. One of the biggest reasons is the lack of education. It should create a sense of belonging. Sense of belonging is the only way to combat corruption. Corruption begins where this sense of belonging ends and to create this, education must be attuned to human values," he said and added, "Whether religion should be taught in schools or not is secondary. Students should be taught ethics and values first. That is essential".

He called for an education that is not only sound in knowledge but also foster Yoga and Ayurveda, which he says are mediums of imbibing these ethics. Asked if these practices which are innately ‘Hindu’ gave it a political colour, in the light of Yoga Day being critiqued by some as a political move, he replied that they were merely part of universal education.

“Just because Yoga or Ayurveda are part of Hinduism, it doesn’t mean that it won’t work for a non-Hindu. We are global citizens today and education has no boundaries,” he said emphasising that wherever values and ethics are, we should pick it up.

He added that many of our ethical and value-centric practices sprouting from Hindu culture follow a scientific trajectory which is why religion and science could coexist peacefully since time immemorial. Yoga, he opined is very important to impart among school and college students as an art that helps spread value education.

Courtsey : The New Indian Express