I had vowed not to write anything about NGT or justify anything about World Culture Festival 2016 (obviously good things need no justification) but have been reading about some blatant lies peddled by a so called empowered committee.
It was claimed that the Principal Committee was sent back when they came to inspect the ground visit after the event “before the handover”. This sounds ridiculously hollow and even someone with Pappu’s IQ would not believe that. Simply because, no one owns the Yamuna river bank and definitely not Art of Living.
What is the basis of the claim that AOL turned them away? Yet another attempt by these 2 penny activists masquerading as experts and got pitchforked into the committee to draw some attention to themselves. (more about why they should not be in the committee later in this post). We understand the importance of this craving for visibility – This is a subject of another post. Their source of funds! Shocking routing of funds.
To me, they could not recognize the World Culture Festival site and to their utter disbelief this place was unbelievably better than how they come to believe it should be. I guess they went to some other place and got turned away there.
This is how it was…. and these poor committee folks expected it to be worse…
Naturally they went with their GPS, Google maps alright but what they found to their disbelief was like this
So obviously they went looking for slush, lot of scraps and wastes which was simply not there. Principal committee whose mandate was to ascertain FACT, looked for FAULT to no avail.
On a serious note, let me place some facts that I am aware of – The Principal Committee of the NGT which came down for inspection of the WCF ground was not aware of their own letter dated April 1, 2016 which they had written to the NGT stating that they will start inspection only after The Art of Living vacates the site and DDA informing them after AOL hands over the site.
To their credit they agreed to leave when they were told of their own letter when they landed up at the site with “JCB Loader and Excavators” in tow to dig the ground.
Having stated whatever I have earlier, it is quite possible that some worker/volunteer could have denied them or even stopped them from using the Loader/Excavator. My two penny here – Already much has been falsely alleged against The Art of Living which is not true that nothing more should be allowed to happen pending handing over of the site to DDA in a condition better than how AOL took charge.
Now! What makes the motive of the Principal Committee who came unannounced with JCBs to WCF venue for inspection ahead of their own schedule. Does it take an Einstein brain to decipher that you don’t need a heavy duty land Excavator to collect soil for testing.
By the way, by their wanton act of opposition for opposition sake during the run up to the event, there was no reason for anyone to trust this Principal Committee who advanced ridiculous and blatantly untrue report claiming that the ground was shorn of hundreds of trees and packs of snakes were killed (I guess they referred to the reptilian crawling ones and not two legged most evolved mammals)
This was the part of the report (not a single statement in this is true):
“The entire area of the floodplain, no less than 50 to 60 hectares between the river and DND flyover, has been leveled flat. Small water bodies that existed earlier have been filled up. All natural vegetation, including reeds, has been removed. As a result, all birds and natural life that thrived before have vanished. Construction debris has been used to ‘compact’ the site. Besides, even most of the trees have been lopped or removed.”
Now for some legalities and principle of natural justice. A set of petitioners who filed a case on 13th January 2015 is today members of Principal Committee. Principles of natural justice demands there should be no bias and should be absolute neutral. How can an interested party be neutral (or seen to be neutral)? To recollect, Prof Gosain, Prof CR Babu, Prof Brij Gopal headed by Mr.Shashi Shekhar were part of the earlier NGT case. This definitely cannot find approval from scholars of Jurisprudence. How can we have an interested party with a definite bias advising the NGT? With benefits of hindsight, we also know this committee seen to have taken a pre-decided stand and visibly biased against the event and its organizers. This is evident by the methodology they adopted in determining the compensation. A mere visual assessment with no sampling or other scientific process to determine damage to the flood plain/ground and Lo! we have a magic number! Sorry! Not in this century. We are not in a Banana republic or living in medieval times to be subjected these kind of nonsensical judgments.
Finally, do I think AOL is being unjustly targeted in the entire issue, and the reasons are not far to seek. There are permanent structures on the floodplains since years, why has The Art of Living’s event which was a 3-day event for 3-4 hrs each day, been singled out for such unjustified scrutiny? None of the permanent structures – the DND flyway, Batla house, Millennium Bus Depot, Commonwealth games village, Delhi Secretariat, Sonia Vihar, have been fined or surgically attacked in this manner. It is clear that there are vested interests at play who have raised all sorts of wild and baseless allegations at AOL. Shouldn’t what applies to The Art of Living, be also made applicable to all others present on the floodplains? What kind of compensation has been obtained from them?
Personally, I feel that Art of Living have become victims of false propaganda. Time to expose those who stand to gain. And Expose will come.
I am still waiting for a answers from someone who claimed who Breathes Yamuna, Sleeps Yamuna, Walks Yamuna – Vimlendu Jha – The Swechha Foundation. Decided not to check out again. But for quite a while after some questions were raised, all the Transparency documents vamoosed from their website. Look at what this Commie Obstructionist replies
But we have traced the route of funding. Though opaque on their website, it is already TRANSPARENT with the authorities.
Finally! What exactly is Manoj Misra doing for the Yamuna? An armchair activist and obstructionist who have made a living by keeping Yamuna in this state . If he cares for Yamuna so much why has he taken any action to improve its condition till now. Read what Art of Living has done for Yamuna and many other river and water bodies in India here and more here
The malba (Construction Debris) has been lying on 25 acres of the floodplain since so long. Why did he not bother to remove the malba (Was he even aware?) Trace back on his activities thus far. Barring some rallies or raising a racket (worth the nuisance value and nothing more), filing petitions and waste Court/Tribunal time (even in case of WCF, barring criminal waste of Tribunal time, nothing was achieved) but doing nothing for the cause he espouses.
What is common to all of the above? Definitely somehow who really cares for Yamuna would have done something about those mammoth permanent structures over 3000 sqkms on the Flood plains. Instead it is not an innocent attack on a 3 day 3-4 hour event that had temporary structures – There was something highly sinister. Who backed this rabble rouser? Why did they do that? Who gained by the unwarranted and malicious attack on a showpiece Cultural Olympics
Art of Living to me is a dignified organisation. I have been associated for 18 out its 35 years of existence. This largest volunteer based organization has been respected not because we talk, but walk that talk. Every project adopted in 155 countries are finally owned by the stakeholders and after initial handholding Art of Living moves on. Such vicious and “instigated” & “motivated” allegation by the likes of Mishra are damaging to an “Indian” worldwide organisation like The Art of Living. I hope AOL will not take this lying down and go after these Commie obstructionist so that they don’t raise their head and demean this great nation.
As Pujya Guru Dev Sri Sri Ravi Shankar always says, Stand up for what is right! Stand firm against injustice. Given them better than what we get (I add it)