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On Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Truth and Reconciliation Conference of Dalits and Caste Hindus

The ‘Truth and Reconciliation’ initiative of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was ignored by the Indian media as they were preoccupied by the fat Indian wedding of Hurley and Nayar or they thought it as another impossible mission by a spiritual teacher which didn’t deserve precious space meant for gossip and sleaze.

But Gautam Siddharth of Daily Pioneer feels Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s mission isn’t impossible.

Excerpts from a highly thought provoking article

It would be easy to dismiss Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's Truth and Reconciliation Conference of Dalits and Caste Hindus held in Delhi's Pragati Maidan on Friday as a fluffy or wooly-headed enterprise of a spiritual teacher, who naively holds on to certain unlivable or unworkable ideals in the cynical times that we live in.

…even if the attempt of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar to bring all castes and their representatives on a single platform to discuss reconciliation appears too fantastical, in the sense that it will be difficult to take such a message from a gathering of 5000 well-dressed people in an atrium on a pleasant evening to 500 million population in the heat and dust in our far-flung country, we shall be erring gravely were we to dismiss the event as yet another superfluity in our lives. This is because Sri Sri addresses the issue of Dalits from the dharmic perspective and seeks to inform why our present way of handling the issues born out of Dalit anger with the past and the upper caste anxiety about the future will cause nothing but more ferment in society. He seeks to revive the comatose existence of the innate equality in Sanatan Dharma that has been lost because of the opportunism of a few contractors and subcontractors of faith.

…. the inescapable fact is that such a reformist intervention is the need of the times, without which public service would remain a chimera and self-service the only touchstone in our political life. Absence of such intervention would mean that Indian society will not develop as a democratic society but will remain a prisoner of the past, the energies of its peoples forever trapped in narrow identities which fail the definition of arrived or developed societies in a globalising world.