Friday, May 25, 2007

where is the broader analysis?

watched two reports on television ...
1. SS Ravishankar of Art of Living is in Iraq to spread the message of peace and non-violence and overlook relief efforts.
2. A UNICEF official reports that due to the violence in Iraq the huminatarian situation is worsening.

In both cases had the same thought---"Why such a narrow outlook on the topic?". There was absolutely no analysis on the source of the violence and the unrest (not that I have this thought or heard about this for the first time). It is as if the discussion on why the violence started, on what basis Iraq was invaded, how the resources are being looted is of no importance---more ironically since all the reasons for the invasion have been debunked. If anywhere, both SSRS and UNICEF should at the doors of White House, the perpetrators of this so-called war. Unless, the source of the conflict is addressed, no preaching, breathing exercises or huminatarian efforts will solve anything.


Anonymous said...


I think there is no dearth of people that are analyzing and debating about the root cause and politics behind the war, but far too few people are actually doing something to address the trauma and suffering of the countless victims of the war, either due to apathy or due to fear.

Hence Sri Sri and his brave bunch of volunteers have taken upon themselves this "narrow" task of providing material and mental relief to the millions of sufferers.

I guess different people have different roles to play and I don't think it's right to say humanitarian efforts will not solve anything.

Besides, Sri Sri went there on the invitation of the Iraqi PM who requested his services. If a similar request comes from the US government, I am sure he will be happy to talk to them too. You can't preach anything to anybody unless they are willing to listen in the first place.


ps: Glad to see your blog is alive again. Will talk to you sometime.

Purushottam said...

Ramesh, glad to hear from you!

I do think that humanitarian efforts are essential, but only effective when the source of the conflict is tackled. In this case, I was pointing out to the narrow discourse that was apparent in the discussion of both the reports on Iraq---no reference to the origins of the violence/war.

About SSRS, getting an invitation from the US to preach to them, i am sure you must be joking. Infact if SSRS believes that the war and the death of 100 people everyday in Iraq is wrong, he could sport a "Stop War in Iraq" robe if he wants ... every opportunity has to be used to stop the war machine and with his world presence i am not sure why SSRS/UNICEF don't do it? or if they do it why is not visible ... maybe the media is the culprit am not entirely sure or maybe it does not matter to the US whoever makes a noise, but the protest has to be there to hope for change!

with reference to SSRS and this might be slightly off-track, but i saw another program on TV on new-age babas and swamis. Several points were raised by the group of believers of the anti-supertitions groups and when SSRS was asked for a comment on the so-called miracles performed by babas and the money-oriented almost business like operations, he answered that miracles and pre-requirements of babas are not important, one should look deeper and these are minor abberations ... but the point is that he did not say that these dhongi babas are exploiting the naive junta, which i am surprised by. Similarly, if he is convinced that the war is wrong, while in Iraq to preach non-violence and peace he can make a statement about the US too! But he did/does not! Can't he? Do you think if he does smtg like that it will be good?

A rather crude analogy is: You are riding a motor bike and SSRS is the pillion rider. A group of people stop you and stop putting holes in your petrol tank and you start protesting. SSRS steps in and tells you to calm down and advises you to fill gas and address the problem of the diminishing petrol level.
I know this is stretching it a bit, but i think the situation in Iraq is not too different.

Anonymous said...

Well, as usual, I can't resist making comments whenever u post something on Sri Sri, and inevitably it ends up into a long winding discussion. it seems it will be no different this time too! anyways, here are my responses:

I think the problem here is that most of us have a strong opinion on what is the right thing to do in a given situation. If someone doesn't follows this pattern, we immediately tend to point fingers at that person.

Sri Sri has said time and again that He doesn't believe in shouting slogans and wearing badges. The reason is that the party in question immediately brands you as their opponent and stops being receptive to your communication. And it becomes exceedingly difficult to build bridges. This is why He refuses to condemn or blame any person or organization. I think we had this discussion even in light of the Modi incident.

This is not to say that protesting and showing dissent has no value. But Sri Sri's chosen path is different. One has to respect that and understand that there is no unique solution to most social problems (unlike in science and math that we are more used to!).

I don't want to comment on your anology because I think it trivializes the situation too much.


Purushottam said...

No doubt that social problems are complex and its fine that SSRS has his own path.
But in the given situation I think it is of utmost importance to protest the war. Without "pointing finger" a general call can be made to stop the war (and maybe he already does this) ... the UN tried doing it, but the US did not care. I am pointing out that a call against war is equally or more necessary to curb the situation and all mainstream discourses and "world leaders" fail to mention it.

agreed, my analogy does not account for Saddam, but other than that I think it is pretty close.