Skip to main content

Sri Sri & Homosexuality – Another media hit job in the making

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar (henceforth named as Mr. Shankar) is not new to controversy. Not even with topics like homosexuality.

What the event was

At an event in the Jawaharlal Nehru University, Ravi Shankar gave a talk on the occasion of the Nehru Memorial lecture on 13th November, 2017. One among the audience lamented that he was ill-treated since he was known to be a homosexual. Then Mr. Shankar stated that he needed to accept himself as he was and love knew no boundaries.

Let’s see and hear what he said…

Let’s quote Mr. Shankar verbatim as reported by some of the newspapers.

You treat yourself better, doesn’t matter how others treat you. You don’t think you are sick or something’s wrong with you. If you stand up, nobody can insult you… But if you feel weak and meek, and if you feel bad about yourself, nobody can make you feel better.’
Indian Express reported this in addition as well. Let me quote it directly here as well.

This is your tendency now. Just acknowledge it and accept it, and know that this tendency is not a permanent thing. It may change. I’ve seen many men who were gay, later on turn into heterosexuals, and there are those who are normal — what are called straight people — end up being gay later in life.’

Here’s the conversation from the horse’s mouth. The video is also enclosed in this link.

Student: I’m a gay and I realised this when I’m 22 years old now. How do I deal with this? And my friends mistreat me.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: “You treat yourself better. Doesn’t matter how others treat you. You don’t think you are sick or you…something wrong with you. If you stand up, I tell you nobody can insult you. If you don’t let others insult you, you will not be insulted. Do you see what I am saying? But if you feel meek and weak and if you feel bad about yourself nobody can make you feel better. Well this is your tendency now. Just acknowledge it, accept it. And know that this tendency is not a permanent thing. It may change. I have seen many men who were gay, later on turn into heterosexuals. And those…there are many…those..who are normal or called straight people end up being gays at a later part of their life. I would like you to focus beyond the body identity to see you are a scintillating spirit. You are …ab tum aatmaa ho, ek aisi chetna ho. Tum shareer hi nahi ho, shareer ki identity se zara utke dekho. Aap jeete jagte insaan ho. Vyakti ho, chetna ho. Apne aatmbal ko badao. Doosre hamarein saath kaise vyavhaar karte hain is par dhyaan mat dena.”

Where does Mr. Shankar’s stand on this matter?

Before you get to judge what happened, let’s first check if he is being consistent or not. There are many who swing from one position to another. What were his views on homosexuality in the past?

He tweeted in the past supporting removal of Article 377. He stated on record that ‘Nobody should face discrimination because of their sexual preferences. To be branded a criminal for this is absurd.’ In the past as well. This actually put him in direct opposition to Baba Ramdev, who considered (considers?) it to be a disease (though not a crime). I will not go into condemning either but here is one page that examines the difference between the two on this matter.
The Quint found a very pensive Mr. Shankar pic to go with their article. They picked it up from WikiCommons.

So what does he seem like? The Good Guy? You may be inclined to believe that the statement of compassion and support for the homosexual community on Mr. Shankar’s behalf may ease their acceptance into society.

But wait a minute. Let’s see how it was reported in the Indian media houses. Let’s look at the headlines for instance.





I don’t usually give space to Bollywood heroines and their opinions. But then they become news. This is true even for those who may be considered as intelligent as Rahul Gandhi. A media hit-job was born.



The only supporting statement comes from news18 (which is not all that popular anyway)

Surprisingly, Scroll had painted the ‘Homosexuality is a Tendency…’ as the headline first, but changed it soon enough (with a corrigendum) stating that they wish to report correctly.

India today apparently did not notice the question and answer session and reported instead on the general speech he made.

What we will see next

I expect some of the other out of work celebrities to give in their responses. Long-time supporter Dia Mirza to veteran Mahesh Bhatt – all may pitch in. Not to be left in the lurch, the political parties will also join in the chorus.
Let me foretell what he will be called (if he is not being called on already). I will list the names down.
1.       Bigot
2.       Homophobe
3.       Hindutva fanatic
4.       Hindu fundamentalist
5.       Regressive
6.       Dhongi/fake baba
There are many more but some of them are not exactly printable. Besides, you get the point.

The Position of the Art of Living

The printed and legal standing of the Art of Living (Mr. Shankar’s organization) is there for all to check on a simple Google search. Here is a small excerpt below.

You can check out another longer version of a similar question and answer session that exists on this page.

Amidst all this chaos, I hope the guy asking the question to find peace in himself and live a happier and contented life. J

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My love affair with ThinkPads

I had never used a ThinkPad in my life till 2018. To be honest, I did not really see the benefit of using them anyway. Consumer series laptops (with plastic bodies) were the ones that I had always used before. Then I was introduced to the rugged looks of the T60 and T61 original IBM ThinkPad designs that came out way back in 2004 or so. And I loved it. Finding a ThinkPad that old did not appeal to me. I was impressed with the smaller compact X series laptops and decided to have either an X230 or an X220. Both of these are fairly similar and were launched about 8 years back. But they still sport good processors, plenty of memory upgradability, provision to add a maximum of three hard disks and a decent battery backup to boot. My reasons to get this were simpler -  They are rugged, I like to use my laptops well Memory is not soldered. There are plenty of options to upgrade. The keyboards are probably the best in the world. Why not get the latest ThinkPad? Again, simple.  They come with a

How To: Change Fonts On The 5800, 5233 etc

The font that comes with Nokia is nice. But after six months you are bound to crave for a new look to your phone. Now changing fonts on a phone is usually not an easy task, I mean that was how you must have thought. But you know what you can use custom fonts, yes any font of your choice on your Nokia phone without any software. All you need to do is copy and paste a bunch of files. No replacing of system resources necessary! First to increase your greed, I will post some screenshots, Screenshot Gallery o   Font Style Download o Another Font Style Now let me tell you how I did it. Procedure to apply new Fonts Connect the phone in the ‘Mass Storage’ profile to the computer. Alternatively, you can use the memory card reader. Goto the Memory Card, it shows up as a Removable Disk. Navigate to the ‘resource’ folder and open it. Copy the ‘Fonts’ folder into in. Eject the device and restart. You should see the new fonts applied. Procedure to apply your Fonts Ma

Reaching the peaks of my own stupidity or not

 I have never considered myself to be particularly intelligent. Though I have not had myself clinically diagnosed, anecdotal evidence and day to day activities amply demonstrate how stupid I am. Now wait. This does not mean I am indulging in self pity.  No. Far from it. I have had successes in life. I continue to do well in things that I love to do. I have no complaints there. It is just that I do feel my intelligence lacking. My success is, therefore, despite my stupidity and I take some pride in it. Of course defending the statement - 'I am stupid' is difficult. Especially without a test that ascertains the fact for certain. I will make a more nuanced statement as a result. I have less intelligence than the average person around me. That is a more defensible stance and there are tests (even other than IQ) to confirm it. Aptitude tests are a good example. I do horrible in them.  Okay, there is an exception - I got into IITB. But that was me trying for a third time. In any case