Sri Sri Ravi Shanker on Hate Speech by politician

Q: Guruji, these days everybody is giving hate speeches and creating turmoil in people’s minds, and then they get arrested for it. No political leader is giving any love speech. What to do?

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar: Now, first of all, you have to take back that word everybody. Everybody is not doing it. There are some people, one or two, here and there. They do such things, because only then the media will pick them up. The hate speeches are picked by the media. They want media attention, so they do it. And if they get arrested, they become a hero within a particular community. What can you do? They go for negative publicity because they cannot get any positive publicity. So the easy way to get negative publicity is to go and blabber something about somebody, or give some hate speech somewhere. Surprisingly, so many people clap for that, because it is a thrill for them. Sweetie-sweetie talk, some good love stories don’t interest people. ‘Hey come, let’s punch that guy’, and everybody agrees. This is what is called mob psychology. The mob is interested in doing something destructive in the world. Never ever has a mob done something constructive; mob has always brought destruction. Sometime destruction may be essential. One such example was the Freedom Movement, when they wanted to root out this colonial system. So the mob joined, but peacefully. And why is that? The leader was a spiritual man – Mahatma Gandhi. He would do satsang, just like what we are doing. Every day there would be singing, meditation and discussions on the issues of the country, and the world those days. So there was a movement to dismantle the current regime, but without bloodshed, without violence. It was a unique thing in the history, where the mobs gathered but didn’t destroy anything, didn’t bring pain or suffering to anybody. The same type of mob is happening now all over the world. In the Arab Spring, see what is happening? People are killing each other and there is so much suffering. I am dreaming of a very different aspect. I want people to come up with creative ideas and plans. A seed for one such revolution was sown on 3 February, in Delhi, where the gathering who attended the event was three times more than that of the anti-corruption movement. A record crowd gathered together, and took a pledge to do something constructive. The government was a little concerned and they posted so many police. Everybody was screened when they were coming in, and so it took a long time for people to come in and go out. However, everyone was so surprised that there was no blame game, no hate speech; everyone joined to do something very constructive. Our youth have this energy, we only need to channelize it. Can you imagine, just in a matter of 2 months, with no resources at all, 1,000 projects were completed in Delhi? These were 1,000 small projects that were completed in 17 slums adopted by The Art of Living. So the volunteers have started working in 100 slums now. India is wobbling between scams and slums, and we need this sort of enthusiasm in people to do something creative. There is a river here which is called Kumudavati, which has almost dried up. So, some of our volunteers have taken up the task of re-energizing the river from the source, through all the twelve tehsils (similar to a county) that the river moves through. It is a very good initiative and it will help solve the water problems of so many villages. Water level has gone down. It used to be 20 to 30 feet, now it has gone down to 600 feet, so much below! So these volunteers are going to re-energize that! They are doing rain water harvesting, and all things necessary to re-energize it. One would have to spend crores of rupees on such projects. But people are using their own petrol, and going by their own cars, and doing the work. This is the joy, the intoxication of service. Also, two of our volunteers here today have announced the signing of a project wherein they are planning to build 1,000 toilets for the poor people.

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