Ban on Maoists may not help, says Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

June 23rd, 2009 - 9:44 pm ICT by IANS  

P. Chidambaram Bangalore, June 23 (IANS) Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Tuesday said banning Maoist groups may not help and that their ideology has to be countered by dialogue, inspiration and most importantly, spiritual education.
“Just declaring someone as terrorist will only justify our actions but may not bring a change in their mindset,” said the founder of the Art of Living foundation, according to a statement rleased a day after Home Minister P. Chidambaram notified the ban on the Communist party of India-Maoist under the Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act.

The outfit is already banned in Andhra Pradesh, Chhattisgarh, Jharkhand and Orissa, where the Maoist rebels have a presence. The Left radicals have torched police camps, set ablaze offices of the ruling Communist party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and driven out the civil administration to establish a virtual “free zone” in the Lalgarh area in West Midnapore district of West Bengal.

“Lack of spiritual education has led to the rise of Maoism. Most Maoists are Hindus. Sadly, they have not been given education about their own spirituality, which is the reason why they have taken to this path of violence,” said Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, in the statement.

Emphasising the need for spiritual education among youth, he said: “In the name of secularism, we have eliminated spiritual content from our education altogether. A country like India which has taken spirituality to the west is facing problems such as naxalism and terrorism. And that is because of the lack of spiritual education.”

He urged the government to start spiritual education in all government schools and colleges.

“That will teach children the beauty that exists in all religions so that the children grow up developing a reverence for people from all religious backgrounds,” he added.

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