Vinod Dua, the perennial face of “Hindi analysis” during the elections, along with Prannoy Roy on Doordarshan in the 1980s, gushes about how he loves to eat zebra, gazelle, crocodile, and octopus meat when in Kenya. All this, while parading his understanding of religion and food choices. It is another matter that this confused “journalist” who loves his zebra meat has no idea that he has been an accomplice to poaching which poses a severe threat to these wild animals. Zebras and giraffes are the most threatened animals in the wild now as the numbers of the herbivores collapse (per scientific studies). As the Kenyan government grapples with the threat to their wild animals for meat, from tourists like Vinod Dua – the veteran, Padma-Shri journalist from India – poachers keep going after them in more numbers.
There is growing concern in Kenya over rising levels of poaching, with both giraffes and zebras being taken for meat. A recent interception uncovered 6000 kilograms of giraffe meat.
Tourism authorities have voiced concern, with elephants also being killed by poachers for ivory. The government’s response is the new anti-poaching unit, comprising security officers from the Kenya Wildlife Service, the Administration Police (AP) and the General Service Unit (GSU).
This is the level of social and environment consciousness of award-winning journalists who proudly share their exploits in eating when they go for poached, endangered (or close to being on that list) animals. That’s what passes off as eclectic in today’s media world. Dua then defines his own paradigm of religion. He is eclectic about his “Gods” as well. He has one representative from a variety of religious faiths included in his list – to ensure that he is hitting all the bases properly! Of course his understanding of his straw-man pantheon is so shallow that he literally skewers (like his meat) the fundamental consciousness of the very beings he lets into his “esteemed” list! For example, this is how he likes to celebrate Gurupurab – birth anniversary of Guru Nanak Dev:
“It was Guru Nanak’s birth anniversary, so I decided to prepare something different. I cooked red meat in desi ghee, mixed certain masalas, added mixed herbs, and then 60 ml of rum.” I point out that many might find this dish too strong. “I suppose it was meant for jaded palates and sharabis,” he laughs, “But I can tell you it turned out pretty good.”
Red meat in liquor is a sure way to invoke Nanak’s legacy and memory when Dua’s idea of eclecticism is nothing more than violence and decadence!
These so-called journalists are the type of self-centered, vain, provocative and ideologically confused and compromised men and women who have a record of currying favor with the government of the past. They are now – ironically so – becoming champions for the environment to push their ideological agenda.
The problem is that Dua is neither a journalist nor has any idea about protecting the environment. The man who graduated in English literature from Delhi University became a translator of election analyses from English to Hindi on Doordarshan:
” The second thing he tells me is that he is not a psephologist. “But weren’t you and Prannoy…” I want to ask. “Nope, I just did a quick translation of the election analyses into Hindi.”
This man, along with the other compromised lot of so-called journalists, is now turning up against the Rally for Rivers which is led by Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev In a country, where most rivers have either become seasonal or disappeared over major stretches of their course, and where as the population increases the nation is staring at a water catastrophe, there is someone – like Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev – trying to bring about awareness of the ecological and health disasters facing us. For this goal, Sadhguru is seeking to help us all chart a way toward safety and well-being of our kids.
In a country of 1.25 billion people with different religions, belief systems, ideologies, political affiliations and motivations, we cannot easily persuade people to move in a direction that will yield results in the future. Specially where there is little instant gratification! That is why Sadhguru wants the idea of saving and replenishing rivers not just planted in people’s minds but he wants this urge to protect and save the environment blossoming within their consciousness.
That is what the “Rally for Rivers” is. It is a process of sowing the seeds of collective well-being. In a society of so much diversity, one’s idea and tools of well-being can very easily collide with another’s, and we have seen this happen almost on a daily basis. In the last 70 years, the laws and the regulations have been lacking in intent and enforcement. Even when our very lifelines – our rivers — were being destroyed – proper laws were not enacted and whatever was there, was never implemented. Why? Because there are different constituencies for different political parties and often laws and regulations, when implemented, curb free-wheeling, uninhibited, socially careless and destructive businesses. Businesses, which thrive in an atmosphere where nature can be destroyed at will. If pollutants in the air and water were regulated in India – as they are in other developed countries – several businesses in many states would not have been able to function in the way they currently are. Socially responsible entrepreneurship has a cost that must be paid. It hasn’t been paid because the powers that ran the nation perceived no threat even when the rivers were visibly reduced to a dangerous flow of chemicals as opposed to life-giving water!
Such has been the callousness of our collective consciousness.
Sadhguru – a Globally Revered Name
When Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev took up this challenge, it was not for his personal recognition, profit or benefit. His work on spiritual awakening has already brought joy and bliss to millions around the world. From Greece to Lebanon, from Saudi Arabia to Canada, from a number of African countries to the US – people of all hues, all vocations, all strata and all religions have benefited and embraced his work and his call to become attentive, joyous beings!
Sadhguru is already one of the most watched leaders on Youtube with over 800,000 subscribers on his own channel and many more viewers on videos shared by others.
He has touched millions of lives and has been hosted by top Ivy League universities for detailed dialogs on science, health, well being and leadership. He needs no introduction or promotion. For all those who want a glimpse can watch this conversation of Sadhguru with Dr. Ben Doolittle, the co-Director of the Yale School of Medicine.
Given this, why would we have these so-called “journalists” lining up to demonize Sadhguru, and undermine a project that will serve everyone in India? About these truant journalists’s political agendas, as another well-known journalist would put it, “the nation wants to know”!
Sadhguru and Environment – Project Greenhands
In June 2004, Sadhguru started the campaign to plant trees in people’s minds. It wasn’t easy. Hitherto people used to equate a tree with wood.
In such minds, trees had to be seen as part of one’s own life energy. It took creativity and ways that went beyond the limited scale and scope of environmental campaigns of global NGOs – that earn millions in the cause of saving the environment but have little to show for their efforts.
With hardly any fanfare and nary the millions donated by global bodies and agencies and no high flying “activists”, Isha Foundation worked with the villagers to plant trees throughout Tamil Nadu. In one day in 2006, they planted a whopping 852,587 trees in Tamil Nadu and Pondicherry to create a Guinness World Record. Since the start in 2004, millions of trees have been planted in Tamil Nadu.
Planting trees is not an easy task. One NGO, with leaders from Ivy-league schools and great activism behind them along with corporate sponsorship, could manage just 693,000 trees since 2010! Just to put things in perspective – that is less than one day’s work for the Isha team! These men and women, including children, are doing a great job, but what they are doing, despite their enthusiasm, network, intellect is not easy. It takes a lot of investment in terms of raising the consciousness of people. Money and great education can only get one so far in this endeavor. That is the special contribution and immensity of Sadhguru’s work on environment!
Rally for Rivers
Those who are action oriented do not get bound by false value systems. Action done well and comprehensively to solve a problem is any day far better than play-acting anguish and arranging the chairs on the deck of the Titanic. When survival of the ship is at stake just expressing outrage will be of little use!
Rally for Rivers was conceived by Sadhguru in collaboration with the Indian Ministry of Environment. It started off from Isha Yoga Center, Coimbatore on September 3, 2017 and it concluded on October 2, 2017 in New Delhi. Sadhguru himself finally drove about 10,000 kms across 13 states and 21 major cities. That is roughly 330 km everyday on Indian roads. Of course, besides attending major events and meeting with people, as part of promoting the work being done.
For a person who has never missed a single appointment in over 40 years of Isha engagements, that is a lot to pack in the schedule and yet make it happen to the last minute! Even the US presidents get late to their scheduled events and rallies despite their resources!
But Sadhguru has been on time every time, for every event, and every milestone of this massive rally. This requires not just top class physical tuning but also proper tools to ensure that the work is completed on time.
To understand why someone like Sadhguru is so committed to undergo such a grueling schedule with no respite and no rest, let us look at some of the statistics with respect to India’s water catastrophe.
- India has a total of nine river systems spanning as high as 81 percent of the geographical area, and a per capita water availability of 1720.29 cum per annum (source)
- The number of rivers defined as “polluted” in India has more than doubled in the five years until 2015 – from 121 to 275 per the assessment of Central Pollution Control Board (CPCB) (source)
- Sewage generated from 650 cities and towns situated along the 302 polluted river stretches in the country has increased from 38,000 million litres per day (MLD) in 2009 to 62,000 MLD in 2015 (source)
- For water to be considered safe for human use, it should have Coli-form level of below 104 MPN/100ml (source). In Indian rivers, 11% have 500 MPN/100ml or less; 4% have between 500-1000 MPN/100ml and 85% have over 1000 MPN/100ml.
- Nearly 30% of India’s land has turned into a desert as per the analysis of satellite images by ISRO (source)
- Given the high use of Groundwater, by 2030 about 60% of Indian aquifers will be in a critical condition (source)
- Per Centre for Science and Environment (CSE), 80% of India’s 40,000 million liters of sewage produced daily flows untreated and directly into India’s rivers! (source)
This is the kind of situation that is facing the country. If we do not do anything in a focused manner, by 2030 only 50% of India’s water will be left for use.
This is not therefore a matter of cutting or planting a few trees here or there, but an existential threat to the country. Imagine, with a population of 1.25 billion and growing, we are looking at over 600 million people without water in the next decade. That can be the greatest disaster facing the nation.
This kind of disaster in the making will need more than one government to turn things around. And turning things around will not be easy. It will need huge investment and lots of patience in getting the right results. Water is not a widget, especially when we are talking about large water bodies. The work will require engaging millions in a committed and intense manner – as if their life depended on it (as it indeed does) – for the next 15-20 years. That is why they have created a huge database with all of the missed calls (#80009 80009)that people have given.
Due to Sadhguru’s leadership, Chief Ministers of 16 states cutting across party lines (BJP, TDP, Congress, ADMK, and others) have come together to support the work regarding the Rally for Rivers. Already four states have signed a Memoranda of Understanding (MOUs) with Isha Foundation for implementing the proposal to plant trees on the sides of the rivers to create a safe ecosystem for the rivers.
The Rally has been supported by hundreds of people – including celebrities and people of different religions. Here are some links:
It is clear that the enthusiasm and the love for the basic resources of the nation shows through the endorsement by these people.
While Sadhguru gets to include everyone – from every walk of life, religion, means, vocation – there are still some with blinkers on their eyes and hatred in their minds, who want to ding whatever good work that has been done as part of Rally for Rivers initiative. This brings us back to those with eclectic tastes and confused consciousness.
Vinod Dua and others, for example in Quint, have tried to criticize the vehicle used with their fuzzy and squinted math.
Why the Merc G63 AMG SUV and who is paying?
One of the points of criticisms has been the “very expensive” Mercedes Benz G63 AMG SUV that Sadhguru is driving. Yes, it is expensive ($130,000 to be precise), but it is not something that he has bought nor is Isha paying for it. It is a “Media Test Drive car” that TVS Sundaram has loaned to Sadhguru for this journey. Here is the letter from Sundaram Motors on the rationale for the choice of the car provided and how it will ensure the safety and handling of the car during the journey.
Sadhguru handles questions flung at him by compromised journalists in his own inimitable way and responds to the fuzzy squinted mathematics of these so-called journalists.
It is clear that the so-called journalists have little understanding of basic mathematics. If you have never passed a math test in your life, it is always good to check your arithmetic skills with your 6th grader before you go around embarrassing yourself online.
Strawman cases with no Basis – shoddy Journalism
One of the articles appearing in The Wire online magazine by Subhashini Ali – a member of the Communist Party of India (Marxist) – refers to a non-case in an attempt to throw mud at Sadhguru.
It is hard to hurt those who have worked hard and who are of a higher sensibility than these ideologues. But that doesn’t stop some of the “hate brigade” journalists from attempting to do so anyway.
Ali writes about a lady named Muthamma (introduced as a poor illiterate Irula tribal from Coimbatore district) – who was felicitated by the woman’s wing of the Communist Party of India (Marxist), the All India Democratic Women’s Association on September 24, 2017. And, within days, our Hindi translator with a BA in English, picks it up for his vblog. A whole story is manufactured about how Muthamma’s land was taken over by the Isha Foundation.
The problem with the story is that Muthamma never spoke about it, and two, she – a tribal – has filed a case in the Chennai High Court against Isha for building “illegal structures on wetlands”.
That a tribal woman, with little education, and hardly any earnings would have the wherewithal to articulate such a complaint with the highest court in the state, seems quite a stretch of imagination. Unless of course the Communist Party of India is doing the work in her name! Now, that is an example of “independent journalism” for you – where events are concocted!
There are three more stories which have been referred to: one is the Adi Yogi statue – which has the required permissions from the District Collector, Coimbatore, the District Forest Officer, Coimbatore, and also from Bharat Sanchar Nigam Limited authorities.
The second story is about the pollution of the Noyyal river, which we know is not believable because if you look at the Google map and find out where the Isha Center is and where the river flows – you see that with your eyes that there is no connection.
The third story is one about the so-called “elephant corridor” going through the Isha Yoga Center. The incredible thing is that the Principal Chief Conservator of Forests (PCCF) himself has categorically said that this is a false allegation. We can read about it here.
Isha’s complete rebuttal of the Muthamma story and the other manufactured charges should put to rest concerns that ordinary citizens of India might have about the nature and intent of the Isha Yoga Center and Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev. We can watch a video here that tackles the issues brought out by The Wire network:
Ideologically motivated Fake News
The US elections were heavily impacted and swayed by fake news, often put forth in the guise of credible journalistic pieces! This ended up installing a man who lies despite what is obvious, even to the untrained eye. Everyone knew what the size of the crowd was at Trump’s inauguration, yet he lied openly. So lying became the way to appropriate credibility, despite facts to the opposite.
TheWire.in and the other such magazines are more sophisticated versions of the Trump campaign.
Run by ideologues masquerading as “Independent journalists” this online venture was started by a non-profit curiously named Foundation For Independent Journalism in the true Trumpian fashion of usurping credibility.
When one looks closely at the organization we find that the directors of the Foundation for Independent Journalism are former journalists who worked for ideologically compromised “The Hindu” newspaper apart from the leftist ideologues like Mangalam Kesavan Venu, Siddharth Vardarajan, and Sidharth Roshanlal Bhatia.
The website is financed by another organization calling itself The Independent and Public Spirited Media Foundation. The motley crowd who lead it are those with leftist leanings and sympathetic to the Congress Party, and who are avowed leftist ideologues.
These people have joined hands with CPI (M) politicians like Subhashini Ali to plant fake news, and to derail whatever work is done by those, whom they consider to be Hindus or aligned with the awakening of the country.
It was recently found in the US that the Russians were posing as black activists to create divide and unrest during the elections. That is the way fake news was married with fake activism.
A model has been created and perfected by using it in the United States. Such unscrupulous ways will be used in India as well by those who do not want India to develop, grow, and emerge strong.
Rivers are beyond politics, religions and even nations. Actually, they are beyond humanity as well. Every life will be impacted if we, human beings, get it all wrong. It is time for all of us to join hands with leaders like Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev to make India’s rivers flow full and sweet again!