Gurudev H H Sri Sri RaviShankar visited the historic and ‘notorious-for-wrong-reasons’ land of Ayodhya on 16th November and offered to mediate in ending the conflict of Ram Mandir & Babri Masjid that has been running for a few decades now. His approach to this whole phenomenon is unique and never hitherto heard of . The reason being, He decides to bring people of various viewpoints on the Ayodhya dispute over to a single table for meaningful dialogues and harmonious negotiations with an intent to push all the involved communities and groups to a common concensus in the ‘spirit of the land’ rather than having to obey the ‘letter of the law’ reluctantly.
And looking at his invincible past track record on resolving conflicts like these with multiple stakeholders and contradicting viewpoints involved, He isn’t called the ‘Champion of Conflict Resolution’ for nothing.
For instance, take a look at few of His peace initiatives in the past decades that have seen the light of zero conflict and total harmony today.
1. August 2012 – Assam, India : During the bloodbath of riots between the Bodos community and Bengali-speaking Muslims, Sri Sri voluntarily came forward to understand both the sides of the story by bringing together the representatives of both the opposing communities and initiated a peace dialog between them. He emerged successful in not just resolving the ethnic differences and restoring harmony but also in motivating the communities to work out long lasting solutions to the other challenges of the region that need the momentum of local people.
2. May 2007 – Iraq : As the first ever Indian Spritual Leader to visit Iraq donning the role of a Peace Ambassador, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar met with Iraqi Prime Minister, Nouri Al-Maliki and called on government officials in Europe, United States of America and India to address the trauma of tons of Yazidis trapped in the Sinjar Mountains in Iraq. Victims in Baghdad, Basra, Suleymania and Karbala have found solace in the Trauma Relief programs imparted by The Art of Living Foundation .
3. October 2013 – Muzaffarnagar, India : With an intention to end the hostile communal riots, Sri Sri met with the families of the riot victims in Muzaffarnagar and apprised all the involved parties of the necessity for restoring mutual trust among the communities. Sri Sri was embraced with equal warmth and trust by people from either side of the hostile communal conflict.
4. July 2015 – Columbia : The historic peace process in the recent times at a global level that grabbed the eyeballs of the whole world was the end of the half-century long conflict in Columbia. The FARC (Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia) guerilla forces returned to the mainstream through the monumental efforts of Sri Sri Ravishankar with a series of closed door dialogues between the first prosecutor of the International Criminal Court (ICC), Dr.Louis Moreno Ocampo and a peace delegation of FARC led by Alias Ivan Marquez. Sri Sri was instrumental in comprehending the concerns of both the militant forces and the government. Convinced by Sri Sri’s approach, FARC promised to continue fighting for social justice, but this time through non-violent Gandhian methods and totally welcomed peace and tranquility, bidding a farewell to arms and war. For this nearly impossible task, President of the House of Columbia bestowed the country’s highest Civilian Award on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.
5. September 2017, North-East India : Another historic peacekeeping revolution, this time in homeland with 67 different militant groups, each with their own different ideologies coming together on a single platform for one idea of peace and prosperity when the genuine ‘Voice of Peace’ of Sri Sri was considerate of all their rights and issues from all viewpoints and transformed them from Militancy to Meditation, Grenades to Garlands and Bombs to Bouquets in the North East Indigenous People’s Conference, rightly named the ‘Strength in Diversity’. The conference culminated in signing of the Guwahati Declaration by all the representatives of the major militant indigenous groups to reach the ultimate goal of prosperity and happiness by treading on the path of peace. Still persistent in His incredible efforts, Sri Sri has promised that He “will not stop until the last gun is laid down.” Such a powerful conviction indeed !
6. November 2017, Kashmir, India : Another never-before revolutionary peace initiative for the ‘Heavenly Land’ with an idea of hosting the slain militants, victims of cross-firing in Kashmir, army personnel martyred in the valley and local Kashmiris – all on a single platform. Given the hostility and uncertainty in this region, you can imagine how herculean a task and humongous an attempt this is! Sri Sri RaviShankar made the representatives from over 200 such families share their pain and realize that whether a victim or culprit or militant or a soldier – the pain is the same in all the homes ! Aptly titled ‘Paigaam-e-Mohabbat’, this congregation was patriotically emotional while many militants promised to renounce the culture of militancy and the families of violence victims and army personnel who sacrificed their lives came together in a spirit of reconciliation and forgiveness towards the terror families !
To be honest, these are just small glimpses of drops in the ocean of endeavors that Sri Sri has been proactively taking up at every need of the hour to eradicate conflict and violence from this world.
So, now, continuing his relentless contribution towards conflict resolution and peace restoration, Sri Sri RaviShankar has decided to lend His ‘expertise’ towards finding a long lasting solution approach for another long pending issue of the motherland – that of ‘Ram Janma Bhumi’ dispute in Ayodhya. Lauded for his unquestionable integrity and unbiased neutrality, He has been embraced by numerous Hindu and Muslim religious leaders and boards alike with open arms in a hope to end this dispute.
Sharing a harmonious dialogue with the chairman of the Shia Waqf Board , discussing with the interlocutor of the Ram Mandir issue, illustrating the need of building bridges to the Maulana of the AIMPL Board, meeting the CM of UP to arrive at an all-encompassing approach for the solution, opening discussions with the president of Ram Janma Bhoomi Trust, initiating a meet with the chief of the Nirmohi Akhada organization and many more such voluntary deliberations with the Muslim and Hindu groups and leaders in Ayodhya … Sri Sri is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that all the groups and communities involved with the Ayodhya dispute are heard of, taken into consideration and given due attention to their concerns.
With a conviction that it would result in an unanimous solution comprising a harmonious and positive nod of everyone, He feels this is much more important than the Supreme Court settling this issue out, only on a legal ground, leaving the human divide and religious clash burning behind. He opines, “ After the court verdict is out, even if one community feels left out then the same problem would come back again after 50 or 100 years.” Yes, that is what He means when He talks about long lasting solution – something that will establish as an almost permanent resolve!
He believes, “Problems can be solved through dialogue and mutual respect, rather than conceit and accusations. “
History has always showcased that someone with a genuine heart for uniting people, a meticulous intelligence for workable permanent solutions, undoubted integrity for unbiased approach, noble intention for establishing religious harmony and a magnanimous vision for reinstating the humane values only can make a real difference for a peaceful world and who better than the Messiah of this era and the ‘Custodian of World Peace’ (as declared by Argentina) can pave the way for a harmonious, peaceful India that will truly live the ‘Unity in Diversity’ in every inch of the land ?
The whole world is looking at India with hopeful eyes glued at Sri Sri RaviShankar for another miraculous, incredible, revolutionary phenomenon …. Are you one of them, too ?!?!