Founder of Isha Foundation Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev said that there is a “lot of heat” in television studios, which is being exaggerated to suggest that there is rising religious intolerance in the country while underlining that the last decade has been free of major communal violence.
In an exclusive interview with ANI, the spiritual leader spoke of his college days, saying that “major riots took place in the country” while contrasting with the past 10 years “when no major communal riots took place in the country”. Isha Foundation founder Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev recently arrived in India after covering a 30,000-km lone motorcycle journey across 27 countries as part of his ‘Save Soil’ campaign.
“I think we tend to exaggerate things quite a bit. Yes, there are a few issues that have come to debate and there is a lot of heat on television channels. You don’t see it anywhere on the street. You walk across Delhi or any village in the country, there is no such intolerance or such violence or anything,” Sadhguru said when he was asked about the claims of the rising religious intolerance in the country.
He strongly advocated action against people involved in violence while underlining that there’s “exaggeration” about the heat in the tv studios on discussions on issues with religious undertones.
“There are some consensus issues where there are some debates going on. They are all in a court of law. You should allow the law to go it’s the way. But now once you get the momentum, people are excited to go all over the place and in case, there is an election or something in the area, people use that to do these things,” he added.
Sadhguru’s comments came close on the heels of violent incidents reported from Delhi, Madhya Pradesh, Rajasthan, and Uttar Pradesh. Recently, US Secretary of State Antony Blinken has claimed that there are rising attacks on people at places of worship in India.
The Isha Foundation founder recalled his graduation days when communal violence incidents were considered “normal”.
“But I feel these things (communal violence) have come down significantly in the last 25 years. When we were in university, there was not a single year when there was no major communal riot in the country. Every year, there used to be somewhere, major (riots). I have not heard (of communal violence) in the 5-6 years at least or maybe 10 years. You have not heard of such things. Some flashpoints have happened, unfortunately. But large communal violence, as we thought as normal for this country to face, you are not hearing that which is a very positive thing,” he added.
Sadhguru further stated that there are people who are looking for trouble all the time. “I think that the law should contain these people because, in all the communities, people want to take care of their lives, they want to educate, find jobs, and make a good living. Above all, women in their families want to live well. They don’t want their men to be bickering and quarrelling… They don’t have time and patience nor do they intend to have in that direction. Such elements are there everywhere,” he said.
When asked whether he confronts questions about secularism in India, the spiritual leader stressed that “some people with their own vested interests talk about it but the word India commands much more respect now than ever before”.
“A lot of people think Indian elections are the most fantastic thing in the world. In the USA, they don’t trust their own election system. They think our system is lousy and India is doing great. This is the common refrain that I hear. There are few people with strong views because of their own vested interests who talk about this and that. But generally, I think the word India commands much more respect now than ever before,” he said.