A+| A| A-

Must the Show Go On?

The exception made for the Art of Living Foundation sets a disastrous precedent.

The show must go on because it is too late to stop it. In effect, that is how the National Green Tribunal (NGT) ruled on a petition filed by former forestry official Manoj Misra challenging the mega-event organised by the Art of Living (AOL) Foundation on the ecologically fragile floodplains of the Yamuna River from 11–13 March 2016. If the matter was not so serious, one could view it almost as comedy or farce.

Here we have a god-man approaching a government that believes not just in him but in many others like him. He asks for a few acres on the banks of the Yamuna to hold an event. This is granted without a second thought. In addition, Rs 2.25 crore are released from government funds to defer costs for what is a private function. No questions are asked when the area of land occupied balloons from the 70 odd acres—for which permission was granted—to 1,000 acres. No eyebrows are raised when the footfall of a couple of lakhs a day suddenly becomes a few millions. Additionally, the army is ordered to build pontoon bridges (without payment); apparently no system exists to charge a private party for such favours. And so the show goes on until it is almost tripped by a concerned individual and the NGT.

To read the full text Login

Get instant access

New 3 Month Subscription
to Digital Archives at

₹826for India

$50for overseas users

Comments

(-) Hide

EPW looks forward to your comments. Please note that comments are moderated as per our comments policy. They may take some time to appear. A comment, if suitable, may be selected for publication in the Letters pages of EPW.

Using ordinance to protect freedom of expression from foul speech may result in damaging decent communication.

Only an empowered regulator can help boost production and cut coal imports.

Biden’s policy of the “return to the normal” would be inadequate to decisively defeat Trumpism.

*/ */

Only a generous award by the Fifteenth Finance Commission can restore fiscal balance.

*/ */

The assessment of the new military alliance should be informed by its implications for Indian armed forces.

The fiscal stimulus is too little to have any major impact on the economy.

The new alliance is reconfigured around the prospect of democratic politics, but its realisation may face challenges.

A damning critique does not allow India to remain self-complacent on the economic and health fronts.

 

The dignity of public institutions depends on the practice of constitutional ideals.

The NDA government’s record in controlling hunger is dismal despite rising stocks of cereal.

 

Back to Top