Art of Living gets a day to pay `5-cr fine; PM to attend event
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said he would rather go to jail than pay Rs 5 crore fine for organising the controversial World Culture Festival, to be inaugurated by Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Friday.
The National Green Tribunal gave Ravi Shankar’s Art of Living Foundation time till Friday to pay the fine and said law will take its own course if it failed to do so. The order came a day after the green court cleared the three-day cultural extravaganza despite fears of irreparable damage to the Yamuna floodplain’s delicate ecosystem due to construction debris. “We have not done anything wrong...we will go to jail but not pay a penny,” Ravi Shankar told news channels. “This is like a cultural Olympics...normally, something like this should be welcomed,” he said.
Zimbabwe President Robert Mugabe also pulled out of the event over security fears. President Pranab Mukherjee has already announced he won’t attend.
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