Sri Sri Ravishankar & ISIS

The famed spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had recently attempted to get in touch with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) in order to talk peace with them. However, his efforts were met with a stunning rebuttal when ISIS sent him the photo of a man without a head. As may be expected, the spiritual leader was extremely taken aback by the retort. He has now reached the conclusion that the terror outfit can only be dealt with in an armed manner and there is no way that any peace talk would have a positive effect on them.

Incidentally, this is not the first time that the spiritual leader has attempted to reason with extremist elements. Earlier, he requested O. Ibobi Singh, the Chief Minister of Manipur, to negotiate with insurgents in the state.

Questions being asked in the media

Now that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has come out with the said revelation some rather uncomfortable questions are being asked in the media. The first question is how did he get the contact details of ISIS. As far as common sense suggests, in spite of his fame as a spiritual leader, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is just a civilian like most of us and civilians are not supposed to have such sensitive information like contact details of terror groups such as ISIS.

The second question being asked was whether the government was aware of Ravi Shankar’s attempts to contact the terror group. The BJP has been following a zero-tolerance approach towards external extremist forces such as ISIS and one wonders if it will look kindly at the spiritual leader’s attempts to play mediator. It’s a no-brainer that would suggest that such activities are the sole preserve of the government or rather the ones dealing with security and defence, to be more specific.

Questions are also being asked as to how ISIS got in touch with Ravi Shankar. Well, that may not have been so tough for the terror group considering the fact that he had already contacted them. Some people have also questioned the veracity of the said contact and asked if it was really the ISIS that sent the photo in question, thus perhaps implying that the spiritual leader may not have been fully honest about the said matter.

Rounding up

The one question that not many people have asked – and it is quite strange that such a question has not come to the fore – is what prompted Ravi Shankar to try and appeal to the ISIS for peace. What was he thinking? This is a group that has been hell-bent on slaughtering innocent people and destroying everything in their path regardless of its cultural and historic significance. It has bombed places as secure as Brussels and Paris and accounted for plenty of lives in the process.

Does Ravi Shankar consider himself to be a globally-reverred leader like the Dalai Lama or Nelson Mandela? There’s another pertinent question that must be asked here; If he really had so much faith in the power of peace then why did it take a single photograph to change his stance so drastically?

As the old saying goes, time has all the answers. We need to wait for the spiritual leader to speak up further on the matter.