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IIT alumni question Ravi Shankar’s credentials

October 27, 2010

From Kitapati

This is a new insightful post on Ravishankar by a group of IIT students in India:

PanIIT, a conglomeration of alumni of the seven Indian Institutes of Technology, is to hold its 2010 conclave from October 29-31 in New Delhi. The focal theme of the three-day meet is “Sustainable Transformation: Our New India“.

“Participants would have the unique opportunity to tap into the experience of globally recognised thought leaders, to learn from peers in a collaborative learning environment…,” reads the mission statement.

Among the globally recognised thought leaders providing gyan at the gab-fest are the likes of economist Jeffrey Sachs, technologist Nandan Nilekani and columnist Thomas L. Friedman.

And “India’s future Nobel laureate“, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar.

In session “S20″, on the concluding day of the conclave, “Mr Shankar” is expected to throw kindly light between 10.45 and 11.30 am. Not all IITians are enthused by the thought. Below is the full text of a press release issued by “PanIIT Ravi Shankar Protest Committee”:


The mantra of PanIIT conclave for this year is “Sustainable Transformation: our new India”.

Will Ravi Shankar be able to help us in being a role model in achieving this objective? Even a cursory glance at his achievement sans all the spin by the media will show how IIT alumni will be totally misled and get the wrong message.

PanIIT conclave is an opportunity to send strong messages by inviting those leaders who have been successful in projecting good values. Ravi Shankar has certainly been a superb salesman in marketing sudarshan kriya. His Art of Living foundation has been successful in earning huge profits while being a charitable organization.

Unfortunately, the values represented by his activities are not the ones for us to emulate. Especially when corruption is the top agenda item in India preventing the proper development of India, should we invite some one like Ravi Shankar?

Would we invite Ambani brothers despite their enormous wealth to give a talk on values and sustainability?

In one of the satsangs, when he was asked about global warming and climate change, Ravi Shankar seriously compared it to the Y2K problem, and how Y2K was not a problem and so also global warming. Either he was not aware of the enormous efforts by the world to avoid Y2K or he gave a wrong analogy.

When he was asked how to solve Kashmir problem, his “insightful” comment was that youth should get involved. Was it supposed to be a joke?

While the web sites of AOL give all the information about how to enroll for basic and advanced courses, how he has been involved in solving all the world problems like Iraq, Kashmir, Kosovo, Sri Lanka, there is no information on what happens to millions it has earned or the assets it has accumulated over the years.

It is true AOL does help the poor, educate the needy and supports worth causes. So do many of our corrupt political leaders and unethical businessmen. Do such acts of goodwill wash their sins?

Any charitable organisation seeking donation is expected to be transparent and publish its accounts. Why has AOL not published them? Has it paid any income taxes on its earnings as any business activity would? What kind of values it transmits when there is no transparency?

It is possible to give a long list of reasons why inviting Ravi Shankar was a wrong decision. But the above short explanation should be more than adequate. Some of us protestors, even at the risk of being rude to an invited guest (we do feel guilty), wanted to send a message to organisers to be more vigilant in inviting the right kind of people for future conclaves. We also invite attendees even at this late stage to show our disappointment by not attending the event where Ravi Shankar would be speaking.

Suresh Adina, Convener, PanIIT Ravi Shankar Protest Committee

  1. Venkat Rajaram permalink
    October 27, 2010 9:56 pm

    Small beginning to expose the truth about AOL and Sri Sri to the world, it would be a good idea to
    bring the awareness of this and Klims blog to the convener,

  2. goneagain permalink
    October 28, 2010 1:04 am

    Great. More people question the scam – more likely the scammer will be exposed. After several IIT’ians fell in to this trap, finally someone has the courage to question.

  3. Abhilash Shastry permalink
    October 28, 2010 1:43 am

    A few years back also he was invited to a PanIIT alumni meet. At that time also there was a controversy about the wisdom of inviting a godman to a technology/science alumni forum. A few people walked out in protest. Others thought that it was distasteful of the protesters to insult an invited guest.

    In Mumbai, AOL really kicked off from IIT hostels. Young undergrad students under heavy stress of studies, exams and cut-throat competition, away from the emotional support of their families and homes, and soon to be successful – was a godsend market for Ravi Shankar. Ravi believed (and continues to believe) in the “catch them young” theory. No wonder despite all the earlier controversies about his participation in Pan-IIT meet, he still manages to get invited as a ‘respected guest’.

    • Peaceful Warrior permalink
      October 28, 2010 3:35 pm

      So true. RS and AOL people continue to claim that AOL is endorsed by IIT and IIM grads. He managed to fool them initially – he was unknown and people still have faith in Vedanta and it’s teachings. But over time, his organization has been exposed for it’s corrupt and unethical practices, and the public is beginning to see him for the crook he is.

      The fact that his organization is opaque about $$ coming in is now a publicly recognized fact. I hope that soon, colleges and universities will realize that AOL is a business and stop providing space, and other amenities to AOL clubs posing as part of a non-profit volunteer organization.

  4. October 28, 2010 6:09 am

    Now, people are realizing the true colors of this God Man. (or Business man)
    Better late than never.

  5. belle permalink
    October 28, 2010 11:49 am

    omg, your guru plays the same fame whoring game as mine.
    prem rawat has to add a few very famous names to his shows too.
    i thought the saints were to keep the company of the weak, meek and humble and not only the rich, powerful and famous. i guess times have changed.

  6. ANON permalink
    November 3, 2010 12:15 am

    Kaun Banega Carorpati (Who will become a millionaire)

    Obviously, His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Maharaj

    Today (3rd November 2010) night at 9.00 pm Sony Television is going to broadcast a special episode of “Kaun Banega Carorpati”; an Indian version of “Who wants to be a millionaire”. Six sportsman are being invited to play for their favourite charity.

    Guess the name of charity!

    Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir Organization !!!

    This is the same organization which is specifically named by SAD Swami in his first post against Negative blog as NON CHARITABLE.

    Read the news clip and relevant part of Sad Swami post below. How deceitful is this for Art of Living to project SSRVM as a charity when they themselves have claimed that this is not a charity.

    What a mastermind manipulator SSRS is.

    Tomorrow’s episode of KBC will be an action-packed experience with as many as six sportsmen joining Amitabh Bachchan on the show. Big B delightfully introduces them as ‘the Super six who have done India proud at this year’s CWG’. The names include Leander Paes (Tennis), Sushil Kumar (Wrestler), Manoj Kumar (Wrestler), Jwala Gutta (Badminton), Sreesanth ( Cricketer) and Ashwini Ponnapaa (Badminton). All these players will be playing for their favourite charity – the Shri Shri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir Organization.

    8. I personally have been involved in the trauma relief and rehabilitation projects in the tsunami hit areas of Tamilnadu and Sri Lanka. Anyone who has been involved in any of the service projects of AoL will know that these allegations are false. The very fact that these negative bloggers have made factual errors about our projects in itself shows that they are all false. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar Vidya Mandir (SSRVM) schools are not charitable schools and no where we have claimed that.

  7. guru ho ja suru permalink
    November 3, 2010 3:05 am

    @ Anon
    see there is connection between Kaun banega Karorepati and AOL the known media manuupalators Time group is involved. Times group is official web partner of KBC ( ) and uofficial business partner of Ravi shankar.

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