They were starting to believe their own lies:
We have good information that Guruji is one of the top two candidates in the running to receive this prestigious recognition. It will be such a befitting award in the lead up to the Silver Jubilee next year!
At the height of “feverishness”, advice was coming from left & right:
...What we need now are letters of support from influential people in the community. They do not need to have done the Part 1 Course.
.... I NEED TO REPEAT no devotional letters be wise and get influential people to write letter of recommendation.
...Teachers or high-profile individuals connected with doing a lot of activities for AoL is not eligible; This would disqualify the nomination.
Didn’t the other one in NPPP Committee told us , just the week before, he wrote one himself & encouraging others to do so too?!!!!!!!!!
Guruji must be referred to as His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, Founder of the Art of Living Foundation;
You have heard that one before, haven’t you? Suddenly conferring on himself all kind of titles. First it was Sri Sri , now he added His Holiness as well! So I decided to rename myself “His Holiness Sri Sri Whistleblower”!!
While SriSri was totally involved in all aspects of promoting himself for a NPP, publicly he & his PR machine would deny that. The following are some such quotes:
Nobel Peace for Indian?
....the ‘Guruji’ was totally nonchalant about the speculation that is doing the rounds in India.Sources note that he is not only dismissive about such rumours, true to his character, he has openly queried as to how being awarded a peace prize or not being awarded one, for that matter, would ever change him, or his work.“Sri Sri is more interested about bringing happiness to people than hoping or wishing for the Nobel Prize,” AoL sources here claim.In fact, the world will remember him for what he has done than for getting the Nobel Prize, others add.
Of course , behind the scenes, SriSri’s PR campaign was still in full swing. see some quotes from the following official directive from his campaign team:
LAST-MINUTE GENERAL ANNOUNCEMENTS,NPP Project,17 January 2005
RE: Nominations that have been confirmed and are being secured:
1. All NPP National Coordinators and NPP project contacts are urged to re-double their efforts to make sure that nominators who have confirmed their support must sign and immediately send their nomination letters to Norway a.s.a.p.
2. Nominators who are still writing their nominations must be asked to write their nomination letters using their own language and articulating their own personal inspiration. Please note that the ‘model nomination letter’ circulated earlier is a general suggestion only, and is not meant to be copied verbatim. Make sure that individual experiences and local accomplishments are also added and prominently projected in the letter. In those cases where a nominator requests for your drafting assistance, please immediately consult with me so that we can help each other come up with varied formulations to put into the nomination letters.
3. In the remaining 13 days of the project, you can intensify your campaign and multiply results by using a recommended technique, described as follows: If a heavyweight nominator in your country (e.g., Prime Minister, or respected legislator, or professor) has agreed to give you a copy of his/her nomination letter, please ask other qualified nominators to associate themselves with, or express support for, this particular nomination. The formulation in the supporting letter for each of these other nominators would then be:
“ xxx Dear Members of the Nobel Committee, I am honored to associate myself with the nomination for the 2005 Nobel Peace Prize forwarded to you by The Honorable .... / Professor ..... I fully share the belief and the conviction that Sir Sri Ravi Shankar is most deserving of this noble award and the great tradition it stands for. Yours Sincerely, xxx”
4. It would be a wonderful gesture on the part of the AofL and National Coordinators to send a thank you card, or a token gift of appreciation, or a flower bouquet, to each person who has written a nomination for Guruji. Kindly note that each one of our nominators is not only distinguished in his/her own right but is also now part of our own network of friends and allies who share Guruji’s vision of ‘one world family’.
RE: Nominations that are still being solicited
5. We need many more fresh nominations to create a truly significant political impact. The NPP as you know is a very political process. So we should not lose the momentum we have already gained in obtaining as many nominations as possible before the February 1 deadline. BUT PLEASE ... make sure that the nominations we are getting are from qualified or eligible people only. As you will see from the attached summary, the list of confirmed nominators includes many individuals who are not clearly qualified to submit nominations. This may lead to embarrassing results for Guruji. So I earnestly plead to all NPP coordinators: let us play by the rules.
9. In your spare moments, please take time to surf through the Nobel Peace Prize website, which is very informative and can possibly give you further inspiration in your NPP project work:
AOL Teacher & Sri Sri puppet journalist, Francois Gautier, even published the following article, giving ultimatum , among heaps of propaganda, to Oslo Nobel committee to choose Sri Sri or else he would accuse them of being anti Hindus!! http://us.rediff.com/news/2005/sep/28franc.htm?q=np&file=.htm
and notice that he doesn’t mention being an AOL teacher & his close association with SriSri & the fact that he is one of the top haram journalists & ever ready at “Guruji”’s service!!!! That tells you the amount of journalistic integrity this guy & the rest of “SriSri-bought” journalists have!!
Pay special attention to what he says, the message within reflects the propaganda Sri Sri specifically wanted to promote. Gautier’s writing would have been checked by SriSri before being published, same as the rest of his & other puppets’ articles for SriSri. He even puts down others (including his previous guru/spiritual organisation he was involved with) to promote SriSri!! He goes so far as saying giving NPP to thousand women “would dilute the dignity of the Nobel Peace Prize”. If giving NPP to thousand women would dilute the dignity of the NPP, I wonder what it would do to dignity of the NPP, if they would give it to a megalomaniac, deceitful, self-promoting & psychopath guru !!
Gautier’s grovelling is truly sickening, but of course music to the ears of his master:
Read some of the quotes from his article:
Will Sri Sri Ravi Shankar get the Nobel Peace Prize? (Rediff.com September 28, 2005)
Is there still a prejudice in Western society against Hindus?
Amongst the front runners for this year's Nobel Peace Prize, is Sri Sri Ravi Shankar. Guruji, as he is known amongst his disciples, truly deserves the Nobel Prize because he is a universal man of peace.
Yet, it is an uphill task for a Hindu leader to get the Nobel Peace Prize.
Yes, Mother Teresa got it, but she was a Christian and not a natural born Indian. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's teachers and volunteers are from all religions -- Hindus, also Muslims, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, Sikhs etc.
But since then there has been a relapse. As a Frenchman and a Westerner, I have been privileged to have met the Mother of Pondicherry, herself a French by birth. Her association with Sri Aurobindo and her deep knowledge of Indian spirituality helped bring a certain understanding of Hinduism, but that was only limited to France.
It is true that there is untouchability in India, and that it has harmed her image. For instance, by refusing access to Westerners in certain temples, such as in Banaras, Hindus have not created the right picture.
But is also true that Hindus have been made untouchables by a certain section of Western intellectuals (with the help of Indian academic residing in the West), whereas Tibetan Buddhism and the Dalaï Lama, who practice a religion which is derived from Hinduism, are fashionable in the West.
Yet, compared to Desmond Tutu and Mother Teresa, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has done more work and his peace movement is phenomenal, from Argentina to Siberia, from South Africa to Fiji.
Mother Teresa mostly catered to Calcutta, but Sri Sri's social programmes in India are making a difference everywhere through service and spirituality.
I was watching Bono, another front runner for the Nobel Peace Prize on CNN the other day, along with Bill Clinton and Klaus Schwab, chairman of the Davos Economic Forum. True, Bono has done good work raising money for poor countries through concerts, but I thought that it pales when compared to the scope, universality and breadth of Sri Sri Ravi.
There has also been talk of a thousand women getting the Nobel Peace Prize. But this is would only be a face-saving gesture, which would dilute the dignity of the Nobel Peace Prize
And this again raises the question: Will His Holiness Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, an apostle of peace for all, not get the Nobel Peace Prize, just because he is a Hindu? That would be a sad day for India and for the world.
Francois Gautier is the South Asia correspondent for Marianne, the largest selling French magazine and the editor of La Revue de l'Inde, a Paris-based magazine solely devoted to India.
To be continued…