NewsLaundry’s dirty lies — part 3
We continue to bust more lies from NewsLaundry’s articles on Sadhguru and Isha Foundation.
Part 1 of the series: https://bigfundu.medium.com/newslaundrys-dirty-lies-part-1-605aa8311859
Part 2 of the series: https://bigfundu.medium.com/newslaundrys-dirty-lies-part-2-191cf5b7e4d0
Lie #10: the foundation’s 112-foot Adiyogi statue, noting that it had been built without necessary clearances
Fact: First the fake activists in Tamilnadu tried to spread the news that the Adiyogi statue was built destroying forests. A lot of money was poured into spreading this propaganda among the common public.
I had covered in a previous post (https://bigfundu.medium.com/did-isha-kill-a-forest-to-make-adiyogi-statue-f63917054f96) about this, debunking the false information around the Adiyogi statue being built in forest lands.
The second thing the activists did was to spread the news that the Adiyogi statue has no wet land permissions and building permissions. The District Collector had made public the proofs for wet land permissions at that time itself.
The Isha Foundation has also published the proofs from their end for public verification:
The District Forest Officer also has issued a NOC to the installation of the Adiyogi statue. The Foundation has approvals from the necessary authorities, including the District Collector, Coimbatore, the Forest Department and BSNL. A structural stability certificate from a government-certified engineer has also been issued for the 112-ft Adiyogi statue.
Lie #11: Sadhguru used Vikatan magazine and TV media to become popular
Fact: Vikatan is a Tamil magazine that boasts a good readership in Tamilnadu. But their increase in circulation was because of conscious efforts of the magazine itself to increase its readership.
Two things to note here:
- Vikatan’s monthly reach was only about 80000 people per month
- Kumudam, another monthly magazine, has also a reach of about 70000 people per month
So, only in 2004 did Vikatan overtake Kumudam as the leading Tamil magazine. In 2003, if Sadhguru had really wanted to use media power to become popular, he would have chosen Kumudam instead of Vikatan.
After the success of the “Manase Relax Please” series, Vikatan was looking for more such content and they reached out to Sadhguru for some content.
If anything, one may argue that both Vikatan and Sadhguru benefited from the success of the “Athanaikkum Asaipadu” series. But it cannot be for political reach-out as there is zero basis for that argument.
Now regarding Sadhguru’s reach in TV media in 2008, one has to stop and think why celebrities from different walks of life would agree to talk to Sadhguru on a TV channel.
Vijay TV channel was freshly acquired by Star TV in 2007 and Star was looking to create some good programs & increase the channel’s popularity. Sadhguru was popular by that time as a spiritual master of a certain accomplishment. Many of the popular celebrities who came onto its channel to talk to Sadhguru had already experienced his yoga programs & benefited from them.
For example, Mr. Thol Thirumavalavan of the VCK political party had praised Sadhguru as equivalent to Periyar for his forward-thinking & pioneering social work. By this time, the Dhyanalinga was already offered to the world (in 1999) and Thirumavalavan comes from a strong atheist point of view. So, he was clearly impressed with Sadhguru and Isha’s yoga program already when he came for the discussion with Sadhguru.
Yes, such conversations with popular personalities did help take Sadhguru’s messages to the masses in Tamilnadu via a TV medium but to imply it as hunger for power is just ridiculous.
One reason for Sadhguru’s popularity is that from 2008, Sadhguru had launched the “Ananda Alai” a series of mega-programs were launched across Tamilnadu. In each of these programs, thousands of people were initiated into the powerful Shambhavi Mahamudra yogic practice.
So, Sadhguru’s reach across the different social strata was huge by 2010–2011 mainly because lakhs of people had already benefitted from his spiritual programs in Tamilnadu.
Lie #12: Sadhguru was introduced to Karunanidhi by Kamaraj
Fact: Surprisingly, NewsLaundry counters its own statement admitting that Kamaraj has denied introducing Sadhguru to Karunanidhi.
Kamaraj, however, flatly denied initiating a meeting between Vasudev and Karunanidhi. “I am a journalist, “ he told Newslaundry, “who had interacted with both the DMK chief and Jaggi Vasudev, as I have done with major personalities of the state. To attribute motives to such interactions is belittling, to say the least.”
Secondly, when the tree plantation ceremony at Anna University happened in 2007, Karunanidhi did not “shower praise” on Sadhguru. He had simply acknowledged Sadhguru’s role in social activities and asked other spiritual people to emulate such actions.
Addressing a function organised by the foundation to mark its 25th anniversary, Mr. Karunanidhi said he always held in high esteem the religious leaders such as Kundrakudi Adigal and his successor for their service to Tamil. He respected Sri Jaggi Vasudev for his effort at planting of saplings.
He preferred ascetics who strove for social uplift to those who focused only on religion.
Those who talked of religion alone issued fearsome threats and imprecation, the Chief Minister said, presiding over the launch of a campaign for planting of 2.5 crore saplings.
Just because Mr. Karunanidhi spoke about someone, it does not give one much political clout with the DMK party, without having actual credentials and the ability to impress people with one’s charisma and public leadership abilities. The late CM was certainly impressed with Sadhguru’s social work. But there is no proof that Sadhguru ever used his reach with Mr. Karunanidhi in any manner.
One has to remember that DMK is primarily a political party with an atheist ideological background and they were in power from 2006–2011 in Tamilnadu, the period when NL claims Sadhguru rose to fame. Also, the INC in power in the center till 2014 has not been openly supportive of Sadhguru or Isha at any point in time.
Despite all this, that Sadhguru was considered one of the top 50 influential people in India itself should speak volumes of his ability to carry himself as a spiritual master among the common public and an erudite thinker & speaker among India’s political circles.
Stay tuned for more lies from team NL to be busted in the upcoming posts …