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Govt schools breed Maoists, says Sri Sri; under fire

Last updated on: March 21, 2012 20:27 IST

Govt schools breed Maoists, says Sri Sri; under fire

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Cutting across party lines, lawmakers on Wednesday criticised spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar for saying that state-run schools are turning into breeding grounds for Maoists.

However, on Wednesday the guru has issued a clarification over his reported remarks. "I did not say all government schools (where lakhs study) breed Naxalism. Great talents have emerged from these schools and I would never generalise. I specifically referred to sick government schools in Naxal affected areas. Many who have turned to Naxalism have come from these schools," he said following the controvesry.

Terming the spiritual guru's comments to be unfortunate, Nationalist Congress Party leader Tariq Anwar said, "I believe what he has said is wrong. It is the children of ordinary people who go to government schools; only the well off can send their children to public schools. To have said something like this is inappropriate."

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Image: Spritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Photographs: Courtesy: http://srisriravishankar.org/

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Govt schools breed Maoists, says Sri Sri; under fire

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Samajwadi Party leader Shailendra Kumar Singh countered Sri Sri Ravi Shankar''s view, saying that several government schools boasted distinguished alumni.

"Sometimes, one should be careful of the comments one makes. What he has said is his opinion. However, it is possible that many of us here have studied in government-run schools and colleges, so it cannot be said that all such people will turn out to be militants or criminals," he said.


Image: A government-run school in Hyderabad
Photographs: Reuters

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Govt schools breed Maoists, says Sri Sri; under fire

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Meanwhile, Bharatiya Janata Party leader Tarun Vijay echoing similar sentiments said the state-run schools offered an education to those that were less well off.

"It is possible that he is commenting on the problems in areas under Maoist control. I am a supporter of government schools and have studied in one myself. Government schools in the country impart very good education. The children of ordinary villagers, farmers and labourers study in such schools and make a name for themselves in the world," he said.


Image: A file photo of Maoist cadres
Photographs: Reuters

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Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had earlier on Tuesday claimed that state-run schools are turning into a breeding ground for Maoists.

"I feel that all state-run schools and colleges should be privatised and that the government should not run any school. Often it is seen that students from government schools end up as Maoists or militants," he said, while speaking at an event in Jaipur on Tuesday.

The spiritual guru further said that the threat of spreading extreme ideologies stemmed from a lack of quality education.

"All regions, which are inflicted with Maoists and militancy do not have good schools. If students are able to get education instilled with Indian values, they will never deviate onto the path of violence and corruption," he said.

The spiritual guru's remarks have triggered nationwide protests led by government schoolteachers.


Image: A paramilitary soldier takes up position during a gunfight with Maoist rebels in Pirrakuli village near Lalgarh, in the West Midnapore district, some 170 km of Kolkata
Photographs: Reuters

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Source: ANI