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Art of Living Swami accuses Sagarika Ghose of pleading for mercy from Sri Sri for “peddling lies”

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OpIndia Staff
Staff reporter at OpIndia

In response to Rajdeep Sardesai’s attack on Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and his event, the “World Cultural Festival”, a Swami from the Art of Living has promptly reminded Rajdeep Sardesai of the skeletons in his wife’s cupboard. Swami Gnantej, who is with Sri Sri’s Art of Living levelled a charge against Sagarika Ghose and Rajdeep Sardesai via twitter. He said that Rajdeep did not see any “crony capitalism” when his wife Sagarika Ghose “came pleading to Sri Sri to save her  from defamation for the lies she peddled”:

For good measure, Swami Gnantej also tweeted a picture of the time when, as he alleges, Sagarika came running to Sri Sri for his mercy:

It was not mentioned by the Swami as to why Sagarika Ghose had to save herself from “defamation” for the “lies she peddled”, but Twitterati seem to have cracked it:

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For the uninitiated, they are probably referring to the infamous incident during her programme titled “Face the Nation” on November 9, 2011. As IndiaFacts reported on this, on that day, CNN-IBN ran an episode titled “Should spiritual leaders participate in anti-corruption campaign?” anchored by Sagarika Ghose.

During the “live” debate, a pre-recorded, one-on-one interview of Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was used. But at all times, the channel flashed the “Live” message on top, makings viewers believe it was a live discussion with Sri Sri. 

As IndiaFacts notes:

Furthermore, in one of the questions, Sagarika Ghose asked Sri Sri to respond to a point made by one of the panelists. It would seem that the person who interviewed Sri Sri had the vision to know what would be said by the other panelists!

Ghose introduces the programme with the question “Should spiritual gurus PARTICIPATE IN anti-corruption campaigns?”  However, for the purpose of a poll by the viewers, the question posed was “Should spiritual gurus STAY AWAY FROM anti-corruption campaign?” This can be seen at 2:56 minutes in the YouTube video

In the poll, 61% said NO.  This NO answer was used by Sagarika Ghose as an answer to the question she posed on the show.  And the people of the country are to believe that there was no malafide?  Or that there was a ‘bug’?

Sagarika Ghose first defended her position, and then, finding out that she was defending the indefensible, she sort of apologized.

Even the controversial journalist Mihir Sharma was scathing of this lack of ethics on part of Sagarika Ghose. He wrote:

Ghose and IBN responded with the Three Stages of Damage-Control.  First: What Problem? …
The second stage of damage control: Everyone Here Does It….And, finally, the “apology”: “We carried a pre-recorded interview… Without explicitly mentioning that the interview had been recorded a couple of hours earlier in the day. There was absolutely no malafide intention on our part…” 

Congratulations, India, news TV has progressed to the point at which deciding to actively mislead viewers does not count as a ‘malafide intention’.

The so-called “apology” of CNN IBN is still online:

On Wednesday night on our Face The Nation programme aired at 10 pm “Should spiritual leaders participate in anti-corruption campaigns”, we carried a pre-recorded interview of the Art Of Living Founder and spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar without explicitly mentioning that the interview had been recorded a couple of hours earlier in the day.

Since the interview appeared during a live debate format, it sent out the wrong message to viewers.

There was absolutely no malafide intention on our part, no disrespect was intended to Sri Sri Ravi Shankar and the error is deeply regretted. CNN-IBN offers our unconditional apologies to Sri Sri ji and to all viewers whom we may have unintentionally offended.

Sagarika too had tweeted an apology back then:

The entire interview is uploaded on Youtube by a user. One can easily see the sheer lies and deceit used by Sagarika Ghose in her show. Note the visuals of Sri Sri from 1.45 minutes to 2.45 minutes. One can notice that the same few seconds of Sri Sri looking to his left, and then straight, have been looped and used constantly until he is posed a question.

Even the answers to the questions seem uncoordinated and incoherent, which is probably because Sri Sri was asked different questions during the one-on-one interview, and not the question which Sagarika “posed” to him. 

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