Spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev, known as Sadhguru, has spoken up in defence of the Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi. Jaggi Vasudev gave an interview to an English TV channel on Sunday, and after several people reacted to his comments during the interview, he took to Twitter on Wednesday to back the Vedanta-owned company.
Jaggi Vasudev, who runs the Isha Foundation, tweeted, “Am not an expert on copper smelting but I know India has immense use for copper. If we don’t produce our own, of course we will buy from China. Ecological violations can be addressed legally. Lynching large businesses is economic suicide.-Sg”
Am not an expert on copper smelting but I know India has immense use for copper. If we don’t produce our own, of course we will buy from China. Ecological violations can be addressed legally. Lynching large businesses is economic suicide.-Sg @Zakka_Jacob @CMOTamilNadu@PMOIndia
— Sadhguru (@SadhguruJV) June 27, 2018
His tweet came after a recent interview with CNN News18’s Zakka Jacob. When they touched on the topic of the Sterlite plant in Thoothukudi and the subsequent protests, Jaggi Vasudev said, “Now you close down an industry because of political pressure…This is not right. You compel the industry to find ways to ensure pollution doesn’t happen. I am sure there are ways to do it… You close down business after business like this, where will you take this country?”
Just days ago, yoga teacher Baba Ramdev, too, tweeted in support of Sterlite after meeting with Vedanta’s Executive Chairman in London. And much like Ramdev’s tweet, Jaggi Vasudev’s tweet, too, made no reference to the pollution caused by the company, because of which it was shut down by the Tamil Nadu Pollution Control Board. He also made no reference to the police shootout, that left 13 people dead and injured several others on the 100th day of the protests against the plant.
Rather than looking at the social impact of the protests, his comment merely focussed on economic aspect of shutting down a single plant. Moreover, it is ironical that he chose to use the words ‘lynching’ and ‘economic suicide’ to describe the shutting down of a company, without mentioning the fact that 13 people were killed in the police firing.
Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Foundation has been embroiled in a controversial legal battle over its facility in Coimbatore since 2012. It has reportedly received demolition notices from the state government in the past. The Vellingiri Hill Tribal Protection Society has sought demolition of the alleged unauthorised structures constructed by the foundation, so as to restore the wetlands at Ikkarai Boluvampatti Village.
Animal rights activists have also been engaged in a running battle with the Isha Foundation. They allege that the construction work by the Foundation has adversely impacted the ‘elephant corridor’ in the western region of the state. However, Jaggi Vasudev has repeatedly claimed there is no such thing as an ‘elephant corridor’.
Sterlite Copper plant in Thoothukudi has been in the eye of a storm for several months now, as the people of Thoothukudi started protesting against the pollution by the copper smelter. Several documents show that Sterlite did not follow environmental norms, especially regarding the height of the chimney stacks, as well as the green belt required around the plant in order to reduce the effects of the effluents released by the factory.
On the 100th day of the protest on May 22, as thousands of people gathered, the police resorted to shooting at the protestors in a bid to quell the protests after some agitators reportedly resorted to stone pelting.
Visuals from Thoothukudi showed some of the police officers in plainclothes taking aim with snipers and shooting at the protestors. In the shootout, 13 civilians were killed, including a minor girl, Snowlin.
Sterlite’s smelter was shut down on May 28, after the TNPCB declared they were not following environmental norms.
Here’s how people reacted for his comment :
In Coimbatore, to construct Adhiyogi statue and parking how many hectares of Agricultural land and forest land has been acquired and deforested..???
Can you please produce a white report on the compensation activities atleast..???
— நிமிர்ந்து நில் தமிழா! (@RaisingTamizha) June 27, 2018
There is no copper ‘mine’ in thuthukudi. There is a copper smelting plant, which can be shifted.
— Nithya Mary D (@Nithya_agri) June 27, 2018
Really ? This year’s Noble price for scientific discovery goes to Jaggi
— shanmugakannan (@shanmugakannan) June 27, 2018
Actor Siddharth also took his twitter account to oppose Sadhguru’s statement. Here’s his comment :
The CMO is a disgrace. The PMO doesn’t have a tongue to talk unless it’s yoga.This isn’t the best time to list the benefits of copper smelting Sadhguru. Not now.Not yet. People were killed. By the police. Hold on. Shooting citizens is murder. Address the murder. Now. #AntiSocials https://t.co/AbzPYGe9ZJ
— Siddharth (@Actor_Siddharth) June 27, 2018
13 பேரை கொன்னப்போ எங்கடா போயிருந்தீங்க?
உங்க செத்த குரு பரிதாபபட கத்துகுடுக்கலயா?
பரிதாபம் மனிதனுக்கு வரும். கார்பரேட் கைக்கூலிக்கு பரிதாபபட தெரியாது
— மகேசு / Mahesh (@Mahesh_SPKovil) June 27, 2018
Am not an expert on Common Sense but I know India has immense need of some common sense.If we don’t practice our own , of course we ll buy it from sadhgurus and babas.Loss of purpose can be addressed rationally.Influencing an adult on a spiritual basis is intellectual suicide.
— Deepak Ramji (@RAMJIDEEPAK) June 27, 2018
ஓ.. நீங்களா … காட்ட அழிச்சவரு தான… உங்களுக்கு உயிர் மதிப்பு என்னா தெரியும்??..நேற்று ராம்தேவ்..இப்போ நீ… இப்படி வரிசையா டுபாக்கூர் சாமியார் லாம் sterlite க்கு முட்டு குடுக்கும்போதே தெரியுது எல்லாம் ஒரே குட்டையில் விழுந்த மட்டைகள்..Human lives r more important dan economic.
— Karthi (@attur_karthi) June 27, 2018
நன்றி .. மீண்டும் நீங்கள் யாருக்காக வேலை பார்க்குறீங்கனு நிரூபிச்சுடீங்க..
நீயெல்லாம் மனுசனே இல்லை உன்னை போய் follow பண்ற நாய்கள என்ன சொல்ரது?? நீங்கலாம் கொலைகார பாவிகள்.. 🤬😡 தூ 💦💦
— அனு (@anusya12) June 27, 2018
டேய் வாத்தா காட்டை அழிச்சு வளங்களை அழித்த போதை நாய உன்னை விரைவில் தமிழ்நாட்டில் இருந்து விரட்டியடிப்போம்டா
— ஆ.இராசாவின் பாசறை (@Allurajdmk28) June 27, 2018
Here’s what Moodar Koodam filmmaker Naveen said about his statement :
காட்ட அழிச்சு காசு பாக்குற அய்யாகிட்டருந்து இந்த ஸ்டேட்மெண்டதான் எதிர்பார்க்க முடியும்.ஜாதி வேறுபாடுகள் discrimination இல்ல Harmonyனு சொன்ன பரமாத்தகுருதான நீரு. பிள்ளமார் விட்டுல ஒரு வகை சாம்பாரும் அய்யர் வீட்டுல ஒரு வகை சாம்பாரும் மனக்குமாம்.அதுக்காக சாதி வேறுபாடுகள் அழகானதாம் https://t.co/XBjf4tmmRG
— Naveen.M (@NaveenFilmmaker) June 27, 2018
என்ன மேன் இது , அக்கறை இருந்தா ஆலைக்குள்ள ஆசிரமத்தை வச்சுக்கலாமே ?
— மருது (@vignesh7773) June 27, 2018
— ஆப்பாயிலிசம் (@Halfboilism) June 27, 2018
What do you think on Sadhguru’s statement ?
with the inputs of The News Minute