Spiritual leader and founder of the Art of Living Foundation, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar has said that Nobel Peace Prize winner Malala Yousafzai did not deserve the award.
In 2012, Malala Yousafzai was shot in the head by the Taliban while riding a school bus home in Swat Valley, Pakistan. It was an assassination attempt, as the 15-year-old student had written on violence in her hometown as well as her plan to study for exams despite young women in the area being banned from school.
Malala, the youngest person ever to win the Nobel Peace Prize, had said that she was proud to be the first Pashtun and the first Pakistani to win the prize.
Sri Sri’s remarks come despite the fact that Malala has won international recognition for girls’ right to education in Swat and was a vocal critic of Islamic extremists. For many Pakistanis, Malala is a symbol of resistance.
“What is the importance of an award when it is being presented to a 16-year-old girl, without even looking at what she has contributed. I was in the past offered the Nobel Peace Prize, but I had rejected it as I only believe in working and not in being honoured for my work. We should always honour only to those who deserve it and I am totally against honouring Malala Yousafzai with the prize and it is of no use,” Sri Sri said this in Latur while he was on visit to the drought-ravaged region of Maharashtra.
Last month, Sri Sri said that he had offered to initiate peace talks with terror group ISIS, but they responded by sending him a photograph of a beheaded man. “I think the ISIS does not want any peace talks. Hence, they should be dealt with militarily,” he summarised.
Earlier this year, Sri Sri’s AOL organnised the World Culture Festival (WCF) on the banks of the river Yamuna in Delhi with the idea of promoting peace. There were allegations that the concert has damaged the fragile floodplain of the Yamuna, but AOL claimed that it has just cleaned up the filthy area of debris.