The future Nobel laureate of India, Sri Sri Ravishankar (SSRS) of the Art of Living, is in the news.
According to a PTI report, the 54-year-old spiritual guru escaped unhurt when an unidentified gunman shot at his car shortly after he left his evening discourse on Sunday. According to the Economic Times, a man fired a shot at the car in which he was travelling. According to The Hindu, the target was SSRS himself, but the bullet fired from a .22 revolver missed him and hit somebody standing near him.
DNA calls it an assassination attempt. The New Indian Express reports that SSRS said the gunman could not fire a second shot because of the “positve energy” in the ashram. IANS says the incident was not a result of any enemity between devotees; CNN-IBN says it was not an “inside job“. SSRS himself says he has forgiven the attacker and appealed for peace. ANI quotes him as saying he fears a threat to his life and the Karnataka government has scaled up his security after BJP president Nitin Gadkari stepped in.
But did SSRS really have a narrow escape? The DGP Ajai Kumar Singh says it was not an attack on him, it was just an “incident”. The bullet was fired from more than 700 feet. According to the Wall Street Journal, “The incident appears to have taken place five minutes after Mr Shankar left the place where it happened.” Home minister P. Chidambaram says “it may not be correct, I underline, may not be correct to say the firing was aiming at him.”
Questions: Was there an attempt on SSRS’ life or not? What could be the reason for such a dastardly attack on a man of god? Is this all a publicity stunt to cover up something else?