Chennai: The heated exchanges between Tamil Nadu finance minister, P Thiaga Rajan and the Founder of Isha Foundation, Jaggi Vasudev have been going on for the past few days which began with the minister calling Vasudev a ‘commercial operator’ and a ‘publicity hound’.
The war of words began with an interview of P Thiaga Rajan with The Hindu, where he was asked about the demand made by several parties including Jaggi Vasudev’s Isha Foundation to free Tamil Nadu’s temples and hand their control over to a board consisting Hindu scholars and self-styled gurus.
To which he responded: “In the case of Jaggi, he is a publicity hound who is trying to find another angle to make more money. Those making the demand have contended that temples should be run by “bhaktas” (devotees). Will a godman, who is focused on god, be selling Sivarathiri tickets for ₹5,00,000, ₹50,000 and ₹5,000? Is that a sign of a man of god? Is that the identifying mark of a spiritual man? He is a commercial operator pretending to use god and religion to get help”.
Isha volunteers enraged by the uncalled attack by PTR retaliated with a letter to the press stating, “We regret the deterioration of this culture and the poor standard of public discourse. We are appalled that a man of his [Jaggi Vasudev] stature has been subject to the minister’s unparliamentary and uncalled for personal attack in a recent media interview, calling him a ‘publicity hound’ and a ‘commercial operator’. This is certainly unbecoming of an elected representative and an honourable member of the State’s Cabinet. This unseemly attack trivialises the efforts and dedication of millions of Isha volunteers worldwide who are working tirelessly in service of humanity,”
The letter further states all the endeavours and several initiatives taken by the foundation and explains how the foundation has been taking support from and working closely with elected governments through the years, “In true democratic spirit, Sadhguru and Isha Foundation have worked with various elected governments from across the political spectrum and will continue to do so for the welfare of the people of Tamil Nadu. Cooperation and support have been the nature of our relationship with every government. We regret the deterioration of this culture and the poor standard of public discourse.”
In his reply, PTR responded to a tweet of Malini Parthasarathy, the Chairperson of The Hindu Publishing group, who had posted the write up from the letter of Isha volunteers on Monday.