New Delhi: In an incident that could stir up a controversy, spiritual leader and founding member of Art of Living, Sri Sri Ravi Shankar said that Malala Yusufzai, an activist for education of girls in Swat Valley in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province of northwest Pakistan, did not deserve the Noble Peace Prize.
The spiritual leader also added that he would never accept the Noble Prize as he only believes in working for causes, without the expectation of getting honoured for the act.
Sri Sri Ravi Shankar was on his visit to the drought-hit Latur in Maharashtra when he made the controversial statements. He was in Latur to review the relief work his foundation was carrying out in the area.
Malala Yousafzai who advocates girl education, was shot by Taliban in the summer of 2012. Taliban leaders unanimously agreed to kill her after death threats did not work on her. On October 9, 2012, a Taliban gunman shot Yousafzai as she rode home on a bus after taking an exam in Pakistan's Swat Valley. She was awarded the Noble Prize in 2014, becoming the youngest to receive the prestigious award at the age of 17. She shared the prize with India’s Kailash Satyarthi.
Early this year, there were speculations that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s name could figure in a list of nominees for the peace prize, given his contribution to the Columbian peace negotiations.
Art of Living, however, took to micro-blogging site Twitter and clarified that Sri Sri Ravi Shankar never said that he was offered Nobel Prize.
Gurudev @SriSri Ravi Shankar ji has never said that he was offered Nobel Prize. Hoping media will correct the reporting error.
— Art of Living (@ArtofLiving) May 3, 2016