World Cultural Festival in India - Advantages and Disadvantages!

World Cultural Festival in India – Advantages and Disadvantages!


Sri Sri Ravi Shankar’s Event of Art of Living is all set to organize the World Cultural festival on the banks of Yamuna in Delhi. All the uproar in Rajya Sabha, for and against the event didn’t do much except to make NGT think twice about granting permit and further slapping hefty fine of Rs 5 crore on Art of Living.

The world Cultural Festival, which is all about bringing the nations together to share the message of humanity, unity and co-existence, will be celebrating Art of Living’s 35 years of service towards betterment of mankind. Drawing the cultures of various nations together calls for an expectation of around 3.5 million audience on the event arena which is the reason for all the worries.

To compensate the damage caused by the constructional activities on the flood plains of Yamuna, National Green Tribunals have slapped fine on Art of Living and asked them to ensure that no further enzymes will be released into Yamuna and no more degradation of nature will happen. The event will have its advantages but it will surely come with some disadvantages too.


1. Playing host to an enormous event: The last World Cultural festival in Berlin was a huge success. The participation of different cultures and nations make the event worth every bit of the investment that a country could be making to host it. It should be our pride to play host to such an enormous event that would help in bringing cross cultural people closer to share the common message of humanity and unity above all. It will be an even greater opportunity for us to witness such a festival where the theme will be all about peace and spirituality.

2. Getting rid of the hatred: In today’s world when everyone is being easily misled to take up violence and stand against each other with lethal guns, we are in urgent need of such events that could help in getting rid of the differences that arise out of being diverse. To get rid of hatred for people who are different from us, we need to know them, understand their culture and appreciate that each one could be unique and still want the same thing – peace.

3. Learning to love humanity: For a country like ours where diverse cultures co-exist everywhere, we seriously lack the ability to keep humanity above all differences. We need to learn to love people just the way they are – maybe with differences that are poles apart but still sharing the common message of love and humanity. Such cultural events are much needed to enlighten the humanity within us in deep slumber below layers of differences.

4. Binding together with music: We may differ in food, clothing and music but the common love of music binds us all together. Good music, in any form or any language is loved by all. Cultural music binds us with the strongest bond that we just need to realize and cherish. Culture can help in a great way to strengthen our bonds and help people get along with each other despite being way too different from each other.

5. Previous achievements: Previously, The Art of Living has hosted various cultural programs that have been liked by growing number of followers in India and abroad. They were largely applauded for orchestrating the biggest ensemble of bagpipe players and world’s largest vegetarian buffet. Some of their celebratory events have gained recognition by Guinness World Records as the best ever cultural celebrations.

6. No permanent construction: Those advocating against the World Cultural Festival with the view that it would cause damage to the floodplains of Yamuna are ignoring the fact that no permanent construction has been done for the event, hence no real damage will be caused.


1. Damaging floodplains: The event is to be organized on the floodplains of Yamuna which is being said to cause heavy and perpetual damage to the location. The huge 7-acre stage being built on riverbed is not much of news to be proud of. There will be tents erected in the nearby areas which will further disrupt the floodplains. Though temporary, a dirt track construction from the road to the venue is also going to be bad news for the area.

2. Damaging environment: Such large scale activity on a river bank is sure to cause large scale damage to the environment. Enzymes released into the river will lead to water contamination in times to come. Being sensitive about the environment, the permit for construction beside Yamuna should have never been given in the first place, unless political pressure came uninvited.

3. Chaos and stampede: Going by the warnings of Delhi Police, such a large crowd concentrated in a small arena can lead to stampede, pandemonium, and utter chaos. The stage that is expected to seat PM Modi and other VVIP from around the world is said to lack structural stability certificate which is a prerequisite for any such event. There could be total breakdown of law and order unless the shortcomings are dealt with immediately.

4. More damage: The event is said to have no provisions for fire safety. There are no clearances in case such a situation emerges. The event organizer has also gone way ahead of the permit by removing small water bodies and natural vegetation. They have flattened 60 acres of land and dumped construction debris on roads. Activists have been protested by saying that the preparations have disturbed the ecology and birds have been forced to migrate from the area. Their nesting sites destroyed, and the already polluted Yamuna further obstructed by debris.


Despite the drawbacks, the intentions of Art of Living are true and pure to its promises of binding different culture together. Such events, if conducted safely and successfully, could definitely help in bridging gap between various cultures that have known histories of be poles apart diverse.

However, the safety of people and environment should also not be overlooked. The event is scheduled to start today and we have protests from CPWD to Delhi Police about the stage being unsafe. The stage is supposed to seat PM Modi as well as other foreign VVIPs.

With the right precautions and safety measures to ensure law and order, this event could be a huge success and contribute largely towards the selfless endeavors of preserving human morals.
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