November 21, 2017
Image credit : Illustrative Image
Isha Foundation and controversy are synonymous; the foundation is fighting a controversial legal battle over its compound in Coimbatore since 2012. And not just that, it has also received demolition notices from the state government in the past. But, that hasn’t deterred the foundation and the force behind it, Jaggi Vasudev from taking on its critics head-on with a legal notice. It has sent a 10 page legal notice to Piyush Manush, a Green activist who’s calling out the alleged irregularities through his videos and interaction with his viewers. Perhaps, his growing popularity amongst social media users and otherwise has been a concern with the organisation that he has rubbed the wrong way. His videos have exposed the irregularities in claims and reality. The claim of making it to Guinness Book of World record for planting 9 lakh trees has been busted by Piyush, who reveals the ground reality through his video. He alleges that the claims are false and requests the Foundation to not take people for a ride in the name of divinity.
This environmental crusader who’s had his run-ins with the government in the past had created a Co-op forest which expands over 150 acres in his district, Salem. He started off by buying 1.5 acres of land on which he started planting trees in 2009. He then persuaded his friends to buy patches of this land and steadily created a cooperative. It was during one of his protests against an act by the government that he was arrested. But that hasn’t stopped him from confronting the big organisations indulging in illegal activities, or exploiting the natural resource.
And amongst many, Isha Foundation has been a major focus for the activist. Not just him, many other have also been crying hoarse against the foundation that is allegedly located in the Velliangiri foothills, which is a man-animal conflict area. Reports have revealed that the deputy director of town and country planning of the Coimbatore region also admitted the Foundation built structures without any permission in a counter affidavit filed in the Madras high court. It has also been alleged that the villages, where the Isha Foundation’s centre has come up, are located within the jurisdiction of Hill Area Conservation Authority (HACA) from where it must get clearances for erecting any structures. Though Isha Foundation has categorically denied all of the above allegations, It is only a matter of time before the truth comes out.