November 7, 2022
A group over 500 people from villages surrounding Isha Yoga Center took to the streets to protest against vested interests who are defaming the Yoga Center with baseless allegations.
Taking strong exception to motivated narratives, the villagers said they have been beneficiaries of health, livelihoods, education, and community wellbeing because of the Yoga Center’s interventions and which could be jeopardized by these false narratives.
The demonstration which happened near the Alandurai bus stand saw more than 500 people from various villages such as Alandurai, Semmedu, Iruttupallam, Madhvarayapuram, Mutathuvayal, Mullingar, Thaanikandi, Madakkadu, Nallurvayalpathi, Pattiyarkovilpathi. People from all walks of life such as farmers, auto drivers, villagers and tribal folk spoke about the benefits their villages received due to Isha and the efforts made by vested interests to stop them.
Ms Gayatri of Thaanikandi, a tribal village, said” Many of the villagers from the tribal villages at the Velliangiri foothills like Thanikandi, Madakkadu and Mullangadu are dependent on Isha for our livelihoods. With Isha’s help we have started a women’s self held group and are making a living by operating shops on the way to the Adiyogi.
Isha has helped educate our children. It doesn’t matter what time of the night it is but if we call they send an ambulance to help in an emergency. Some people are making false statements that Isha has stolen tribal lands just for the sake of money. This is totally untrue. I am pained to say that even my mother Mutthalamma is one of the people spreading such false statements. Our village people know what the truth is and we always stand in support of Isha.”
The former vice president of Boluvampatti panchayat Mr S P Velusami said, “We have been on good terms with Isha even from before the Dhyanalinga consecration. It is only after Isha came that our area has received good roads, bus services and medical services. We will never forget the help Isha Volunteers rendered during the Corona pandemic. We are proud that the Isha Yoga Center, which has been praised by many globally including the Prime Minister is located in our village.
Certain fake organizations have been spreading false accusations for the sake of money and to advertise themselves. We have been living here for many generations, don’t we know what is true a what is untrue? Certain people have paid people from outside to come here and protest against Isha. They are trying to create unnecessary confusion and are trying to disturb the peace in our village. We strongly condemn such attempts”
Mr Kumar, a member of the Thondamuthur farmers association advisory committee, said ” The Velliangiri Uzhavan FPO that we started with Sadhguru’s guidance is the number one FPO in Tamil Nadu. The farmers in the Thondamuthur region have benefitted financially and otherwise as well. This being the reality certain people are trying to create law and order problems using the names of tribal people. The police authorities should not give permission to people from other districts to come here and conduct protests. If they still continue to do such activities then the locals will unite and expose their false statements and conspiracies.”