Art of Living's Sri Sri Ravi Shankar faces backlash after 'gay is a tendency' comment at JNU

Sri Sri's response has left many a bit dumbfounded. His reply began well, asking the student stand his ground, but goes downhill from there on.

Right on the heels of Delhi’s 10th Pride Parade, comes a statement that has given pause to the jubilant celebrations. The Art of Living founder and spiritual leader, whose foundation made headlines last year after hosting festivities on the banks of the Yamuna in Delhi.

The spiritual leader was speaking at the annual Nehru Memorial Lecture at Jawaharlal Nehru University on November 13, when a student asked him how he ought to deal with the antipathy he dealt with at the hands of family and friends for his sexual orientation. The spiritual guru’s response has left many a bit dumbfounded. His reply began well, asking the student stand his ground, but goes downhill from there:

You treat yourself better, doesn’t matter how others treat you. You don’t think you are sick or something’s wrong with you. If you stand up, nobody can insult you… But if you feel weak and meek, and if you feel bad about yourself, nobody can make you feel better.

This is your tendency now. Just acknowledge it and accept it, and know that this tendency is not a permanent thing. It may change. I’ve seen many men who were gay, later on turn into heterosexuals, and there are those who are normal — what are called straight people — end up being gay later in life

To put it mildly, the statement has been met with anger. Calling homosexuality a tendency that might not be permanent has raised the hackles of those within the LGBT community as well as their allies.

This backlash has met with.. more backlash from some.

Sri Sri Ravi Shankar is scheduled to meet Home Minister Rajnath Singh today. They will be talking about the Ayodhya issue, for which Sri Sri has volunteered to act as a mediator. He will be travelling to Ayodhya on November 16.

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