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Led by the pose

india Updated: Nov 29, 2010 21:45 IST
Hindustan Times

The fact that the Chinese may adopt Sting's snarky little song about 'every breath you take, I'll be watching you' does not seem to have deterred our spiritual shogun Sri Sri Ravi Shankar, who will now launch his Art of Living in Beijing. Now the living may not be very easy among the communists, but the guru of giggles may well be a breath of fresh air in the stultified world of Mao and markets. The poor man will have his task cut out for him teaching the apparatchiks the joys of love and compassion and don't hold your breath if you think that this will bring about a rethink on personal freedoms like criticising the communist brethren.

Sri Sri is a brave man given that spiritual sects like the Falun Gong were gently suppressed into near extinction by the communist custodians for fear that they might bring about democracy. But a quick sudarshan kriya or two is probably just what the commissars ordered. In fact, the ashram could well become a vehicle to bring 'offenders' to book. Imagine a conversation between a would-be communist whistleblower and local party boss. "I find that these cuddly toys meant for export contain high amounts of cadmium and lead particles." The boss would say, "You are wrong, but your error is forgiven, you need to rejuvenate your sight and breathing. A quick stint in art of living will make it possible for you to go on living." The next you hear, the official will be waiting to exhale under the benign guidance of Sri Sri.

Well, you never know, he might just cause a mini-revolution in the way the Chinese deal with so-called dissidents.

Now instead of sending them off to the gulag to get six of the best, they will be sent there to stand in a surya namaskar pose until they see the light. Which could be sooner than you think in minus 40 degrees.