Mr. Maheish Girri is an Indian social activist and politician belonging to the Bharatiya Janata Party and currently the National Secretary of the party. He is a Member of Parliament from the East Delhi Lok Sabha constituency. He quit the India Against Corruption movement over differences with Arvind Kejriwal, and subsequently joined BJP, winning the 2014 General Elections from East Delhi. Girri is an Art of Living faculty and a former International Director of the Art of Living Foundation. He is also the founder of the NGO Navbharat Sewa Samiti.
Recently, Mr. Girri came into the news for the JNU controversy where there was an FIR filed against JNU students under sedition charges. Many people welcomed the step while some criticized it. There were many speculations, theories and reporting of different view points by various media houses regarding the same. Campusghanta decided to ask Mr. Girri himself about the entire JNU issue, his work and life and the work he has done so far for his constituency.
Sir, let’s start with what is gripping the entire nation today. Why did you personally find the need to file an FIR against JNU students?
I got really upset when I saw the footage of the anti-national slogans that were raised at campus of Jawaharlal Nehru University. After finding out that the slogans like “Pakistan Zindabad”, “Bharat tere tukde hazaar honge”, “Bharat ke barbaadi tak jung jaari rahegi” were shouted inside the campus, I Spoke to the police and found out that no FIR complaint was registered. Therefore I went to the police station and lodged and filed an FIR.
I have also written to Honorable Home Minister and HRD Minister to take a strict action against those who have raised slogans seeking the splitting of the country. They should be arrested immediately and there should be a case of sedition against them.
Such an act will never been tolerated. I will not tolerate any sort of anti-nationalism. Why should I?
Was FIR really the solution to the happenings at JNU? If Not then what it is?
Filing an FIR is the first thing that should be done whenever crime takes place. It is only a mean and not an end. When I got to know that no one had taken an initiative to do so, I stood up and filed an FIR. I felt I must take the responsibility. Each one of the 125 crore people in this country has a duty towards the nation and if something of this sort happens, then they must raise their voice like I have done in this case.
Is JNU a den for anti-national activities according to you?
I would not like to tag JNU as a den of anti-national activities. JNU has always been known as a platform for propagating freedom of speech. But the issue that has come up tells us clearly that anti-national elements have been propagating anti-national agenda since a long time. The university is not involved but only some students are, due to their associations with anti-national groups which is making its environment worse. Now it is really important to clean it up of such elements. Let us clean up JNU! Let’s work towards creating a better environment there.
There should be freedom of speech. At the same time It is necessary to ensure that what’s conveyed isn’t anti-national.
After your FIR, other parties have made it a political issue. It is no longer a matter of right a wrong, but which party you support. How do you plan to tackle that?
It is true that now JNU issue has become politicized. When the incident happened, no one was willing to come forward and take any action. But now that the issue has boiled up and the arrests have happened, political parties are coming in to garner political gains. The issue is so simple. They have abused the nation that has given them the food and shelter. The proof is there in front of everyone. Now let the police work on it and let the courts decide. There is no point of debating. It’s for the law to take its course now.
But at the end of the day students will suffer, what can be done about it?
Efforts should be taken to restore routine and decorum inside the campus.
What according to you is the future of JNU? Should it continue to exist?
It should definitely continue to exist. It’s a commendable thing that JNU is known as a platform for propagating freedom of speech. It does need close scrutiny to identify and weed out groups connected with wrong organisations.
After getting satisfactory answers about the JNU issue, we decided to ask Mr. Girri about his work, life and profile.
We are aware that Mr. Girri is much more than just an MP and a National Secretary. But we have also heard that you were a yogi. Is it true? Please tell us something about your early life and How did your life as a politician start?
Mr. Girri: I still am a Yogi. Now, it’s more predominantly a Karma Yogi.
I was born in Nashik, Maharasthra in a middle class family. I’m the youngest of my four brothers. Since childhood, I had a curiosity about why things happen the way they happen. One day, I decided to seek answers to all my questions and left home. I was 17 at that time. Therefore in search of spirituality, I left for the Himalayas where I spent a lot of time. I would meditate all day and lived amongst wild animals. After a few years I returned to Gujarat and became Pithdheesh of Girnar Peeth. I have been associated with the Art of Living, Bollywood & Social Activism before entering Politics.
How will you assess your performance in parliament?
Since the day I have become an MP, I have given an utmost importance to the parliamentary proceedings. I hold near 100% attendance. During sessions, I make sure to avoid any outstation visits and dedicate myself wholly in my work.
Till now, I have raised 210 questions in the parliament. I have also participated in 20 debates and have introduced 7 private member bills so far.
Tell us about Girri chaupal.
Girri Chaupal is a unique Good Governance Initiative where officials from various departments are invited. I organize weekly Chaupals at different locations in my constituency. People come and submit their issues where we refer them to the concerned officials. It is made sure that actions on the problems are taken on the spot. Practically, for any MP it seems impossible to meet each every person of his/her constituency. But this is an initiative where I can go to their neighborhoods, meet them and take actions on their problems. This is my way of bringing Good Governance in this country. This week, I completed my 34th event of Girri Chaupal which was held at Old Seemapuri. There was a demand of flyover at Old Seemapuri Golchakkar as it was a prime accident prone zone. So I’m writing a letter to PWD to ensure that the same is built soon.
What are your plans for future?
I have dedicated my whole life for spirituality and for the service of the society. Even when I was the International Director of The Art if Living, I took up many socio-political projects and did hundreds of other projects. Out of my concern for cleaning up river Yamuna, I started the campaign “Meri Dilli Meri Yamuna”. When I realized that corruption has reach to an intolerable level in the country, I co-founded India Against Corruption Movement. My life is dedicated to making this world a better place to live.
This is why I did what I did in the JNU issue and also ensured renaming of Aurangzeb Road after Dr APJ Abdul Kalam, raised Parliament Canteen subsidy issue.
But these are just the issues that have been highlighted in media and are just the tip of the iceberg. Open Air Gyms, Multi Level Parkings, Schools, a new University, more community places, up gradation of Parks, micro finance programs etc have been done so far as well. My work in my constituency speaks for itself.
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