Sri Sri Ravi Shankar
Spiritual leader Sri Sri Ravi Shankar addressing a gathering at Karachi, Pakistan, July 2004the art of living

Spiritual guru Sri Sri Ravi Shankar's statement on government schools on Wednesday instantly drew flak from the teaching fraternity and other communities as well.  In order to pacify those who were hurt with his statement, the spiritual leader came out with an explanation on Thursday.

He said that his remarks did not intend to generalize all the government schools as breeding grounds of Naxalism. He meant only a few schools in Naxal-hit areas.

"I did not say all government schools (where lakhs study) breed Naxalism. Great talents have emerged from these schools and I'd never generalize. I specifically referred to sick government schools in Naxal-affected areas," Sri Sri explained.

"Many who have turned to Naxalism have come from these schools" he added.

The founder of Art of Living made his comments on the government run schools against the backdrop of Italian hostage crisis in Odisha while addressing a gathering at silver jubilee celebration of Adarsh Vidya Mandir Jaipur in Ambabari Wednesday.

"It's often seen that boys from government schools are into Naxalism and violence. Those from the private education system are not into these things. They move ahead with an ideal and teachers are responsible for it," Sri Sri had said at the function.

Furthermore, he suggested that the government to pull out itself from running educational institutions and to privatize schools. "The government should not run any school, it should be given to some other system (samstha)," said Sri Sri.

While clearing the controversies surrounding his remarks over Naxalism and government schools, he has called for a collective-effort in rendering peace through education.

"The Art of Living is running 185 free schools in such areas. I urge more institutions to join this effort to spread peace through education," said the founder of Art of Living.