The interview was conducted by journalist K Subagunam for BBC Tamil, where he asked Sadhguru about the CAG’s grave charges over the environmental clearances for Isha Foundation.

Jaggi Vasudev in a brown colored attire, white color turban, pointing his hands towards the screen, with an angry expression in his faceScreengrab/BBCTamil
news Controversy Friday, June 10, 2022 - 18:39

Yoga and spiritual guru Jaggi Vasudev, also known as Sadhguru, who has preached about patience on multiple occasions, lost his cool during an interview with BBC Tamil, and asked the cameras to be switched off mid-interview. This happened while he was being interviewed by BBC Tamil’s K Subagunam. A video clip of the interview has gone viral on social media, where Jaggi is seen getting increasingly perturbed by the journalist’s questions.

The interview starts off with the duo talking about Jaggi’s ‘Save Soil Movement’, which was started earlier this year in March. Currently, Sadhguru is travelling to various locations on his two-wheeler for the same. However, as the questions steer towards the controversy over the environmental clearance for his Isha Foundation, Sadhguru starts visibly getting irritated and shushes the video journalist multiple times before finally asking that the interview be halted.

Comptroller and Auditor General had in 2018 made grave allegations against Sadhguru’s Isha Foundation, that it did not have prior approval for the buildings constructed in Booluvapatti village in Coimbatore district and that it sought the required clearances almost three years after the construction was over. The CAG had said that various buildings in an area of 32,856 sq ft in the village were constructed with proper permission between 1994 and 2008. However, the construction between 2005 and 2008 was done without obtaining a No-Objection Certificate from the Hill Area Conservation Authority (HACA). Isha had asked the Forest department to issue a No-Objection Certificate (NOC) and approval for the construction in 2011.

Saying that Isha foundation is now working for the environment, Subagunam asked what Sadhguru thought about the allegation that environmental clearances were not obtained for the construction. A visibly annoyed Jaggi is seen asking, ‘how many times will you ask this?’ He stops the journalist mid-sentence and asks, “Are you seeing news, seeing what the government department is saying, the court is saying, or are you listening to some half-baked person?” he asked. As Subagunam tries to say something, Jaggi again stops him and repeats the question.

“What the department is saying is that we did not do any encroachment. Everything is perfect,” Jaggi says. When the journalist tries to explain his question, Jaggi interjects and asks, “Is there law in this country? Is there government? Let them do their job. Leave it. Why are you doing?” Jaggi says, as he shushes the journalist multiple times.

Subagunam tries explaining the question again, saying that Isha had applied for clearance saying that they did not get permission, which is when Jaggi says, ”the same nonsense you are saying. Turn off this camera. Enough,” he says as he tries to stare down Subagunam.

“Listen man,” Jaggi Vasudev continues. “Listen to me, every law that is there in the country has been followed. If there is any discrepancy, we fixed it. Long time ago, 20 years ago… some small discrepancy… we have fixed it. There was something some 20 years ago, and we have fixed it,” he insists.

When Subagunam tries to get a word in, he is shushed again and then outro card of BBC Tamil appears with the message: “At this point, those who were with Sadhguru Jaggi Vasudev forcibly stopped recording of three cameras.”

A few days ago, Jaggi Vasudev had made news for making a misleading remark during his interview to ANI, which was later fact checked by BOOM.

Jaggi, responding to a question about intolerance in India, said, "I feel these things have come down significantly in the last 25 years. Because 25 years ago, When we were in university, there was not a single year when there was no major communal riot in the country. Every year, there used to be somewhere major. You have not heard of it in the last 5-6 years at least or maybe 10 years. You have not heard. Here and there some flashpoints have happened unfortunately. But large communal violence as we thought is normal for this country to face, you are not hearing that. It is a very, very positive thing."

However, BOOM found that there were at least 6,285 instances of communal riots between 2012 and 2020, citing data from the Ministry of Home Affairs. The report also cited National Crime Records Bureau (NCRB) data that there were 5,415 communal riots reported in the country between 2014 and 2020.

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