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Inaugural Speech by H.H. Sri Sri Ravi Shankar

Sri Sri Ravi ShankarI am surrounded by powerful women on the stage and in the audience! Trade, technology, truth and tradition needs revival again and again. If trade policies are not revised or revisited, if you continue the old trade policies, trade can never progress. It is the same with technology. The present generation doesn't know how difficult it was to make a phone call. But today, the technology has developed to such an extent that in a moment, you can connect everywhere in the world.

We are advancing in technology because we are updating it every day. Similarly we need to revisit and revise the truth about our self, our life. ‘What do I want?’. ‘Am I doing the right thing?’.‘Am I happy?’. These questions need to be asked again and again. Spirituality is not just some mumbo jumbo. It is just revisiting the truth about our self – are we just; is the society just; are the rules and regulations that we have formulated just; is there gender equality, are children being given the right education and right care; where is our society going; where am I going? Pondering on these questions and revisiting these truths is what I call Spirituality. Anything that uplifts your spirit is Spirituality – music, dance, discussions, service projects – are all forms part of uplifting the spirit.

We need to revisit our traditions – they need to be updated. If they are meaningful, we take them along and move on if not and are harmful, we should drop them. And women play a key role because women are the keepers of tradition. At some point of time, some traditions undergo change; develop, but we continue with them blindly, without questioning. This is where women can play an important role. Superstitions develop when reasoning or questioning the tradition is lost. So we need to question our tradition and see how useful it is.

So the four aspects: truth, technology, tradition and trade need updating. Updating means fashion, it can never be old and women are into fashion. I don’t think there is a woman in this world who is not fashionable, who does not love fashion. I am glad that you have chosen a good topic ‘Women and Technology’.

Technology is that which provides comfort but many times it causes huge problems. It disconnects people, making our children into machines on one hand and exposing them to harmful radiation on the other. Mobile radiation is affecting the neurons of the brain and no doctors can find out what is wrong. Some I.T.professionals who work late nights in front of the computer experience various health problems due to lack of sleep, proper exercise, proper nutrition which all affect the nervous system adversely. Today people feel happy to live in a place where there are no telephones or television and no towers from which harmful radiation is emitted.

So we are going into that sort of era where we don’t want even electricity. There are certain health camps, where they do not want to use high power. All they use is green energy, solar energy.

Another aspect that I’d like to touch on today is the topic of corruption. Corruption begins where the sense of belongingness ends. This continent is ruled by women all around whether it is Bangladesh, Pakistan, Sri Lanka or India. But women have a lot to do.They have to see this continent free of corruption. I’m just talking about this continent, that doesn’t mean that corruption doesn’t exist in other continents. As women delegates, you all think about it and come up with programs that can counter this malice in our planet. Whatever women take up, they are really successful in it. All the best for every one of you, enjoy your time.