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Chapter 10: The Ostrich Argument

They certainly believe in virginity, but it is difficult to find a single virgin in the whole of Greece. That’s okay - but you should not criticize it. You can see the political mind: the reality can be tolerated but it should not be exposed.

I cannot accept anybody’s conditions. Whatever happens to me, whatever the consequences.but to accept conditions, and that too for a little piece of land..

I am reminded of the story of Leo Tolstoy. How much land does a man require? I might like to live without a country - a wanderer in the true sense. There have been wanderers but they had a home base. I will be really a wanderer without any home base - being rejected from one country to another country.

Their rejection of me is simply an acceptance of their defeat, their impotency. Sooner or later they will have to pay for it, pay highly for it, because in every country there are intelligent people. How long can these intelligent people tolerate this? Sooner or later it will become a revolution. Without my entering those lands, I will find my friends there.

I cannot lose hope, because I cannot see that intelligence is dead. It is repressed, but it is alive. It has become an undercurrent, but my rejection is going to provoke it to come to the surface. Soon there will be protests in every country which is denying me entry.

In Italy they have been postponing for almost three months, just for a three-week tourist visa. The president and the prime minister and the minister of foreign affairs, all are saying, “We are going to give it to him.just tomorrow..” And sannyasins are going every day; they are sitting there in their offices, saying, “Whenever you want we are ready. But when will your tomorrow come?”

After three months they got so frustrated because the pope is holding them back. They cannot say no to the sannyasins because they have no reason to say no. And they know my impact in Italy.

Just a few days ago, a television interview of one and a half hours was seen by thirty-four million people - unprecedented. The director informed me, “We could not believe that so many people would be interested in you. You have never come to this country.” No other program in his whole life had attracted so many people. And not only the show - the show was finished in one and a half hours - but people are discussing each and every point in the marketplace, in the university - everywhere. Somebody is for, somebody is against, but everybody is intensely involved.

So the government could not say no because that might create trouble. And the pope is insisting that I should not be allowed into Italy. So they go on postponing. Finally the sannyasins got so frustrated that they started making a protest, and one of the most famous Italian film directors, Fellini, has signed their petition first. They have thirty-six other world-known people who have signed the protest, and they are collecting more names. And I have never been there.

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