"I did not say that all government schools (where lakhs study) breed Naxalism," the Art of Living founder said in a statement. "Great talents have emerged from these schools and I would never generalize.

"I referred to sick government schools in (Maosit) areas. Many who have turned to Naxalism have come from these schools."

He said Art of Living was running 185 free schools in such areas. "I urge more institutions to join this effort to spread peace through education."