A Report

In order to turn the twin cities of Secunderabad and Hyderabad overnight into a London or Newyork, the zealous Andhra Pradesh Government invoked Land Acquisition Act on ISKCON Secunderabad Temple on 5th Novemeber affecting the temple and most of its land. This was done to widen the main street on which ISKCON Secunderabad temple is situated. We pleaded with the Government to revoke the order but our pleas fell on deaf ears. The Government and officials even refused to meet with the devotees, let alone revoke the order. Shockingly and surprisingly, other religious structures on the same stretch never received any demolition notice. To make the matters worse, the unmannerly officials even came inside the temple to measure it (of course they were duly chased out).

Completely cornered, the devotees of the twin cities, Secunderabad and Hyderabad decided to go public. Massive propaganda all over the city was arranged and in no time all many Hindu groups and political parties came on board. Indian Opposition leader, Mr L.K.Advani, who had come to the city for a few hours to address a rally, met the devotees, leaving aside all his engagements. A press conference was called to announce the launch of statewide ‘Save The Temple Movement’. The media sprung into action and soon it was an ‘issue’. At the conference, the 19th of November was announced as the date for a massive demonstration to highlight the government’s gross insensitivity, injustice and discrimination.

On the D-day, at 9.30am sharp, three thousand chanters came to the Collector’s office. The crowd included devotees from ISKCON Hyderabad, Secunderabad, Rajamundry, Anantpur, Tirupati and hindu sympathizers. Andhra Pradesh ISKCON leaders like HG.Vedanta Caitanya das, HG.Satyagopinath Das, HG.Srivatsa Das, HG.Mahasrnga Das were present and put in their best efforts. Who’s who of hindu organizations and politicians were present with their full entourage. Hundreds of enthusiastic matajis and kids deserve special mention. The entire traffic came to standstill and the police cordoned off this main thoroughfare and the city froze…….for the next 7 hours.

What was planned to be a 1 hour affair turned into a 7 hour affair with the Government eventually backing down. The Collector told the police that he will not go to meet devotees but devotees were insistent that they will not go to his doorstep. Finally the Collector had to come to the devotees and he assured the devotees that he would not take any untoward step in this direction.
All the TV Channels telecast the demonstration live and the entire print media was present. Newspapers are filled with front page coverage. And the holy name reverberated in many millions of homes in India through television.

Prasadam and drinks were continuously distributed and even the police enjoyed the chanting and prasadam to their heart’s content. There were times when the kirtana was slowing down and the police would indicate with body language and hands, “keep going man, keep going”! Newspapers are splashed with photos of both Hindu and political leaders (which include MLAs and MPs) putting on tilaka, dancing with karatals and taking lunch prasadam sitting down on the busiest thoroughfare of the city.

To conclude, the Andhra Pradesh Government’s attempt to seize ISKCON land seems to have been averted or at least postponed for an indefinite period but still we have to watch out and I request the worldwide community of devotees to stay tuned in and lend us sympathy and support as and when needed to protect Srila Prabhupada’s temple. Devotees here are determined to never ever take such a move against Srila Prabhupada’s movement lying down.

Editor’s View

These are just glimpses of things to come when the country is ruled by mlechaas and Yavanas (eaters of cow flesh and those who are outside the vedic religion). Lord Krishna talked about four varnas in Bhagavad Gita. And amongst them the Kshatriya class plays a very prominent role in the administration and preserving Dharma. In this Kali Yuga it is already been predicted that there will be no qualified Ksatriyas to rule and it will be the people who are lower than Sudras who will rule the kingdom by sheer money and muscle power backed by vote bank of equally ignorant public.

This is very true with Indian politics arena, there is no single political party that can take any of these issues related to Sanatana Dharma. The Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) is one exception it has time and again stood for Hindu causes but in democracy its the game of numbers. So it is always under constant pressure to keep everyone in good humour from the coalition partners to all communities.  And since it lacks spiritual vision and direction it has to cater to broad range of interests weakening its efficacy in the turbulent political arena. But in spite of all that as on today it is the only organisation that has the leverage to protect the cause of Sanathana Dharma.

ISKCON is the one of the organisation in the forefront of spreading Vedic culture . It has its temples, preaching centers, restaurants and farm communities all over the world in 5 continents numbering about 550. There have been many attempts in the past by atheists, communists and fanatical elements of other religions to stifle its growth in various parts of the world right from its inception in 1965. And many such times the Sangh Parivar has come to its rescue. To name a few,

1. In 1974 The ISKCON’s make shift temple property in Juhu Mumbai was almost demolished by a corrupt Municipal Officer of Bombay Municipality playing into the hands of real estate tycoon Mr Nair who sold the property to ISKCON. It took Shiv Sena supremo Bal Thakeray’s intervention to save the land in the nick of the time before the sanctum sanctorum was to be touched. Srila Prabhupada engaged devotees to do a intense media campaign against action and turn the public in
its favor.

2. In 1984 ISKCON’s prime property donated by George Harrison the Bhaktivedanta Manor was all set to be attached to the Goverment due to some complaints of public inconveniences in London. It took months of protests by VHP, Pandava Sena and other Hindu frontal organisations to secure the Land.

3. In 2002 the WB CPM goverment refused to give permission to ISKCON World Headquarters in Mayapur to construct the Vedic planetarium on its own land. It even refused to meet ISKCON Patron and scion of the Ford family Albert Ford or Ambarish Dasa on this matter who later met the then Prime minister Atal Behari Vajpayee.

4. In 2005 there was a grave threat to ISKCON farm community in Kazakhstan by the Muslim goverment who wanted to usurp the legally acquired land pressured by the land sharks. They declared the ISKCON property as illegal and have already demolished the houses of some of the members
and are threatning to take over the temple while leaving the properties of other communities untouched . It sparked protests in New Delhi and many parts of the world by Hindu frontal organisations like RSS, VHP and BJP which forced them to go slow on their intended moves. But the threat still loomes large over the devotees on the Land.

So that is the sorry state of affairs in the India and the world and Sanathana Dharma is under threat from various quarters. So it is high time the people come to know of these things and mobilise and act to preserve Sanathana Dharma.

The few things we should definitely do are,

The first and foremost thing to do is to preach authentic Sanathana Dharma to people. The lack of it that is the prime cause of the apathy amongst the followers of Sanatana Dharma (Shall we call them Hindus). Srila Prabhupada the founder acharya of the Krishna consciousness movement would say there is nothing lacking in this world except the Krishna consciousness. And that is the ultimate solution for all social ills. This would lead to the next phase when Hindus can really identify what is in the interest of practicing and preserving Sanatana Dharma and unite for the common cause.

Although a Sadhaka a practitioner of Sanathana Dharma aspires for a peaceful and serene ambiance for his spiritual pursuits he is not averse of showing his might if it comes to preserve Dharma. That is emphasised throughout Srimad Bhagavad Gita. Where Lord Krishna asked Arjona to fight for Dharma. Just 500 years ago, Lord Chaitanya the founder of Sankirtana Movement organized civil disobedience movement when the Muslim landlord Chand Kazi imposed restrictions on his Sankirtana Party. So we have a whole history of acharyas standing up to situations and not buckling under pressure.

Other things we can do

1. We should strongly counter the false propaganda carried out by secularists, communists, atheistic intellectuals and secular partisan media in all spheres. We should contribute articles to newspapers and media emphasizing on our Krishna conscious perspective.

2. We should create awareness amongst people about the current state of affairs and educate them on Hindu issues and utilize this opportunity to preach Krishna consciousness. Which any way is the
essence of Sanathana Dharma tailor-made for Kali Yuga.

3. We should support the political party that promises favorable situation for propagation of Sanathana Dharma. That doesn’t really mean that we are getting into politics. Srila Prabhupada envisioned devotees being a part of the political administration. Since the time is not ripe enough we can definitely support genuine political parties, while at the same time keep our consciouness away frommurkier part of politics. Much like Lord Krishna says in Bhagavad Gita “padma patra ivambhasa” like a lotus leaf in water or a smart tortoise using its limbs when required. All other religious followers do this mob voting to the parties favourable to them and they reap the benefits. So the pseudo-secular parties reap the minority votes and with the divided Hindu community they can safely hope to capture power.

4. We should utilize anything and everything to push forward the Krishna Consciousness. We should support temples, institutions that are involved in protecting and preserving Sanathana Dharma and establish favourable relationships with them of course without compromising on our ideologies.

And ultimately it is Krishna who protects his devotees and this movement. By his sweet will he sometimes puts devotees into anxiety to increase his dependence on him. And also to engage these institutions in his service. As Srila Prabhupada says God helps those who help themselves (Purport to BG 6.25)

Can religion and administration be mutually exclusive?

  • No (80%, 8 Votes)
  • Yes (20%, 2 Votes)
  • No Idea (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 10

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  • Nitai says:

    The AP government is ideal government that Congress would like its other states to emulate. There was a clandestine effort to christianise Tirupati Tirumala Devastanams by appointing its henchman Karunakar Reddy. There was brazen attempt to establish a church on the top of the hill. If not for the timely intervention of BJP and VHP they would have gone ahead of it.

    God save Bharata bhumi.

  • admin says:

    The Kali Yuga is age of quarrel and hypocrisy. And unfortunately even the ISKCON Movement has also had its share of factionalism and groupism. There could be multiple groups with different authentic interests after all we are not monists to denounce spiritual diversity but there should be a uniting thread. So that when there is a need for a common cause everyone should come together. Afterall this is Sankirtana movement.

  • I think this is a blessing in disguise. So many devotees would never gathered together even for a Sankirtan program organized by ISKCON. In one way, it has united all devotees and the mahamantra went into the TV sets. This is stardom preaching and many would have got Holy Names. Difficulties from External situation can do nothing but strengthen devotees’ conviction to serve Krishna.

    Just like the soldeirs of Lord Ram were so focussed, we should also be very much foccused.

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by Upanishads

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