Updated May 22nd, 2024 at 12:22 IST

Sad Few Leaders Abusing Us To Score Political Goals: ISKCON Monks Respond To Mamata

Mamata has been in the eye of the storm ever since she said that some monks from ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission are acting under orders of Delhi

Reported by: Digital Desk
Mamata Banerjee | Image:pti (File Pic)
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New Delhi: After facing backlash from Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangh, Mamata Banerjee has drawn the ire of the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) devotees from all across the world, with several monks tearing into the West Bengal Chief Minister for spreading "utter lies and falsehood." "ISKCON never engages in politics. It is extremely unfortunate and sad that few leaders is defaming ISKCON in a bid to serve their political purposes...No where in the world is ISKCON involved in politics. We are Bhagwan Sri Krishna's Party. We serve people irrespective of their caste, creed, colour and religion," said Banke Bihari Das, an ISKCON monk from Delhi. Banke Bihari further said that for a leader to insult an organisation like ISKCON, which is doing humanitarian work, is like an insult to Lord Krishna and all His devotees.

"My brothers from India have informed me that there are serious allegations against ISKCON members to propagate and engage in politics. I want to say that this is not what we are about or what we will be not about that we engage in politics. Rather, we just want to spread Sanatan dharma and teachings of Bhagavad Gita and Lord Chaitanya all over Europe and the world...very sad to hear this. We stand firm with our brothers. Please keep us out of politics," said ISKCON monk Shiksastakam Das from Hungary.

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Mamata has been in the eye of the storm ever since she said that some monks from ISKCON, Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Sangh are acting under the orders of Delhi, asking people to vote for BJP. Taking offence to her remarks, Prime Minister Narendra Modi lashed out at her, saying that she has "crossed all limits this time" just to appease her vote-bank. Even as Mamata went into damage control mode saying that she was also targeting few monks and not the institutions, Bharat Sevashram Sangh filed a defamation suit against her and demanded an apology.

Calling the allegations levelled against ISKCON as completely baseless, Himanshu Pancham, an ISKCON devotee from Pune, said, "For the past 50 years, we are serving mankind by distributing prasad and educating children...to say that we are politically connected is a wrong thing. All devotees are really hurt by this statement."

"I would like to highlight that ISKCON never engages in dirty politics. It serves people by providing free food and medical care to millions worldwide...today we are deeply saddened by the allegations made against ISKCON. This organisation is totally devoted to serve humans and spiritual enlightenment. Through its global initiatives, ISCKON reaches millions offering food and healthcare to those who need them. Despite these noble efforts, recent accusations have caused us great sorrow," said another ISKCON devotee Achyuta Sakha Das from Kolkata.

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The whole issue spiralled out of control when reports of attacks on Ramakrishna Mission in Jalpaiguri started doing the rounds on Sunday night amid the raging controversy. Cornering Mamata for the second time, PM Modi, in another rally in Bengal, said, “It is shameful that the TMC has taken up the onus of hurting the religious faith of Hindus in Bengal. The CM is threatening the Ramakrishna Mission and Bharat Sevashram Ashram monks. On Sunday night, the Ramakrishna Mission ashram in Jalpaiguri was attacked. People of Bengal will not tolerate this.”

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Published May 21st, 2024 at 16:41 IST