‘ISKCON biggest cheat’, alleges BJP's Maneka Gandhi; temple authority responds | Latest News India - Hindustan Times

‘ISKCON biggest cheat’, alleges BJP's Maneka Gandhi; temple authority responds

Sep 27, 2023 08:43 AM IST

ISCKON - associated with the Hare Krisha movement - hit back at the BJP MP calling her statement “unsubstantiated” and “false”.

BJP MP Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday night made a scathing attack on the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) in a video that is making rounds on social media, calling the organisation the “biggest cheat” in the country. Gandhi, who is an animal rights activist, alleged that the ISKCON sells cows from their gaushalas (cowsheds) to butchers.

BJP MP Maneka Gandhi(HT Photo)
BJP MP Maneka Gandhi(HT Photo)

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“The biggest cheat in India today is ISKCON. They establish gaushalas for which they get unlimited benefits from the government to run them. They get huge land...everything. I just visited their Anantput Gaushala. Not a single dry cow is present. All are dairies. There is not a single calf. It means all of them were sold. ISCKON is selling all its cows to the butcher,” Gandhi can be heard saying in the video.

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Notably, a dry cow is one that has not been milked.

She can further be heard saying, “…They say their entire life is dependent on milk…Probably no one has sold as many cattle to butchers as they did. If these people can do it, what about others?”

ISCKON issues statement

Hours after the video went viral, ISKCON - associated with the Hare Krisha movement - hit back at the BJP MP calling her statement “unsubstantiated” and “false”.

“ISKCON has been at the forefront of cow and bull protection and care not just in India but globally. The cows and bulls are served for their life not sold to butchers as alleged,” spokesperson of ISKCON Yudhistir Govinda Das wrote on X, formerly known as Twitter.

Issuing a statement, the temple authority said that they were “surprised” by Gandhi's statements.

“ISKCON has pioneered cow protection in many parts of the world where beef is a staple diet. Within India, ISKCON runs more than 60 gaushalas protecting hundreds of sacred cows and bulls and providing personalised care for their entire lifetime. Many of the cows presently served in ISCKON's gaushalas were brought to us after being found abandoned, injured, or rescued from being slaughtered,” the statement read.

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It added, “In recent times, ISKCON has begun training programs for the farmers and rural households on cow care techniques to help revive the culture of cow worship and care as was the case in previous generations. Several ISCKON gaushalas are recognised and lauded for their high cow-care standards by the government or associate of gaushalas.”

Congress' reaction

Coordinator of INC Overseas Vijay Thottathil shared Maneka Gandhi's video on X (formerly Twitter) saying, “This is big as these allegations are made by a former central minister of BJP, none other than Maneka Gandhi!”

“Where is the Cow vigilantes? Are they not keeping an eye on these activities of ISKCON? Will the government probe these allegations?” he questioned.

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