Chakra Discussions

Correction: No Nitai Chand initiations . . . for now

by the Chakra editorial team

Posted March 1, 2005

A recent Chakra article stated that the GBC body had been requested to reverse their previous decisions regarding Nitai Chand, clearing him of past charges and allowing him to become an initiating guru in ISKCON. We have now learned this is only partly correct.

In their letter to the GBC, Montreal devotees asked that Nitai Chand be formally exonerated and that he be allowed to preach freely in Montreal and elsewhere. They are not presently requesting that Nitai Chand be allowed to initiate disciples, as Chakra had incorrectly stated.

Specifically, the Montreal yatra wrote in their letter to the GBC:

"We urge the GBC to accede to our request to rescind the NAGBC decision that bans Nitancand Prabhu [sic] from preaching to the community."

That decision had been taken to enforce a judgment of the ISKCON Child Protection Office. They further wrote:

"We submit that the evidence fully exonerates Nitaicand prabhu, whose good reputation has been compromised by unproven allegations. A clean bill of health should be granted him without any further bureaucratic entanglement."

While not suggesting immediate Nitai Chand initiations, the letter from the Montreal devotees does, however, allude to them as a future possibility. It is easy to see why devotees alarmed at this prospect might have misunderstood, and slightly overstated their case. The Montreal letter continues:

"Nitaicand prabhu has been one of the few ISKCON preachers to come regularly to Montreal over the years to give association and good instruction to the devotees. He has inspired many to join our movement and follow Srila Prabhupada's instructions in the conduct of their lives. Throughout these years, his behavior has been exemplary and a number of devotees are now aspiring to take initiation from him."

It is undeniable that several devotees in Montreal feel that Nitai Chand was unfairly accused and that it is time to reverse previous restrictions placed on him as a result of the report issued by the ISKCON Child Protection Office. It is also obvious that at least some Montreal devotees consider Nitai Chand to possess the qualities of a guru. It remains vital, therefore, that anyone with information about this case submit whatever evidence they have in either direction.

In the past couple of days, Chakra has received several letters about this issue. Due to their sensitive nature, we will remove individually identifying information from those submissions and forward them to the ISKCON Child Protection Office. We will also compile quotes and post here on Chakra.

We take your requests for confidentiality very seriously and, if you write us about this or other sensitive issues, we will not reveal your identities to anyone. However, we will not consider anonymous letters. That means that you need to be willing to let a Chakra editor know your identity.

Thank you for all your help.
The Chakra editorial team.