Chakra Discussions

Racism In ISKCON?

by Mahavidya das ACBSP

Posted May 17, 2006

I read with interest Suresh das' comments on the Hindufication of ISKCON. Does he still have the image of racism as being nasty folks with pointy hoods burning crosses on members of the oppressed slaves patch of dirt? Before he uses the race card he should know this particular mode of ignorance is not confined to any one particular race or group. Anyone who has travelled the world can very easily point out the various tribal natures within any group or sub group.

However in ISKCON we are supposed to rise above such mundane bodily conceptions , are we not? Well here is a true story: Recently a major newspaper ,The Independent, came to Bhaktivedanta Manor. They wanted to run an article about a Hindu school about to be built in Harrow . No problem after all,the Manor consistantly promotes itself as having Hindu festivals.Hindu worshipers ,car blessings etc.. Ok ,so then it came to the school photo of some of those Hindu kids,but "uuh ohh we have a problem", well some of those kids obviously cannot be Hindus ,why is that? well they are the wrong colour, er wrong race.

The newspaper could have been told to go elsewhere but, No problem ,said the Temple management we will take out the white kids ,in fact we will take out the black kid as well. There you go, nice brown asian Hindu kids.

And so the newspaper got its Hindu school picture wich was proudly posted on the Manor noticeboard. However, some of the kids being a bit sharper went home asking mum and dad for an explanation, why they could not be in the school photo. Some of the parents complained .

What sort of a response do you think they got? Apparently they were not enlightend or humble enough to see the wisdom of the temple management. I asked the temple PR dept to intervene , apologise and diffuse the situation. This was the reply: "Anyway in the published black and white photoes in the Independent one can hardly tell who is white, brown etc."

So, just who is the racist ? How about if the brown kids had been excluded? All of this is documentable.

Yes we do have the highest philosophy but unfortunately the worst application, and of course we are told that to critisice is a great sin , but that is another story.