A July 25 article in the Washington Post gives a good update on the campaign by officials in Kazakhstan to demolish the homes and temple and seize the land of the local Hare Krishna community outside the city of Almaty. The article doesn’t tell the worst of it, but does quite a fair job.
The article is called “Local Property Dispute Grows Into International Issue for Kazakhstan.”
This article was published by F18News on 15 June 2007
By Felix Corley, Forum 18 News Service, http://www.forum18.org
Workers and police arrived this morning (15 June) at the village near Almaty where the embattled Hare Krishna commune is based to demolish twelve more Hare Krishna-owned homes. “The houses were literally crushed into dust. By ten o’clock it was all over,” Hare Krishna spokesperson Maksim Varfolomeyev – who witnessed the latest demolitions - told Forum 18 News Service. The temple, which the devotees have been ordered to destroy by today, has not been touched but the devotees fear it could be the next target.
This article published today by the Forum 18 News Service reports that local authorities in Kazakhstan have ordered the members of the Hare Krishna community near Almaty to destroy their temple and other buildings within the next ten days.
Commenting on a verse of Srimad-Bhagavatam (4.25.41), in which a young woman accepts the sexual advances of a king, Srila Prabhupada says, “A man is always famous for his aggression toward a beautiful woman, and such aggression is sometimes considered rape. Although rape is not legally allowed, it is a fact that a woman likes a man who is very expert at rape.”
Understandably, this comment has raised questions. What is Srila Prabhupada saying? In 1999 a woman in the Hare Krishna community wrote me about this. Here is the reply I gave.
The head of the Hare Krishna community in Kazakhstan, His Holiness B.B. Govinda Swami, has issued this statement:
With the judgment passed by the Republic of Kazakhstan Supreme Court on May 8, 2007, the land of the Hare Krishna community in Almaty province may be confiscated in favor of the government at any moment.
International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights protests persecution of Hare Krishna devotees in KazakhstanSubmitted by jswami on May 18, 2007 - 6:14am
Responding to last week’s decision by the Kazakhstan Supreme Court that allows the the land of the Kazakh Hare Krishna community to be seized, a statement from the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights urges the Kazakhstan authorities to stop their discriminatory and unfair treatment of the Hare Krishna devotees. Human Rights Without Frontiers co-signed the statement.
A recent decision by Kazakhstan’s Supreme Court clears the way for the local government to drive the local Hare Krishna devotees from their land and seize it. The decision has been reported in a May 10 article from the Associated Press.
The article underreports the government’s abuses in the case. I’ll post an item on that shortly.
In the last couple of weeks I’ve lost three old friends and colleagues: Suhotra Dasa Tapovanacari, Puru Dasa, and Muktakesa Dasa. All three have now, as we say, left this world. (The prosaic world just usually says “died.”)
Shabda Hari Dasa, a Krishna devotee working in the Persian Gulf, is professionally employed making ringtones for mobile phones. In his off hours he also makes ringtones to remind one of Krishna.
He has sent me some, and I’m posting them here. He says they should work for most phones. You can transfer them to your phone, he says, by data cable, bluetooth, or infrared.
Now here are the tones:
An attempt to demolish 5 more Hindu houses
On January 18, 2007, the Karasai District Court issued decisions for the evacuation and demolition of 5 homes of members of the Krishna Society in Kazakhstan. The court did not inform the defendants of the case, did not provide them with the claims or relevant documents, and did not invite them to attend the court hearing.
March 19, 2007
Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness
PROPOSED SOLUTION TO THE KAZAKH KRISHNA CRISIS
The Kazakhstan Government has confiscated 116 acres of land from the Religious Organization Society for Krishna Consciousness. As a proposed solution to the conflict, the government has offered 5 acres of land in an arid area and has declared this to be a happy ending to the conflict.
The conflict between the executive authorities of the Karasai district, Almaty province, and the Hare Krishna community has been going on for three years.
Check out “Friends of the BBT” at www.friendsofthebbt.org. It’s a new organization meant to help the friends of the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust offer the BBT service and support.
A few days ago I learned of the death on February 8 of Ian Stevenson, M.D., the world’s leading researcher of cases in which children appear to remember a previous life.
Dr. Stevenson, for many years Carlson Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Virginia, was the founder and director of the university’s Division of Personality Studies (now known as the Division of Perceptual Studies).
His more than forty years of research, analysis, and publication raised increasingly difficult problems for those who assume that consciousness cannot possibly survive bodily death.
Newly posted online for downloading is an updated version of the BBT Style Sheet.
It offers the Bhaktivedanta Book Trust’s latest standards on such matters as spelling, punctuation, capitalization, and word choice.
This is a routine update. No shockers.
Bless this house, O Lord, we pray.
Make it safe by night and day.
Bless our humble vestibule,
Bless the TV, bless the pool.
Bless our silly little notions.
Bless our week’s supply of Trojans.
Bless, oh bless the internet.
Bless our liquor cabinet.
Bless our kitchen, for it features
Places where we roast Thy creatures,
Bake them, broil them, nuke them, fry them.
Blessed Lord, please sanctify them
While we’re scarfing down their wings,
livers, legs, and other things—
Breasts and tongues and blood galore,
Bless them, Lord, forevermore.