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Appeal to Every ISKCON Center to Plan Big for the 50th Anniversary

By: for ISKCON News on Jan. 1, 2016

 

Appeal by the 50th Anniversary Global Office to mark the official start of worldwide celebrations

The 50th anniversary year of ISKCON starts from 1st January 2016, with many historical events scheduled all over the world. The Global Office for the 50th Anniversary has requested temples all over the world to participate enthusiastically by holding local and national events that can accelerate the mission of Srila Prabhupada.

“The 50th Anniversary offers a once-in-a-life time opportunity that provides us a unique chance to get the public of every country in the world to recognize Prabhupada's achievements and the growth and contribution of his society that changed the face of the planet,” said Anuttama Das, GBC Minister for Communications who is part of the International Executive Committee for the 50th Anniversary. “While celebrating this important milestone, we can also educate people about ISKCON and appreciate the contribution of devotees who have worked hard in the last 50 years to spread the Sankirtana movement.”

The Global Office has asked ISKCON temples around the world to ‘50ise’ all their general festivals, and to arrange at least one major standalone event in 2016 to commemorate the 50th anniversary.

“It is the responsibility of every single ISKCON center to celebrate and express true gratitude to Srila Prabhupada during the 50th anniversary of his remarkable journey to the West and his incorporation of ISKCON,” commented Gauri Das, who is also a member of the International Executive Committee for the 50th. “It is thus the incumbent responsibility of every leader in ISKCON to be a champion of ISKCON 50, inspiring every heart and every temple to do wonderful things to mark the occasion.”

After the success of the events to mark Prabhupada’s Jaladuta yatra in Kolkata, Colombo, Cochin and Boston, many exciting events have been planned around the world.

“Events include a big celebration in Mumbai in February, a mega-event at the Sydney Opera House, receptions at the European Parliament in Brussels and the House of Commons in the UK, an academic conference in Harvard, 50 Padayatras by the Padayatra Ministry, interfaith meetings, youth festivals and kirtan melas,” explained Pancharatna Das, a senior disciple of Prabhupada, who is also a member of the International Executive Committee for ISKCON 50. “The World Holy Name Week will move from October 2016 to August to mark the 50th anniversary of the very first public Harinama procession led by Prabhupada from the storefront of Matchless Gifts to Washington Square Park in New York in 1966. We expect many more events to be announced as we move into 2016.”

The Global Office will be releasing a series of posters, banners and other creatives in January. This will be followed by the release of the 50th anniversary magazine and a special film showcasing the achievements of ISKCON in the last 50 years. The Global Office is also creating a series of exhibition panels that can be used effectively during festival days to educate people about ISKCON.

“We urge every temple to visit our website to download our special posters,” said Romapada Das, International Coordinator for the 50th Anniversary. “Every temple should form a local Committee to plan their 50th events, and appoint a devotee who will manage local communication with the media and other stakeholders.   Please organise at least one major event in 2016 to commemorate the 50th Anniversary. Of course temples can organise more than one event if they have the resources.”

The Global Office has also requested all temples to ‘50ise’ their regular festivals such as Janmashtami, Ratha Yatra, Gaura Purnima, Rama Navami by:

  1. Using the 50th anniversary logo on all invitations, press releases, literature and public messages
  2. Showing the 50th anniversary film, the Joy of Devotion, at every regular festival (film under production)
  3. Displaying the ISJCON 50 Exhibition (A0 panels that can be printed locally) in your temple premises during regular festivals
  4. Distributing the ISKCON 50 special magazine during regular festivals
  5. Staging special 50thanniversary plays such as ‘Swami at Sea’ the scripts for which can be downloaded from our website: www.iskcon50.org

“The 50th is the most important milestone in ISKCON that many of us may live to see,” concluded Romapada Das. “Let’s make good use of this unique opportunity to glorify Prabhupada and to spread the Sankirtana movement. We should all start to ‘think 50 and act 50’!”

* * * 

ISKCON centres can are requested to write to Romapada Das,  International Coordinator, 50th anniversary at romapada@iskcon50.org and provide details of events they have planned. 

THINK 50! Act 50!

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