The unusual sight of grazing cows outside the Hungarian Parliament drew a lot of media attention
Photos by Nama Ruci Das
On Tuesday December 14th, members and supporters of the Hungarian Society for Krishna Consciousness protested outside Hungary's Parliament against a new law that could strip them of their status as a recognized church, and which puts the very existence of their world-famous self-sustainable Krishna-valley farm into question.
The crowd of several hundred included politicians, people of different faiths and world views, ISKCON devotees, some of them dressed up as cows and two actual cows from the Krishna-valley farm. Despite the severity of the problem, the protest was held in a joyful mood; it started at 2 PM with kirtan on the stage and dancing “cows” in front of it.
'Protect Krishna-valley and the Hare Krishna`s land'
Among many who spoke to the public was Radha Krishna Das, Director of the Eco-valley Foundation, Antardhi Das cowherd, and Dr. Jozsef Stefler an agricultural university professor who talked about the wonderful cooperation between his institution and Krishna-valley.
Kirtan on the stage in front of the Parliament
These speeches were followed by a talk by Tamas Vekerdy, a well-known child-psychologist who said: “I am coming from the world of mothers, children, minds and nature. It makes me squirm when I see people trying to create an ‘order’ and end up hurting innocent souls. The Krishna believers might not fit into everyone`s paradigm, but I have been to Krishna-valley many times, and I can testify that what they have created is something precious, something worth standing up for and protecting by all means”.
Tamas Vekerdy (in the middle) in the crowd listening to other speakers
Speaking of children; next, the Krishna-valley school students occupied the stage, reciting their plea in rhymes to the Hungarian Parliament.
The last speaker, Sivarama Swami said: "We are representing a billion Hindus worldwide who are wondering why they have to prove themselves again to the Hungarian government."
Krishna-valley school children and Sivarama Swami on the stage
The event drew large national and international media attention.
Although the government promised to rectify the situation, the Hungarian Krishna believers will not feel secure and will not stop campaigning until a relevant law actually passes. Anyone who wishes to support their case of protecting Krishna`s land and cows are invited to sign their petition:
The news coverage from one of the Indian national televisions: