on Sept. 6, 2008
Delhi Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit took an hour out to visit the ISKCON Delhi temple this Janmastami. She was received by Gopal Krishna Goswami, who brought her to see the deities of Sri Sri Radha Parthasarathi and Gaura Nitai. Over fifteen media outlets telecasted the visit live.
Gopal Krishna presented Dikshit with a Bhagavad-gita As It Is and Krishna Book. He also briefed her on Food for Life, Delhi temple’s midday meal programs, and ISKCON’s activities in general. The minister was grateful and expressed her thanks by inviting Gopal Krishna Goswami to her house to bless her family and make her home auspicious.
Shri Kapil Sibal, Cabinet Minister of the Central Government, also visited the temple with his wife during Radha Parthasarathi’s bathing ceremony at 11:30pm. Admitting to Gopal Krishna that this was the first time in his life he had visited a temple on Janmastami, he expressed his appreciation of the celebrations and promised to return.
The Janmastami 2008 festival at ISKCON Delhi was attended by an unprecedented 700,000 people, with Food For Life distributing over 500,000 plates of prasadam food. Many spiritual books were also distributed during the festival.
The year 2008 marks the first time that the media have broadcast the entire Janmastami temple program in Delhi, all the way from from Mangal arati at 4:30am, to the special midnight worship. As well as TV stations, the festival was also covered by the print media such as Times of India, Nava Bharat Times and Hindustan Times.