Viewers across Chile watched an inside look at the lives of ISKCON devotees on Monday June 4th, when an eight-minute documentary short was broadcast on Canal 13, the biggest TV station in the country.
The documentary ran during primetime at 10pm on Teletrece, currently the longest-running television programme and the second most watched national newscast in Chile.
It also was shown on the program’s Facebook page, which has 3.8 million followers, and on its Twitter page, which has 2.91 million, alongside other social media outlets.
The report shows devotees on Harinama, waking up early in the morning and applying tilaka, attending the morning program and chanting japa in the temple. There are also interviews with devotees, although they are in Spanish only.
The whole piece depicts devotees as lively and approachable, with a good sense of humor, and shows Hare Krishna lifestyle outside the temple as well.
“They liked my idea to avoid the usual stereotypes and distant image of monks,” says Jagad Guru Das of ISKCON Communications Chile.
He further explains: “In general, our strategy here in Chile is to show Hare Krishna devotees like regular people, with jobs, careers, personal interests and so on. That approach is working well.”
Jagad Guru encourages other ISKCON temples all over the world to try a similar approach, and to reach out to their regional or even national mass media.
“TV, along with the Internet, is one of the main tools of modern civilization to keep the people ‘sleeping,’ so we should use it too,” he says.
As far as the Internet goes, thousands of the general public are also reacting positively on social media to the TV broadcast.
“I think we should also teach devotees to never react to bad comments on social media and the Internet, because when they do that, it just makes those negative comments more popular,” Jagad Guru explains. “Instead, they should only reply and ‘like’ positive comments.”
To watch the report, please click here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rktZPZVxbRk&t
Jan 23, 2022
Anandini Tikunov (8th-grade student)
Jan 22, 2022
Sunanda Das, tovp.org