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Mainstream Media Across Four Continents Cover Incorporation Day Stories in a Big Way

By: for ISKCON News on July 15, 2016

Major newspapers and TV channels across four continents covered the 50th anniversary of ISKCON’s incorporation on 13th July with positive stories that reached out to millions of people around the world.

The BBC UK, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, the Chicago Tribune, the Times of India and India’s government-owned DD National TV gave extensive coverage to the history of ISKCON, the achievements of Srila Prabhupada and local events happening in their area.

BBC London broadcast a two-minute clip about the 50th anniversary on a prime-time news slot. Titled ‘Hare Krishna celebrates 50 years in London’, the news story covered devotees handing out 5000 cupcakes, showed harinama processions on Oxford Street, and featured interviews with devotees who live professional lives while practicing bhakti-yoga at home. It concluded with positive comments from several passers-by.

The report featured an interview with Bijal Majithia, a member of the congregation who works in a top accounting firm. She explained that many Hare Krishna devotees lead normal and professional lives, but were committed to their spiritual practices.

A suited man working in the city said, “It’s absolutely fine, they (the Hare Krishnas) are a pleasure to be around, and I love their little marches.”

The news-reporter concluded by saying, “I hope they will be a part of London for the next fifty years.”

A video-clip of the telecast and the story about the event on BBC can be viewed by clicking here.

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation’s (ABC) report introduced Srila Prabhupada, his journey to the West and the current expansion of ISKCON’s preaching mission.  The report said that ISKCON ‘belongs to the Vedic or Hindu culture with its philosophies based on the Sanskrit texts the Bhagavad-gita, Bhagavat Purana and Srimad Bhagavatam. Devotees practice bhakti yoga and worship Lord Krishna.’

The ABC report introduced the activities of the New Govardhana community and featured interviews with several devotees whom they called ‘everyday Hare Krishnas’. The ABC report can be read by clicking here.

"India’s largest nationally circulated newspape, the Times of India, did a full-page featured editorial in the Speaking Tree." Titled ’50 years of Krishna Consciousness’, the story discusses Prabhupada’s epic journey to the West, his beginnings in New York, his encounter with the Beatles, and traces how the movement expanded rapidly.

The editorial concludes by saying, “Eventually, the worldwide message of warmth and love that the Hare Krishna movement has been striving to disseminate has overcome any setbacks of earlier years, paving the way for a new era of universal love and peace.”

To read the Times of India editorial in the Speaking Tree supplement, please click here.

India’s government-owned TV channel, Doordarshan National aired a one-hour programme about ISKCON on July 13th, featuring a studio interview with Keshava Murari Das, President of ISKCON Rohini (New Delhi), interspersed with several video clips about different activities of ISKCON. He explained how Srila Prabhupada started the movement and continued to speak about the achievements of ISKCON today such as the movement’s expansion into 650 centres, distribution of 300 million plates of free prasadam and 50 million books. The programme showed several clips such as the youth festival in Pune attended by 20,000 young people and the recent visit of the then Prime Minister David Cameron to Bhaktivedanta Manor in London to celebrate the 50th anniversary.

The Chicago Tribune featured a story on the ‘Walking Monk’ with a tagline that said, ‘Swami embarks on transnational walk to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Hare Krishna tradition’. The story profiled Bhakti Marga Swami’s walk of 3,000 miles across the United States from New York City to San Francisco to commemorate the 50th Anniversary of ISKCON’s arrival in the West and to promote a green style of living in America.

The story said, “Traveling on foot is a common practice in various spiritual traditions, and the walking monk believes that it's an effective way to reach out and communicate the importance of morality and ethical priorities.”

To read the Walking Monk story from the Chicago Tribune, please click here.

A key theme behind most of the stories was that they profiled the Hare Krishna movement of being made up of ‘normal’ people living in society who were practising spirituality while leading professional lives. 

Beyond the Incorporation day, there are several other major events being planned in America, UK, Europe, Australia, India and other countries, which are also expected to receive media attention and coverage.

For more information, please contact the Global Coordinator, ISKCON 50 at: romapada@iskcon50.org

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