Thousands sat on the road outside Parliament 20 years ago protesting about the closure of one of the most famous Temples outside of India. However 20 years later a celebration in Parliament recognised how it was possible for the Hindu, Jain and Sikhs communities to come together behind ISKCON and show what can be achieved with one voice.
Scores of Lords, MP, Councillors and key members of the Hare Krishna community came together to share their memories of the one and only campaign that brought together the entire British Hindu community.
C.B Patel, editor of the Asian Voice and key campaigner launched the souvenir magazine which detailed the history - the low and high points of the campaign.
Akhandadhi Das, Temple President of Bhaktivedanta Manor of the time, delivered an emotional speech recalling that when the community came together in such numbers they protested with integrity.
Srutidharma Das, the current Temple President recalled when all members of the community and generations of families joined together.
“This became the turning point of the Campaign and the self –belief of the Hindu community,” he added.
Keith Vaz MP, who helped and supported the campaign throughout said that “the campaign was a rite of passage for the British Hindu community who now have a strong and important political presence”. Lord Popat echoed that the success of Hindus since those days has been profound and lasting both economically and politically.
The Minister of Justice and Civil Liberties the Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP said that in the end the British democratic system prevailed and through peaceful protest the rights of worship were preserved.
Also present Frank Ward, Interfaith, friends from Hertsmere Council and Letchmore Heath village[ bhaktivedanta-manor ] [ london ] [ uk ]