Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Dum Maro Dum - Controversial Indian Film - ISKCON GBC's Official Statement

Dear Maharajas, Prabhus, and Fellow Devotees of Lord Krishna
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
This mail highlights the ISKCON Communications India viewpoint on Dum Maro Dum - the controversial film loosely hinting at the Hare Krishna Mahamantra and the movement.
After confirming with sources in Media, the film industry and other sources, it is clear that the film has been rejected as a colossal flop and as an inconsequential addition to the thousands of films which are released in "Bollywood"- which churns out the largest number of films every year. The leading media have snubbed it as having "no dum" and that despite obscenities, the youth of North India have also rejected the film resulting in really low collections.
It goes without saying that our congregation does not take too much interest in
films, least of all films certified as Adults only and this certification has
also hit the expected response from "not yet devotee" family audiences badly,
for the film. Everyone of our donors and regular patrons who are connected to
us, are fully conversant with  ISKCON activities and any specific issues can be
addressed individually.
We can safely conclude that this is just a momentary distraction for us and by
continuing our regular activities in ISKCON Communications- of building
goodwill for the society and continuous positive publicity, the short public
memory can be engaged appropriately.In other words, this whole issue is making
a mountain out of a mole hill and any specific action from our end will only be
providing undue publicity to a flop film.
However if all the Vaishnavas feel that there should be any further action to
be initiated, we are always ready to take it up at an appropriate level and
intensity, subject to instructions from ISKCON higher authorities. I await your
responses on this.

Your servant
Vrajendra Nandan Das
National Communications Director ,

Text PAMHO:21512664 (90 lines)
From:      Parijata (dd) RNS (IC Mumbai - IN)
Date:      27-Apr-11 18:34 (14:34 -0400)
To:        ICE (ISKCON Communications Europe) [3873]
To:        Mahaprabhu (das) BE (Radhadesh - B) [68562]
Cc:        European Leaders [1760]  (sender: Dinadayal (das) SNS (Bhaktivedanta
           College - BE))
For:       ICELT (ICE Europe Leadership Team)
Subject:   Controversial Indian film
Message from Anuttama Das, ISKCON Minister for Communications:
April 21, 2011
Dear Maharajas, Prabhus, and Fellow Devotees of Lord Krishna,
Please accept my humble obeisances. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
Some of you will recall that in the year 1971, Dev Anand produced and
directed the movie 'Hare Ram Hare Krishna' that showed images of our founder
Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON devotees chanting. The movie also included the
song 'Dum Maro Dum' which had references to the Hare Krishna mantra.
Unfortunately, the movie and song's depiction of drugs and illicit
activities misled the general public to think that Hare Krishna devotees
indulge in such things. This misinformation damaged the reputation of the
young ISKCON movement in India and caused undeserved pain to our devotees,
members and friends.
It took years for the people of India to understand that sincere followers
of ISKCON strictly refrain from smoking, drinking, gambling and illicit
relationships. And that, in fact, ISKCON's propagation of the Hare Krishna
mantra is convincing millions around the world to give up these same illicit
Recently, Ramesh Sippy Enterprise and FoxStar India have co-produced a new
movie 'Dum Maaro Dum' which was released on 22 April, 2011 with an 'A'
(Adults only) certificate. This film includes a song 'Mit Jaaye Gham' which
is a remix of the original 'Dum Maro Dum' song from 'Hare Ram Hare Krishna'
movie. Like the original, the song contains references to the Hare Krishna
Members of the ISKCON Communications Ministry, led by Parijata devi dasi in
Mumbai, followed the development and publicity about the film for some time.
Out of concern that the new film might propagate the same false images of
ISKCON devotees as had the earlier one, Gopal Krishna Goswami (GBC), Braja
Hari Das (President, ISKCON Juhu) and Parijata devi dasi (ISKCON
Communications, Western India) met with the producers earlier this month.
The producers assured ISKCON's representatives that, unlike the earlier
movie, the new production does not have any reference to ISKCON, its
teachings, or Hare Krishna devotees.
The above devotees insisted on a preview screening of the 'Mit Jaaye Gham'
song, which has references to the Hare Krishna mantra. In the song, the
words 'Hare Krishna' and 'Hare Rama' are paired with images depicting
smoking, sexuality, etc. which are contradictory to the devotional spirit in
which the members of ISKCON and many other Vaishnavas chant the Hare Krishna
After the preview screening, the ISKCON leaders requested the filmmakers
that-since the images and activities depicted in the song 'Mit Jaaye Gham'
do not in any way reflect the activities of members of ISKCON or its
teachings-that the producers issue a disclaimer in the movie stating the
After some period of negotiation, the producers issued the following
disclaimer, which will appear in the beginning of the movie, to be seen
every time the movie is shown in India:
"Our re-recorded song Mit Jaaye Gham has reference to the Hare Krishna
mantra. The filmmakers wish to state that they do not intend to dishonor the
prayer or inadvertently hurt the sentiments of Hindu people worldwide and
the members of International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) who
are its proponent."
In the modern world, artists and movie-makers are allowed much leeway in the
name of "free speech" and "artistic license". Thus, we had limited options.
But it was important that we assured they did not misuse images of ISKCON
devotees, and that they publicly stated their desire to not offend the
Lord's name or His devotees.
We hope the disclaimer will help eliminate any misunderstanding that viewers
of the movie may have in relation to the 'Mit Jaaye Gham' song, and clarify
that the song and film and its portrayal of illicit activities have no
connection whatsoever with ISKCON.
Regarding the film itself, we recommend that our devotees and friends simply
avoid the film and overlook whatever short-lived attention it may receive.
Lord Krishna tells us that all things of this world quickly pass, and He
recommends we concentrate on the eternal. And, those inclined to watch a
movie are advised to find one that is spiritually uplifting and avoid the
mundane, however popular or controversial it may be.
In case of any queries or information, please contact:
Parijata devi dasi (

Your servant,
Anuttama Das
Minister for Communications

Follow Me on Pinterest
Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More