Monday, August 1, 2011

Bangalore Correspondent Fails to Prove Charges- Madhupandit Das

The Bangalore Correspondent fails to prove his charges; and an explanation of the Hundi system of Bangalore Temple.
This is in continuation of my assurance to the readers that I would explain how the Hundi money is handled in ISKCON Bangalore Temple. The anonymous Bangalore Correspondent has been proved to be an irresponsible correspondent who has vested interest in maligning the leaders by alleging financial impropriety. He thinks that by telling a very big lie, nobody will doubt. He has failed miserably to prove his allegations, so much so that he does not even respond to the challenge put to him in his so-called reply. He simply brings up more big lies. Again he thinks that the readers will forget the challenge thrown to him to prove that the Hundi money of Bangalore temple is siphoned off to family trusts of myself.
And for his new allegations, the pramana or authority for him is again an anonymous website.
Just because we went against the deviations of their self-made gurus, these kind of individuals indulge in character assassination behind our back. This is an old trick. In these days of Internet communication it does not work. He is quickly exposed, being unable now to produce evidence to substantiate his specific allegations. Once he has been proved here to be lying he does not deserve any more replies to his new lies.
It is only after the guru issue was raised that I became a bad guy, fraud, thief, etc. This is evident from the letter issued by H.H. Jayapataka Swami giving me an excellent character certificate, just when the guru issue began in the year 1998. I am reproducing that letter at the end of this article.
The world is not too foolish to see the game played by the agents of the self-made gurus. The same person who vouched for my integrity, a year or so later was discussing in a conference how to take a criminal route to destroy my reputation in the public by foisting criminal cases which do not exist. He says "…Madhu Pandit Dasa has good reputation, but it doesn't take long to loose it, if we do criminal cases against him…" (Jayapataka Swami, PAMHO Text 4259580)
It is nothing but cowardice for the anonymous Bangalore Correspondent to hide behind anonymity, and create havoc in the society by making false allegations. In one sense while recognizing the reality that accusers are fearful of testifying against people who hold power, here is the case of a person who is given the liberty to remain anonymous and prove the charges to the readers. Yet he does not do so. So clearly he falls under the category of persons who are a menace to the society.
Having said this much for the benefit of the readers, I give below a summary of how securely the Hundi money in Bangalore Temple reaches ISKCON bank accounts, directly involving the Bank officials on a day-to-day basis.
Hundi handling system in Bangalore Temple:
    1. The temple has small movable hundis and also big hundis. All these hundis are entered in a register and each hundi is given a specific identity code. The temple will install only those hundis which are recorded in this register and also having an identity code. This is required to ensure that there are no unauthorized hundis being installed in the temple.
    2. The keys of all the Hundies are under the joint custody of Bankers, Finance Department, Chartered Accountant (CA) firm and Temple Administration. Hundi keys cannot be accessed by one of them in isolation and it can be accessed only when all of them are available together.
    3. The Hundies are opened every day in the presence of the Bankers, Finance Department and CA firm, counted in their presence and the bank officers accept the money and give the receipt/challan there itself and take it with them for banking. In other words, everything that falls in the hundi is banked the same day directly by the bank officials.
    4. CCTVs are also installed in the Hundi room for monitoring and supervision of the process of counting.
    5. The Finance department records the same in the books of accounts on the same day and verifies with the bank statement the next day.
    6. A report is sent to Temple Administration on the collections.

I will answer rest of the questions raised by him. Why are there so many trusts floated in Bangalore? These trusts are floated to handle different kinds of taxation issues specific to certain kinds of activities. Since ISKCON Society enjoys tax exemption, prasadam sales, book sales, paraphernalia sales, township development, themes park, etc., cannot be directly carried out by the ISKCON Bangalore Society, as it would endanger its tax exemption status. These activities involve paying commercial taxes and income taxes. ISKCON Society which runs the temple handles only donation money.
Proper tenant relationships are there for these trusts with ISKCON Bangalore Society, paying market rent to the Society. All these trusts comply with all the statutory requirements, pay taxes, both income tax and commercial taxes.
The surplus in these trusts are used either to expand the respective businesses and/or donated to ISKCON Bangalore Society at regular intervals. Further, each of these trusts are controlled/owned by a board of trustees, who are all the elected GBC members, the Temple President being only the Managing Trustee. The Bangalore Correspondent's statement that these are family trusts is just his masala for the readers -- another lie. There are ten missionary trustees in each of these trusts and they are all the elected GBC members of ISKCON Bangalore. Most of these trusts were floated between 1992 to 1999, during the Guru regime prior to the guru issue being raised by ISKCON Bangalore. In fact, H.H. Jayapataka Swami and H.H. Bhanu Swami were founding trustees for five of these trusts.
ISKCON Mayapur, ISKCON Mumbai and ISKCON Delhi also have several trusts functioning in their premises engaged in commercial activities. ISKCON Mayapur floated several trusts, nearly fifty of them, foolishly for the purpose of illegally circumventing the land ceiling laws of the West Bengal Government, where no single trust can hold more than about twenty acres of land. In fact, all the Mayapur lands, except a few acres surrounding where the temple is being built, are all now under the control of the West Bengal Government. The Government has found out that they have bought these lands in the name of these trusts just to circumvent the Land Ceiling Act. It is a big mess.
All the millions of dollars of BBT money that went into buying about 500 acres of land in Mayapur is under threat of seizure, if not already seized on paper by the Government. It is because of this goof up that the main temple is being built in the clear land in the name of ISKCON, the old fountain and park area, and not where it was planned.
Are the worldwide devotees aware of this failure of the GBC body in practically losing millions of dollars of BBT money donated to Mayapur during Harikesh's time to buy these lands, just by their foolish strategy? You cannot float trusts as a strategy to evade state laws. Sooner or later one will be caught. Even the source of funds for these lands are under scrutiny by government authorities. If what I say is not true, let the GBC clarify that they have not practically lost all the lands in Mayapur.
So goodbye to the Bangalore Correspondent, who has now lost all his credibility before readers. So the readers of Sampradaya Sun can expect more masala from this spineless agent of ISKCON Mumbai. Spineless, because he could at least say that he is reporting for ISKCON Mumbai and not ride on the neutrality of a correspondent that any reader would presume while reading his reports written under the banner of Bangalore Correspondent of Sun. I request the Editor of the Sampradaya Sun to rid him of this title as Bangalore Correspondent or regulate him to report rumor as a rumor, allegations of someone as allegations, and not mislead the readers as if the content of rumors and allegations are facts.
Madhu Pandit dasa

[Editor's Note: As previously stated on at least two occasions, the "Bangalore Correspondent" is simply that – a submitting correspondent who is covering the Bangalore issue. He is not, and has never been engaged by the Sampradaya Sun as a staff correspondent. Our Sun staff news correspondents are always clearly denoted in the byline as just that – Sun Staff Correspondent -- which appears along with the small icon: . Just as in the case of re-posted news items from other media sources, the byline title may say "Staff Correspondent", but the newspaper notation says, e.g., CNN instead of SUN, because the author is a correspondent for that media outfit. In cases where a correspondent is regularly publishing original content in the Sun, particularly from a specified region, s/he is free to use the identifier "Correspondent". However, in deference to Madhu Pandit dasa's concerns, we will in future append a notation at the bottom of any items submitted by the Bangalore Correspondent, making it clear that this is not a Sun staff correspondent.]

Typed true copy of Letter from Jayapataka Swami 

Jps Letter

International Society for Krishna Consciousness
Founder – Acharya : His Divine Grace
A.C. Bhaktivedanta Swami Prabupada

Tridandi Goswami
Jayapataka Swami
Guru & Governing Body Commissioner
Mail: P.O. Box 16108, Circus Avenue, Calcutta 700 017 (WB) INDIA
Phones : +91 (3472) 45210 Fax : +91 (3472) 45277
Sri Dham Mayapur, 4th November, 1998
Dear devotees of Bangalore Yatra,
Please accept my blessings. All glories to Srila Prabhupada.
I understand that there has been a personal campaign against Madhu Pandit dasa by some congregation devotees that he has embezzled temple funds for acquiring personal property. I have been informed by the temple that some of them have approached the newspaper with this and other allegations of financial misappropriation by Madhu Pandit dasa. I have known him for 18 years and I stand for his personal integrity in this matter.
Madhu Pandit dasa has been the President of the Bangalore centre for the past 14 years. His dedication and contribution to the movement is laudable. He has maintained excellent standards ethically and morally. He is an asset to our leadership in ISKCON. He is very much respected by other leaders of our society. He has contributed immensely for the growth of the movement in Karnataka. Hence it is unfair and unethical on the part of the anyone who is indulging in this personal vilification campaign.
Rumors are also afloat that temple officers have bought lands in their personal name. Let me make it clear that the Vice President and Secretary have only lent their names to purchase agricultural lands on behalf of the society by the profits of the incense business as ISKCON cannot hold land beyond a certain limit as per the Land Reforms Act of Karnataka. They have also lent their names as partners of the incense business with no personal gains from this business which is done exclusively for the benefit of the temple. The business is conducted in the name of GOLOKA since business activities in ISKCON India is usually not done under the banner of ISKCON. All this has been done in the interests of the society. Further these lands have been leased to the society by these officers of the Bangalore Branch. Thus everything is in order. It is unfortunate that some people are assigning ill motives against these officers.
No disciple has my approval or blessing for any such acts to malign the temple leaders in the name of service to guru. This is thoroughly condemned by me. I can only say that such persons are playing into the hands of Maya. If anyone has done such acts I am requesting that they do everything possible to undo it in the interests of preaching Krishna consciousness. During the last 14 years of his tenure as the President of Bangalore centre I have never received even one complaint of this sort.
I request everyone to maintain a mood of cooperation to continue preaching Krishna consciousness. Philosophical differences are being sorted out at higher levels. While I respect everyone's right as an individual in the matter of personal faith and convictions on the philosophical issues in ISKCON I would not appreciate anyone adopting low means of spreading falsehood about any vaishnavas.
Hope this finds you all in good health.
Your well-wisher,
Jayapataka Swami
(underline provided and not in original)

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