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Hari Sauri: recollections of the Calcutta Pandal issue
By Harivilasa dasa
CHAKRA (Seattle, WA, USA) - September 22, 1999
In response to your inquiry about my recollection of
the meeting that took place between Radhapad Prabhu, Mr. Chattergee,
Mahaprabhu das from Bombay, yourself, and myself in the Calcutta temple in
1996, I remember distinctly the conclusions of the meeting and agreement.
I remember that the first two hours of the meeting
was very strained. Radhapad was frequently making caustic remarks about
the GBC and leaders of the movement. When he calmed down after prasadam we
were able to discuss the issues.
The issues were pending for five or more years before
the GBC. Finally, I was appointed by the GBC subcommittee to mediate
between Radhapad Prabhu and Adridharan Prabhu. Radhapad insisted that his
name be indicated on a recognition plaque at Gurusaday Road property as
the only donor. After careful discussion of the history and facts of the
procurement of Gurusaday Road property, it was clearly established that
Radhapada was neither the only donor nor the major donor for that
Radhapad gave one of the initial donations of
approximately 10% to 13% of the total value. Virtually simultaneously,
many other donors came forward who gave in cash important sums. The person
who offered the property, Mr. Thakkar, who is now deceased, offered the
property at a quarter of its actual value. He was the factual biggest
He objected vehemently to Radhapad Prabhu posting his
name as the biggest or the only donor. I negotiated an agreement between
Radhapad and Adridharan Prabhus that stipulated that Radhapad’s name
would appear above everyone else’s names and be designated as the
principle donor. Although Radhapad and his secretary, Mr. Chattergee, had
previously remarked that they never imagined the Gurusaday Road property
would be used for marriages, during the conciliatory meeting they did not
mention this point, although they could have.
Their concern was that Radhapad’s name be
prominently displayed as the only donor. The meeting lasted the whole day
to conclude. Mahaprabhu left after scolding Radhapad for his
uncompromising and seemingly self- centered demands. I tried my best to
satisfy Radhapad and at the same time reach a compromise that Adridharan
Prabhu could accept without offending the other 15 or more donors.
Adridharan remained polite and actually consented to a compromise knowing well that his other donors would be displeased. My personal experience with Radhapad has always been cordial and I have appreciated his sincere efforts to push on ISKCON’s missionary activities, however, like Mahaprabhu Prabhu, I was also very shocked by his unwarranted criticism of ISKCON leadership and his seemingly selfish demands to promote himself as the only donor at Gursaday Road. However, I was very relieved by the end of the day by the compromise agreement that was agreed upon. Mahaprabhu’s preaching to Radhapad was the event that turned the tide.”
also "We didn't
burn down the Pandal" by Hari Sauri.
© CHAKRA 22-Sep-1999
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