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“Please note that Radhapada dasa agreed to be listed as a principle donor along with the other donors - something he could only do if there were other donors.”

      Disputing Dayaram's claims

Dayaram's mistake
By Adri Dharan dasa

In trying to falsely claim that Radhapada dasa was the only donor for the ISKCON property at 22, Gurusaday Road, Calcutta, Dayarama dasa has made many easily disprovable statements.

Firstly some background. The property in question was purchased around 1981 by myself on behalf of ISKCON Calcutta. Dayarama dasa had not even joined ISKCON by then, and only years later took initiation from Jayapataka Swami in Bombay. The property in discussion is in Calcutta. He obviously is in no position to know how the property was paid for around 1981. I do know these facts, since I made the payment, and I will set out here the verifiable facts. First we will start with Dayarama’s obvious errors. Dayarama’s statements will be surrounded with quotation marks (“”) and my facts will follow underneath.

“The property came to Vijay Thakkar, a property broker and he could have sold the same for good profit but he gave for the same price he got.”

Vijay Thakkar was not a property broker, a fact that can easily be verified by his wife (Vijay unfortunately passed away in 1996). He was a property developer, who owned many properties and one of the closest friends of ISKCON.

“There were two tenants on the property and both of them were requested many times to vacate the building but refused and asked for big money.”

There were 4 tenants, not 2, and one of them is still there! They were:

Duncan Tea Company ITC A Pan Shop Shanghai Laundry

“One of them gave it up without asking for any money when his wife fell sick on Janmastami day and requested her husband to not to hold on Krsna’s property. The other tenant was settled for much less than what they could have asked for.”

This has just been made up out of thin air! None of the above happened. In 1989, Duncan’s Tea Company vacated, having demanded a large luxurious flat in payment. When the time to vacate came, the chief executive of Duncan’s Tea Company at the time, a Mr G.P. Goenka, decided to leave without accepting the flat, stating that it was his donation to the temple, because of pressure placed from various industrialists headed by Sitaram Daga, one of the donors to the property.

Subsequently soon, ITC also vacated after 8 years of hard struggle. This happened because there was a new chairman, who was connected to the temple via a mutual contact. ITC vacated on payment of a nominal 5 lakhs ($12,000).

The Pan shop owner left only in 1996, and was given a payment of 2 lakhs ($5000).

The final tenant, “Shanghai Laundry”, is still there, as anyone who cares to visit the property, can see for themselves.

I will now state, in some detail, the exact sequence of events by which the property in question was purchased.

1. Around 1981, Vijay Thakker acquires 22, Gurusaday Road for only 20 lakhs ($50,000), from a Gujarati consortium headed up by Mr Shah. The real value of the property is actually 100 lakhs ($250,000). 2. Mr Thakker offers to either sell it for the market rate, and give the profit to ISKCON Calcutta, or sell on the property for the same price as he bought it. I chose the latter option. Mr Thakker by the way was a very close friend of both ISKCON Calcutta and ISKCON Mayapur for many years. 3. Mr Thakker, assisted by his wife, immediately starts assisting me in trying to raise the required 20 lakhs ($50000). In anticipation, I also take a loan of 10 lakhs ($25,000) from the Mayapura Vrindavan Trust. 4. Within a few months, we have managed to raise the required 20 lakhs. Radhapada dasa is one of the donors, and he gives between 2.5 to 3 lakhs. The rest of the money was gathered from the following individuals:

Mr. Sitaram Daga Mr. Hansaraj Agarwal Mr. Pamandas Lakmani Mr. P.K. Mukerjee Mr. B.S. Agarwal Mr. B.L. Rathi Mr. Kusalani Two more annonymous donors

5. Consequently I never needed to use the MVT loan for this, and instead used it for other preaching projects. Thus by now the property is fully paid for and acquired.

6. Many months later Radhapada dasa approaches me and states that he wants to pay the full amount for the property. I tell him that this is not possible since the property is already paid for. He however insists on donating an equivalent amount, as a symbolic gesture that he would have liked to pay the full amount for the property. He pays this only in instalments, and over 3 years after the property had already been acquired and paid for, Radhapada dasa finishes donating an equivalent amount to the temple, for use by the temple as necessary.

The proof that Radhapada dasa was not the only donor comes from 5 different sources of evidence:

a) Mrs Thakkar, who is in knowledge of her husband’s involvement in collecting from the donors. b) The many donors themselves, most of who are still alive, and who are all prominent industrialists. c) GBC member Hari Vilasa, who in 1996, on behalf of the GBC, hammered out an agreement that got Radhapada dasa’s agreement to list him as the principle donor. This Radhapada dasa agreed to. Obviously there would be no question of being the principle donor unless there are other donors:

“After careful discussion of the history and facts of the procurement of Gurusaday Road property, it was clearly established that Radhapada was not the only donor nor the major donor for that property. 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. [...] 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. [...] 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.” (Hari Vilasa Prabhu, GBC)

Please note that Radhapada dasa agreed to be listed as a principle donor along with the other donors - something he could only do if there were other donors.

d) Radhapada’s own actions. At the ceremony to dedicate his plaque, Radhapada dasa’S family attended. At that time there was no complaint as to why we were listing Radhapada dasa as the principle donor an not the only donor. No was there any objection to why we were listing so many other phantom donors who had not actually given any money.

Indeed the plaques in question have been up for about 3 years. In that time there has never been any objection from Radhapada dasa that there is a mistake in us having listed him only as the principle donor, and that there are many names of other phantom donors!

It should also be noted that out of the many donors only 5 have not given funds to directly purchase the property itself. These are:

Mr V.K. Thakker - who is listed as having acquired the property at such a cheap price sacrificing easy profit three to four times the purchase price of the property. ITC, Duncan Tea Company - the tenants who vacated for nothing. (Under Indian property law, the tenants have greater possession rights than the Landlord. They had originally demanded 100 lakhs, i.e. $250,000, each to vacate. And we would have had no option but to pay the amount in question.) Mr RS Agarwal & Mr RS Goenka - who donated the nominal 5 lakhs required to pay ITC to get them to vacate.

All the other many donors listed on the plaques for the last 3 years, which Radhapada dasa agreed to, and has never objected to, were all involved solely in donating for the purchase of the property.

e) And finally myself, the person who collected the funds from all the donors, and paid it to Mr Thakker.

Therefore the evidence is clear and overwhelming. Radhapada dasa, is not the only donor for 22 Gurusaday Road.

Your servant, Adridharana dasa

© CHAKRA 30-Sep-1999

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