(MENAFN- AsiaNet News) In a recent development, BJP MP and animal rights activist Maneka Gandhi on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), branding it as the "biggest cheat" in India. The BJP MP alleged that ISKCON sells cows from their gaushalas (cowsheds) to butchers and claimed that during her visit to an ISKCON gaushala in Anantpur, she found no dry cows and concluded that they had all been sold.
She questioned ISKCON's commitment to cow protection and expressed doubt that anyone had sold as many cattle to butchers as they had.
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In a video Gandhi said, "The biggest cheat in India today is ISKCON. They establish gaushalas for which they get unlimited benefits from the government to run them. They get huge land...everything. I just visited their Anantpur Gaushala. Not a single dry cow is present. All are dairies. There is not a single calf. It means all of them were sold. ISCKON is selling all its cows to the butcher."
In response to Gandhi's accusations, ISKCON issued a statement refuting her claims. The temple authority expressed surprise at Gandhi's statements and emphasized its dedication to cow and bull protection, both in India and globally.
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ISKCON maintained that the cows and bulls in its care are not sold to butchers but are provided with lifelong care and protection.
ISKCON spokesperson Yudhistir Govinda Das responded on X and said, "ISKCON has been at the forefront of cow and bull protection and care not just in India but globally. The cows and bulls are served for their life not sold to butchers as alleged."
The temple authority further added in their statement, "ISKCON has pioneered cow protection in many parts of the world where beef is a staple diet. Within India, ISKCON runs more than 60 gaushalas protecting hundreds of sacred cows and bulls and providing personalized care for their entire lifetime. Many of the cows presently served in ISCKON's gaushalas were brought to us after being found abandoned, injured, or rescued from being slaughtered."
The video and subsequent exchange have generated debate and controversy surrounding ISKCON's cow protection efforts, prompting the organization to defend its practices and reputation.
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