In a dramatic turn of events, International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON), which earlier decided to take legal recourse against Shemaroo Private Limited for a ‘standup comedy’ act of Surleen Kaur wherein she insulted the organisation and Hindus, has now retracted on pursuing the case, following an unconditional apology by Shemaroo, according to a report by Swarajya Magazine.
The entertainment company had tendered an unconditional apology and disassociated with the controversial comedian Surleen Kaur, who made the insulting comments in a video published by the company on online platforms. The company in a press release stated that the association of the revered Hindu organisation with pornography is not only false but also harms its reputation and undermines its good work. The organisation further informed that the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Shemaroo has expressed regret on behalf of the senior management and had conceded that such a defamatory video would have never been published if they would have known about the nature of the content.
Following the official apology, ISKCON stated that it does not believe in vengeance and instead acts in accordance with moral, ethical, and legal values. As such, ISKCON had decided to not pursue the case against them, the report claims. The Hindu organisation reiterated that spreading falsehood about ISKCON is not only detrimental to its reputation but also to the good work done by it for the society at large. Swarajya journalist Swati Goel Sharma posted the statement issued by ISKCON on her Twitter account.
The full statement by ISKCON: pic.twitter.com/XObSLWgQED— Swati Goel Sharma (@swati_gs) May 29, 2020
Although ISKCON has said that they won’t pursue the case against Shemaroo, they have not said anything about the complaint against the actress-comedian who had made the offensive comments. Surleen Kaur has not made any comments on the issue so far, has not apologized like Shemaroo has done, therefore, it can be assumed that the organisation will go ahead with the case against her.
Shemaroo gets the video posted by ISKCON as proof deleted, gets account locked
While ISKCON has decided to not pursue the case against Shemaroo anymore, the company has gone very aggressive in removing the offensive video from every corner of the internet citing copyright violation. The company has got the video, which was downloaded from their official social media accounts and subsequently uploaded to various social media platforms by users, deleted from every such platform. And unfortunately, Vice President & Spokesperson of ISKCON, Radharam Das has also become the victim in this process.
Das had originally posted the complaint lodged against Kaur and Shemaroo on his Twitter account. And in a subsequent tweet, he had posted the relevant portion of the video as a proof. But now the video has gone missing from the tweet, instead a message appears saying that “thes media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner”. As Shemaroo is the copyright owner, it means that they govt the video removed which was published as mere proof of the charges made in the complaint.
Not only that, the Twitter account of Radharam Das was locked for alleged copyright violation. Although it seems the lock was removed after some time, as Das himself posted the screenshot of the message that his account was locked after some time. He claimed that it was not a copyright violation, but a proof of the crime committed against ISKCON & Hindus in name of comedy and was submitted to legal authorities as a proof for action. “It seems that every one has rights except the followers of Sanatan Dharma”, he said.
Shemaroo apologises to ISKCON
Following the controversy after ‘comedian’ Surleen Kaur’s abusive, derogatory remarks against ISKCON, Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd today announced that they have decided to dissociate themselves from any further involvement with comedian Surleen Kaur and Balraj Syal. They further stated that Ms. Surleen Kaur and Mr. Balraj Syal ‘failed to meet their standards of public decency.’ Furthermore, Shemaroo lauded the ISKCON organisation for its stellar social and spiritual services that have benefitted thousands across the country.
ISKCON’s earlier stance
Earlier, ISKCON spokesperson Radharamn Das did not seem pacified by the Shemaroo’s apology and declared that they would proceed with legal action against Shemaroo, the host of the show Balraj Syal and Kaur. In his tweet, Das said, “This has become a trend to demean Sanatan Dharma. No more. We will make an example out of this nonsense. Enough is enough.”