After entertainment content producer and distributor Shemaroo issued an apology to the ISKCON for a video which had insulted ISKCON, its devotees and Hindus in general, the Hindu organisation has been issuing different statements regarding the same. Shemaroo had apologised after ISKCON lodged a complaint with Mumbai police against the company, and actress-comedian Surleen Kaur, who had made several offensive comments about ISKCON and Hindus, including calling ISKCON devotees ‘harami porn waley’, in a stand-up comedy show published by the company on various online platforms.
Although the video was published several months ago, it went viral on 28th May on social media, following with ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) has lodged the complaint with Mumbai police against Shemaroo and Surleen Kaur. But even before that complaint was made public on Twitter by ISKCON vice president and spokesperson Radharamn Das, the company had removed the video from everywhere on the internet, saying that it was found to be derogatory.
On 29th May, Shemaroo issued an unconditional apology to ISKCON, and informed that they have disassociate themselves from any further involvement with Ms Surleen Kaur and Mr Balraj Syal as they failed to meet their standards of public decency. They have also praised ISKCON for their spiritual and social service, including serving meals to the needy during the lockdown.
But, Radharamn Das had informed that the organisation is not accepting the apology. He had tweeted that they don’t accept the apology of Shemaroo Entertainment, and they will proceed legally against the company, Balraj Syal & Surleen Kaur. “We will make an example out of this nonsense”, Das had added.
But later in the day a twist had come, as Swarajya Magazine had reported that the Hindu organisation has accepted the apology of the company and decided not to pursue the case. A statement issued by Director of Communications of ISKCON, according the Swarajya, had said 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 statement had said.
Although the Director of Communications of ISKCON was quoted as saying that they will not purse the case against Shemaroo, spokesperson Radharamn Das contradicted this, insisting that they will go ahead with the case. Quoting an OpIndia report which was based on the Swarajya report, he had tweeted “No, we have not accepted apology”.
When OpIndia reached out to Das to clarified about the contradictory statements coming from the organisation on the issue, he had said that members of ISKCON are deeply hurt by the statements of Surleen Kaur, and the organization will not tolerate such offensive statements. He further said that ISKCON has noted the apology issued by Shemaroo, and “ISKCON has taken the offensive statements seriously and is considering further action”. Thereby again contradicting the Director of Communications.
Perhaps to establish clarity in the matter, now ISKCON has issued a statement on its official Twitter account, which echoes the last statement of Radharamn Das. They said, “The members, devotees, followers of ISKCON are deeply hurt and aggrieved by the false statement made by Surleen Kaur on her show which was produced by Shemaroo. ISKCON is a respectable organization and will not tolerate such a false and offensive statements. ISKCON has seen the apology issued by Shemaroo in relation to the same. ISKCON has taken the false and offensive statement very seriously and therefore ISKCON’s Governing Body is considering appropriate further action.”
Official statement on Surleen Kaur controversy— ISKCON (Official) (@iskconglobal) May 30, 2020
The members, devotees, followers of ISKCON are deeply hurt and aggrieved by the false statement made by Surleen Kaur on her show which was produced by Shemaroo. ISKCON is a respectable organization and will not tolerate such… 1/2
This statement confirms that the ISKCON has not yet decided to accept the Shemaroo apology and drop the complaint against them. They have asserted that they have taken the comments made in the video very seriously, and the governing body of the organisation is considering appropriate action. It is expected that the organisation will inform their final decision in the matter soon.