A controversy was kicked up yesterday when an old video of a so-called comedian Surleen Kaur mocking the faith of Hindus and using vulgar and obscene language against the ISKCON and its devotees had gone viral on the Internet. The ISKCON took cognisance of the defamatory video and lodged a complaint against the ‘comedian’ and Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. for insulting the organisation and Hindus.
However, after initially persisting with the complaint, the ISKCON has now pulled back from pursuing the case following an unconditional apology by Shemaroo Entertainment Ltd. While ISKCON has decided to not push 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 “the media has been disabled in response to a report by the copyright owner”. As Shemaroo is the copyright owner, it means that the organisation had the video removed which was merely published as a proof of the charges made in the complaint.
Now this from @Twitter. The video was proof of the crime committed against ISKCON & Hindus in name of comedy and was submitted to legal authorities as a proof for action. And not a copyright violation. It seems that every one has rights except the followers of Sanatan Dharma pic.twitter.com/2MIn6YrSYU— Radharamn Das (@RadharamnDas) May 29, 2020
Not only that, but the Twitter account of Radharam Das was also 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 everyone has rights except the followers of Sanatan Dharma”, he said.
The account was restored after being briefly locked for the alleged copyright violations for posting a video as evidence of the crime committed against ISKCON and Hindus in the name of comedy.
ISKCON had filed a complaint against vile, abusive video
ISKCON (International Society for Krishna Consciousness) had earlier lodged a complaint against stand-up comic Surleen Kaur and entertainment company Shemaroo for insulting the organisation and Hindus. The organisation had sent a complaint to the Mumbai police against a stand-up performance by Kaur, which was published by Shemaroo in various online platforms.
In the complaint by ISKCON vice president and spokesperson Radharamn Das, they said that the video published by the company on different social media sites, YouTube channel, on the website www.shemaroome.com etc. was highly defamatory towards ISKCON society as well as towards the followers of Hinduism. They also added that the language used by Kaur was highly objectionable and defamatory, and it had caused great pain to the followers of Sanatan Dharma, Hindus and ISKCON worldwide devotees.
The stern reaction from ISKCON elicited a prompt apology from Shemaroo. Taking to its Twitter account, Shemaroo apologised for hurting religious sentiments and deleted the YouTube video. The official statement released by Shemaroo read, “This is with regards to the video that has been brought to our notice featuring comedian Ms. Surleen Kaur. The video was found derogatory and the same has been taken down with immediate effect. Shemaroo is committed to ensure our content is neutral and unbiased towards any religion, caste, creed or culture. We apologize to all brothers and sisters of the Iskcon community whose sentiments we might have unintentionally hurt. We extend our assurance that such matters will be dealt meticulously and with extreme sensitivity.”
*This is with regards to the video that has been brought to our notice featuring comedian Ms. Surleen Kaur. The video was found derogatory and the same has been taken down with immediate effect. Shemaroo is committed to ensure our content is neutral and unbiased towards any— Shemaroo (@ShemarooEnt) May 28, 2020
After initially rejecting, ISKCON accepts the apology and withdraws its complaint
ISKCON spokesperson Radharamn Das did not seem pacified by the Shemaroo’s apology and declared that they will 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.”
But 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, retracted on pursuing the case, following an unconditional apology by Shemaroo. 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.