Aug 2, 1999 - In an attempt to try and gain a propaganda victory against the IRM, Hari Sauri Das, the Co-Director for Mayapur, recently submitted an article to CHAKRA, regaling in how a pandal had burnt down in Calcutta. Having no philosophical arguments against the IRG, in desperation he has had to resort to this destruction of property, as 'evidence' that the Lord is trying to 'tell' us something. Unfortunately as well as employing faulty reasoning he could not even get his facts correct:
The 'building' was untouched. What burnt down was a pandal in the grounds of the building, which is constructed of bamboo sticks & canvass.
Please note the word 'alleged'. The allegation has no basis in fact. The costs for the court case have so far amounted to no more than $8000 in total, which have been funded entirely from donations from the West. Funding an action in rupees, with funds from the West is relatively easy, since $1 = 44 rupees. To put this into perspective, for our upcoming meeting in New York, just one IRG member, who has his own business, and who is attending from another western country, will spend over $1000 just on his ticket. So to raise the funds for the court case is not difficult. This was already pointed out before in our original press release on this subject, but due to the desperation in needing a 'story', a false allegation needs to be recycled.
Since the pandal was old and due to be replaced, its value is only 15 lahks. Further as Hari Sauri well knows, in India the next 4 months is off-season for Weddings, and therefore the loss in income is ZERO. Thus in that sense, this was the 'best' possible time that such an unfortunate incident could have occurred.
Since the pandal was burnt down not by Lord Jagannatha but by an act of arson, by an enemy of the IRG, Lord Jagannatha is merely telling us to be more vigilant in future, and to not assume that those who oppose the IRG would not stoop so low as to engage in arson.
But in the desperate and twisted world of Hari Sauri's logic anything is possible. By the same reasoning, the beating up of Radha prana prabhu in Malaysia would also be a 'sign' that the Lord is trying to 'tell' us that the IRG is wrong. To those of us who are more reasonable however, it is simply
a sign that those followers of HH Jayapataka Swami are just thugs.
In sum giving us the best and biggest Ratha Yatra for many, many years. And this was the first year that the devotees from Mayapur did not assist in the festival. Indeed they did not even attend.