Madhu Pandit’s great disservice to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON:
Madhu Pandit das has a unique notoriety of being the first and only member in the history of ISKCON to have been humiliated and criticized in the legislative assembly of a state in a debate. Madhu Pandit brought great disrepute and infamy to Srila Prabhupada and ISKCON because of his illegal, unethical and fraudulent means to fleece innocent gullible members of the public. The real estate activities, land dealings and Madhu Pandit’s illegal attempts to usurp the properties belonging to the ISKCON Mumbai society also came in for severe criticism.
Madhu Pandit’s ambitious real estate expansion plans which involved building five star hotels, helipad, IT park , BPO park, shopping malls etc gave raise to questions about his real goals and the purpose and mission of ISKCON.
Madhu Pandit’s acts of promoting his family were also severely critcised. The debate was one of the most painful and sad experience for the devotees of ISKCON. The story made frontpages the next day and for days to come. The negative media exposure made ISKCON the butt of many sarcastic jokes, critical comments and ridicule.
Putting ISKCON and its Founder Acharya’s image to great risk:
A life time of great endeavor and tapasya all went up in smoke due to Madhu Pandit and his family’s greed, unprincipled and unethical conduct. Srila Prabhupada was known all his life as a honest and gentlemanly in his conduct. he had urged his disciples several times to be honest in their dealings. He had also warned that devotees should be wary that they represent ISKCON and every act of their’s would be scrutinized. (Srila Prabhupada’s quotes on honesty, truthfulness etc)
Srila Prabhupada was not the richest or most famous spiritualist but he and his movement commanded such an immense respect among all the people of the world. After Kirtanananda swami scandal and the Turley Child abuse cases, the Akshaya Patra controversy was one of the biggest media blow to ISKCON’s respectable image. Srila Prabhupada’s disciples will recollect numerous incidents and instructions from his life to illustrate how Srila Prabhupada took the issue of morality, ethics and principled conduct very seriously in all his dealings and expected the same from the leaders of the movement and his disciples.
The Akshaya Patra scandal turned out to be watershed in the history of ISKCON as it raised many issues related to ethics, morality and truthfulness in operations of ISKCON and its fund raising modus operandi. Proceedings in the Karnataka State Assembly on 13th April 2007, Bangalore