10/18/1998 - 2381 (See Related VNN Stories)
"Why Can't This Be Settled Outside A Court"
LA, USA (VNN) - by Gupta das
October 18, 1998
Hare Krishna Badrinarayan:
I read your your article on VNN, also posted on the CHAKRA website yesterday about RamParashar's eviction case. As you know, I represent Ram in that evictionlawsuit which was filed against him by Dennis Brown (Govinda Datta),President of ISKCON of Southern California, Inc.
You posed the question "why can't this [lawsuit now] be settled outside acourt ?" The real issue, however, is: "why was a lawsuit filed against RamParashar in the first place -- especially considering that his wife,Sunanda, was within a month or so of delivery ?"
Had you been able to pose that question your moral and spiritual leadershiprole in this Movement might have had some weight. Not having asked thatquestion, however, relegates your transparent after-the-fact, spin-controlto little more than third rate bureaucratic jabberwocky. And although itmay come of some surprise to you -- there is a difference.
The actual spiritual issue was: What would Srila Prabhupada have us do in alike-situation ? Did you, Svavas, Amarendra, Virabahu, Nirantara or GovindaDatta spend a moment researching or meditating on that issue? As noted byDeepak Vohra in his VNN article dated 10/10/98, Srila Prabhupada did NOTwant ISKCON to evict their own men:
"[a]nother request I have to you is that there have now been two instancesof when somebody does not agree you try to get them out by calling thepolice. This is never to be done," and, "we should not flatly say ╬You mustleave.' That is not our policy."
So why didn't you follow your own Spiritual Master's instruction ? Are youand your staff of yes men now above taking His instructions as your heart'sguide in "managing" His ISKCON ? Or, do you think that it is now yourISKCON and you are in control merely because you have garnered anadministrative tile and position ? Spiritual leadership is based on actualspiritual insight, realization and right action -- not on some fancyadministrative title. Based on Srila Prabhupada's definitions, theconclusion I come to is that the actions of you and your staff of yes menillustrates that spiritual leadership on this issue was not just lacking --it was non existent.
But what about from a simple morality point of view ? You, Svavas,Amarendra, Virabahu, Nirantara and Govinda Datta certainly knew that Sunandawas almost ready to give birth. Did you not at least consider this delicatesituation from a moral point of view (or, for that matter, from even amedical or health point of view) ? Was it morally right and proper tolaunch a humiliating and stressful legal assault against Ram and his familyat this critical time ? Did it even cross your collective minds that it wasplainly WRONG to put a pregnant woman under such stress and trauma at such acritical time in her life ? You're married Badrinarayan -- have you noexperience or balance in your own personal life with your own wife to guideyou on this point ? Or are you simply too removed or disassociated oruncaring to have felt the weight and reality of Sunanda's burden and stress?
And why was it so important for you and Svavas to evict Sunanda at thistime, anyway ? Why couldn't you at least wait for a month or so ? ChanduPatel of the Federation of Indo-American Association wrote you a letter practically begging you to grant a short moratorium on the pending evictionuntil the community could discuss the tense situation -- as Vaishnavassometimes do. But instead of holding off for a month to calmly discuss thisissue as requested, what did you and Svavas do ?Can anyone say that you, Svavas or Virabahu exhibited even simple moralleadership in any of the events which led up to this tragedy ? Do you FEELanything -- that is, other than being "right?"
Yet, even putting aside the clear spiritual and moral implications (whichobviously were not of much significance for you as evidenced by your actionsin going forward with the eviction), what about your awareness of thepolitical and financial effect of your actions ? Weren't you and Svavaseven a little concerned to keep the doors open within the Indian communityand not offend everyone who reached out in concern ? Certainly you musthave had at least some interest in keeping donations from the Indiancommunity flowing into the coffers ? Do you consider it to be a bright moveon your part to push the eviction forward when letters to you and Svavaswere pouring in from the Indian community respectfully pleading with you toreconsider the harsh decision to go forward with the eviction duringSunanda's pregnancy ?
You did receive the letter from the Sri Sri Radha Raman Vedic Temple signed by its eight Board members pleading with you tohold off on Ram's eviction, didn't you ? And what about the letter fromChandu Patel who is the Chair of the Federation of Indo-American Association? Too small potatoes for you ? Your four page (non) response letter to Mr.Patel avoided the one request he had: to please grant a short moratorium inthe eviction action in order to discuss the issue without need for furtherlegal action.
So on the platform of political astuteness, I would have to say, youractions were squarely this side of pathetic as you and Svavas have nowsucceeded in creating an avalanche of increasing negative publicitythroughout the world Hindu community. Have you read any of the recentarticles on this issue being published in newspapers in India ? Do you care? Or is simple denial a comfortable place for you to be while sorting outthe consequences of your own actions ?
So what's left ? Do you need a mundane legal analysis ? Didn't you readthe article entitled "Is Anyone Home?" which I published on VNN on September23rd in which the direct consequences of your spiritually and morallybankrupt legal assault against a wonderful devotee and his family wasspelled out for you, Svavas, Amarendra, Virabahu, Nirantara and GovindaDatta in utterly clear and unequivocal detail:
"And what will be the direct result of this legal [eviction] action ?Either an honest, strict and gentle Brahmin devotee, his children andpregnant wife will be summarily and forcefully kicked out of his Templeapartment, or, the Temple will be held subject to the Los Angeles RentStabilization Ordinance which result could then well domino into aneventual loss of tax exemptions for Temple owned real property." 9/23/98
Tell me you didn't read that rather public warning. Tell me yourexperienced GBC management training told you better. Tell me that you andISKCON's lawyers weighed the seriousness of Ram Parashar's affirmative legaldefense and realized that Lord Sri Krishna, Lord Chaitanya, SrilaPrabhupada, the parampara, the GBC and the entire world devotee communitywere all on your side, so you decided to go ahead with the eviction anyway.Tell me that, as bright and spiritually insightful ISKCON managers, thatyou, Svavas, Virabahu, Nirantara and Govinda Datta sat with ISKCON's lawyerAmarendra and all of you intelligently and soberly weighed the potentialloss of all tax exemptions on all Temple owned real property as against ...what ? Kicking out a pregnant woman devotee ? Flexing your administrativemuscles and showing the world that you, Virabahu and Svavas are in firmcontrol of the Los Angeles Temple and can successfully police those nastyritvik thoughts -- even at the risk that an innocent human life might belost in the process ? Are you people for real ?
And now, with the LA Housing Department having determined that ISKCON ofSouthern California Inc NEVER actually had a tax-exempt registrationcertificate on file with the City Clerk and having formally decided that theTemple building at 3765 Watseka IS subject to the provisions of the LA RentStabilization Ordinance, the wrongful eviction of Ram Parashar is legally onyour head along with ISKCON's fine staff of spiritual and moral leaders ofthe LA Temple community -- Svavas, Amarendra, Nirantara, Virabahu andGovinda Datta.
And the best response you can now muster for the world community is to posethe trite question: "why can't this be settled out of court?" If you reallydon't know why, I'll give you a hint: it's called "too little, too late."There is nothing to settle. You did your damage and the eviction case isalready over. On Monday morning I will move the Court to set aside thewrongful -- and I repeat -- wrongful, eviction that you and ISKCON's finelegal staff obtained against an "honest, strict and gentle Brahmin devotee"and his pregnant wife by having snookered the Court on September 25th withthe patently false claim that ISKCON of Southern California, Inc., held avalid tax exempt registration certificate with the City of Los Angeles onthe building located at 3765 Watseka Avenue.
So, sorry Badrinarayan. Your attempt at a public relations spin andcharacter assassination on yet another ISKCON/GBC administrator-catalyzedfiasco is painfully transparent. You should now muster what you relate toas your dignity and just resign -- along with Svavas, Govinda Datta,Nirantara and Virabahu -- from any administrative "leadership" role you havein Srila Prabhupada's ISKCON. Because, this time, the wrongful actions andtestosterone mentality of you and your merry band of yes men has ACTUALLYand LEGALLY resulted in the tragic and untimely death of an unborn child.And in one court or another, there will be consequences.
Gupta das (ACBSP)
Joseph Fedorowsky Esq
OXFORD LAW FIRM
5757 W Century Blvd., Suite 700
Los Angeles, CA 90045
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