The International Society for Krishna Consciousness is the “biggest cheater” in India as it sells its cows to butchers, Bharatiya Janata Party MP Maneka Gandhi said in a video that went viral on social media on Tuesday.
ISKCON is based on an ancient monotheistic strain of Hinduism and whose followers worship the Hindu deity Krishna.
In the video, Gandhi, a former Union minister and an animal rights activist, recalled her visit to ISKCON’s cowshed in Anantapur city of Andhra Pradesh. “There was no dry cow in the entire dairy,” she declared. “Not a single calf was there. It means all were sold.”
A dry cow is one that has not been milked for some time.
“ISKCON is selling all its cows to the butchers,” the BJP leader continued. “No one else does this as much as they do. And they go on and sing ‘Hare Ram Hare Krishna’ on the roads and say their entire life is dependent on milk. Probably, no one has sold as many cattle to the butchers as they did.”
ISKCON, however, dismissed the allegations as “unsubstantiated and false”.
In a tweet, its national spokesperson Yudhistir Govinda Das said that the religious group has been at the forefront of cow and bull protection not just in India but globally. “The cows and bulls are served for their life not sold to butchers as alleged,” Das wrote.
The religious group shared a letter from a veterinary doctor about the Anantapur cowshed as well as assessment statements of the local MP and MLA. Das also claimed that none of the workers at the Anantapur cowshed could recall Gandhi visiting the place.