As it prepares to play a major role in creating awareness for ISKCON’s upcoming 50th anniversary in 2016, the ISKCON Communications Ministry (IC) is looking back on decades of relationship-building and gaining support for Srila Prabhupada’s society.
Meanwhile, it’s also seeking funds to ensure an even more effective next fifty years.
It was really ISKCON Founder-Acharya Srila Prabhupada himself who started ISKCON Communications. Always looking for opportunities to meet with government officials, media representatives, religious leaders, scholars, and opinion-makers like the Beatles, Prabhupada sought ways to help them understand Krishna consciousness, support the movement, and thus improve its worldwide reputation.
Later in 1977, his early disciple Mukunda Goswami began the IC Office in Los Angeles. And in the mid 1990s, when he retired, current director Anuttama Das took over as the International Minister of Communications. Both continued to work with the same groups that Srila Prabhupada did as well as others like neighborhood associations and even anti-cult groups.
“We try to help them understand the value and contributions of the Hare Krishna movement, and how they might assist us in propagating our mission,” says Anuttama. “We also hear their concerns, criticisms, and advice to find out ways we can improve.”
While running the Ministry, Mukunda Goswami improved communication and information amongst devotees by launching the newspaper ISKCON World Review to a huge worldwide readership. He also launched campaigns defending ISKCON’s reputation in some legal cases against the society in those early days.
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