To prevent Mc Donald from operating just in front of the temple compound which is about 50 meters away..

Why ISKCON objects to the opening of McDonald's in the immediate vicinity of Hare Krishna Land

The International Society for Krishna Consciousness (ISKCON) is an international organisation whose teachings originate from ancient monotheistic, Vaishnava scriptures. Its mission is to share these valuable, non-sectarian, spiritual teachings with people all over the world, irrespective of their race or creed. In Mauritius, ISKCON has a well-established place in Mauritian religious society, counting thousands of members.

Hare Krishna Land, at Pont Fer, Phoenix, hosts a number of important facilities for the Mauritian public:
1.The main Radha-Krishna temple.
2.The present building is dedicated to the worship of Lord Krishna and as such is a holy place. Furthermore, it is a centre for philosophical courses, meditation, prayer and other spiritually related activities.
3.It is the site of a new temple and spiritual village.
4.It is renowned for the grand celebration of major Vaishnava festivals of the Hindu calendar.

In Vedic/Hindu culture, the cow is respected and revered as one of the seven universal mothers. Like a mother who gives her child milk for nourishment when it is young, the cow also gives her milk to human beings. In respect for Mother Cow’s service, it is a fundamental religious principle of Vedic/Hindu culture to give her all protection. Any harm to the cow is not tolerated, what to speak of her slaughter.

The followers of ISKCON worship Lord Krishna, who is also known as Gopal and Govinda, one who loves and protects cows. Cow protection, therefore, is especially important to His devotees.

Mc Donald’s, on the other hand, promotes cow slaughter and together with its prominent visual representation directly opposite the ISKCON temple, the restaurant will be a flagrant disrespect to Lord Krishna, who in His new temple, will be worshipped within the close proximity of 100 metres.

Ten years ago, Mc Donald’s applied for a license to the Municipality of Quatres-Bornes to open its doors at Toys R Us. On grounds of religious sensitivity, ISKCON objected and Mc Donald’s was refused a permit. Now, without informing ISKCON, Mc Donald’s defiantly obtained a permit from the Municipality of Vacoas-Phoenix to operate right in front of our shrine.

ISKCON has never shown intolerance to those who do not embrace their faith in Mauritius. Neither have they ever shown any adversity to the economic development of Mauritius nor have they ever used violence or radicalism to express themselves. The question here is not about Mc Donald’s opening in Mauritius. Neither is it a question about whether one accepts cow slaughter or not. The question we are addressing is that of religious sensitivity and mutual respect – the very fabric of Mauritian culture.

Today, we appeal to the support of all religious groups as well as every Mauritian to take a stand, alongside ISKCON, to object to the proposed opening of a Mc Donald’s branch in the immediate proximity of Hare Krishna Land in Phoenix. We trust that our fellow citizens and decision-makers will understand that this is a matter that needs to be carefully considered in terms of due respect for a major religious organisation in the country. We hope that our objection and appeal for support will be heard, and will be seen as a test for the island’s investment in what constitutes its multiculturalism – mutual respect, appreciation and understanding.

1. www.iskconmauritius.com