This article, "Probe into Work of Krishna Chaitanya Society in Bengal," was published in The Hindu, August 2, 1976, in Chennai, India.
NEW DELHI, Aug. 13.
Mr. Om Mehta, Minister of State for Home, informed the Rajya Sabha yesterday that Government would order an enquiry into the activities of the Krishna Chaitanya Society in Nadia district of West Bengal to find out whether there was something "fishy about it."
"We will certainly look into its activities to find out whether it is religious or pseudo-religious", he added.
Mr. Mehta made the statement in response to demands made by Mr. Sanet Kumar Raha and Mr. Kalyan Roy (both CPI), who alleged that the Society was receiving financial assistance from the United States and Federal Republic of Germany, and was indulging in anti-Indian activities.
Earlier Mr. F. H. Mohsin, Deputy Home Minister, told Mr. Raha that the Society, which was a registered institution, was reported to be engaged in the propagation of Vedic Dharma and Vedic culture including the study of religion, science, philosophy, art, music and medicine. It also supplied free food to about 3,000 needy people twice a week.
"The Society" was reported to be maintained by its devotees, a number of whom were foreigners including Americans, Germans, Italians, through subscriptions and donations raised by them.
He said that according to available information, no financial assistance had been extended to it by the Central Government.
Mr. Mohsin also told the House that the Society was receiving considerable funds from the U.S. for for the construction of temples. In 1974, it received over Rs. 23,000, in 1975 over Rs. 8 lakhs and till March this year over Rs. 14.67 lakhs.
Answering supplementaries, he pointed out that since the Society was a religious instiution, there was no ban on its receiving foreign contributions. The Society, he said also acquired in Mayapur a large area for constructing temples.
Mrs. Purabi Mukheree wanted the Government to screen foreign contributions received by this and other religious institutions in the country and, if necessary, enact legislation to stop it.
Mr. Mohsin said under the Foreign Contribution Regulation Act, the inflow of foreign money to politicians, political parties and newspapers had been banned. In regard to charitable and religious institutions, there was no restriction on receiving foreign assistance, provided they maintained proper accounts and utilised the funds only for charitable or religious purposes.
Mr. Moshin also said that according to information available with the Government till July 1975, 92 foreigners were working in the Society. Of them 22 were from Commonwealth countries, 58 Americans, four French, five Dutch, two Germans and one Italian. - Samachar.