Canada became a nation as we know it in 1867. Today is the birthday and one of our able youth’s, Vrajabhumi who hails from the small town of Norwood arranged for four carloads of us Krishna enthusiasts to make the journey to Ottawa, the nations capital. There as every year devotees from Montreal, Ottawa, and Toronto converge to chant to the public in the midst of baskers, break dancers, marching bands and the like.
As soon as we arrived at the war memorial near Pariliament Hill I had a chap who works for the Department of Native Affairs say, “Hey I just saw you on T.V. last night, on Vision TV. “ To my recollection I had been interviewed at a studio in Vancouver last fall and that was what this fellow was reffering to. I recall before the interview I asked what kind of questions they would be asking?
“First of all we were going to bring up the topic about the charge laid against your founder Swami Bhaktivedanta on child abuse,” said the interviewer.
“Excuse me but our leader / founder is a clean as a whistle. I think you have your information a bit confused, “ I retorted.
“oh, well, I guess we’ll skip that one, ‘ said the popular broadcaster. He brought up another topic which escapes me now, but was one of controversy with Krishna Consciousness and some distorted view so I again declared, “That’s misinformation.’
“Okay, so we’ll also leave that one out.”
I had not seen a playback of the interview but in the end the show went well and so the response from the public in Ottawa confirmed this by people telling me so. In fact I felt proud to be in the company of singing and dancing devotees to a very participatory crowd making some kind of affirmation that Krishna Consciousness is not a criminal culture but a tradition of happy and genuine spiritual expression.
By the way the national anthem here is called, “Oh Canada!”. We have our version, “OM Canada!”.