My character assassinated with disgusting allegations : Pundit Dinbandhu Pokhrel
Q: Why do you choose to be involved in religious and spiritual sector from your early age?
Pokhrel: There are mainly 2, 3 reasons behind choosing this field. First, my father Narayan Prashad Pokhrel has initiated a religion campaign for the development of society and I was also keenly interested in his initiative so I chose to be in the religious campaign. After the sudden death of my father, I felt that I should follow the footsteps of my father to raise and accelerate the campaign of my father to fulfill his dream. Second, I was very much fond of getting into the media from my childhood days. So, my father’s campaign was a very much good platform for me towards that end. Also, there were expectations among devotes and followers of my father to give his continuity from within the family members. I felt that my involvement could be a respect to my father and it could contribute on the social transformations so I was engaged in spiritual pravachan.
Q: How many Mahayegya you have organized so far?
Pokhrel: Nearly 2 hundred and 25.
Q: How much money has been collected?
Pokhrel: Approximately 20 billion rupees only in Nepal.
Q: What happened with this money in the society?
Pokhrel: More than 1 hundred 80 schools, 30 hospitals, elderly homes, bridges, roads have been built and other infrastructures have been built across the country.
Q: Now you are fully absorbed by these Mahayagya and Pravachan?
Pokhrel: The society and the media should look this campaign also from the creative approach rather than only from the materialistic prosperity. It’s not merely I go somewhere, recite Puran and collect money rather it should be assessed by putting into a broad dimension. I talk about the religion of broader humanity and I am working to end partisan, communal, linguistic, caste and all forms of discrimination prevalent in the society. Wherever I reach, I think there is union of the humanity is being held. I preach unity, brotherhood and cooperation against hatred and disintegration. My objective is to show that there is no room for caste discrimination and animal sacrifice in our religion.
Q: Does your campaign involve young generation also?
Pokhrel: Obviously. I have engaged the young generation in the spiritual sector. The spiritual consciousness among the youngsters can led us towards peace.
Our campaign helps youth mainstreaming towards youth by internalizing the peace in the practices. I never leave my Topi to reflect the development of spirituality of Nepali model.
This campaign has also supported in awaking the nationality among the people. The campaign is supporting for the education, building hospital and other social purpose by investing the wealth among the elites by encouraging them to donate. The economic equality and the equal distribution of wealth is also what we raise through our campaign. Thus, it is social, religious, economic and cultural campaign. Ending the evils of our culture as well as protecting the norms and values is our aim. Though some might think that Dinbandhu is holding dances but the inherited objectives of the campaign is very wide.
Q: Why do you think more crowds gather in your Pravachan program than others?
Pokhrel: I wouldn’t claim that I have some special powers to lure the people around me. But, what I think is the oratory skills of Pravachan, personality, and the skill of integrating the religions with science is the factors that draw people towards the Pravachan. More than 70 percent youth listen my Pravachan these days. Gone are the days of old people only listening the Pravachan. The musical environment of our Bhajan team is something that invited more audiences.
Q: Is the donation collected are utilized in the same purpose for what it has been collected by the organizers or it has been misused? What have you found?
Pokhrel: I guide the organizer while forming the organizing committee to ensure that the goals set during the program are met. There might be concern among the community either the project that has generated donation has been completed or not. The possibility of fund misuse in the countryside and villages is very nominal since every members of the community are keeping tab over the project progress. Everything is scrutinized. However, in the cities like Kathmandu there could be the problems about people working with ownership. So I am thinking to hold the Mahayegya in the cities by remaining alert about this drawback.
Q: There might be many invitations to you to hold Mahayegyas. How do you manage your schedule?
Pokhrel: Yes, I am invited from everywhere. First I look the agenda and assess the possible impact it can make in the society. The credibility of the organizing committee is what I look after that. Likewise, I make evaluation of the local people’s ownership and awareness towards the program and the issue in my own way. I think local people’s concern and commitment towards the agenda and program is important aspect of the campaign.
Q: The latest census result shows that nearly 82 percent of the population constitute of those who follow Hindu religion. Do you think Nepal should be a Hindu country or not?
Pokhrel: Obviously it should be. The country was peaceful when it was a Hindu country. But it has been pushed towards bigotry by announcing it as a secular country. If we believe in democracy and pluralism, we should make our country a Hindu country also to make our distinct identity in the world. The religion, which is the most liberal, should be given due respect in the country.
Q: You have been actively working for the nation and society. Is government acknowledging it?
Pokhrel: Our state mechanism is itself in doldrums. In this situation, it’s hard to say how much it has been paying attention towards this campaign. And, I also can’t say that the government should acknowledge our campaign.
Q: It is said that you charge exorbitantly. What’s your say?
Pokhrel: This is completely false allegation. A bhraman should never demand the donation amount. Probably, I am the first Pundit to raise this in Nepal. You can evaluate yourself about the truth about this accusation. It is impossible for anybody to furnish the evidence of such accusation of such demands. I accept the offers asked voluntarily. The Bhajan Team has its own nominal remuneration so I don’t know who made such baseless accusation and I also don’t care much about such allegation of prejudice.
Q: Why do you think you have been alleged with such biasness?
Pokhrel: I think this is the rumor spread by irreligious persons. May be someone have problem while I have been preaching for Hinduism and oriental norms and culture. Perhaps, some of them have been vilifying our campaign. It might be someone who was infuriated by not getting my time. I don’t want to accuse anyone but these might be the possible reasons. However, I would say that a Brahman should not demand the salary sum, forget about the percent of the commission. Had I collected any commissions, I would have 2/3 buildings of my own here in Kathmandu but I am still living in a rented room.
Q: You haven’t been able to make your own home and property yet?
Pokhrel: I have but its only 6 Anas of land here in Kathmandu. I have a car granted me by one of my devotee with respect. Still, I am paying installments in the KIST bank of that car. Is it a crime to accept any donation provided by the devotee to the Brahmin? I have one-storey home in Chitwan which is 2 KM far from Tandi there. Except these, I haven’t anything as my property.
Q: According to a Nepali idiom, you don’t need to go far away, the enemies are around you. How much does it apply to you?
Pokhrel: This is applicable to me also. There might be someone who possess ego against me. There are some even in the legendary tales. I don’t want to accuse anybody. I would like to pray for them that they got some wisdom, they rectify their mistakes and they get some good knowledge. My father’s murderers are identified but they shouldn’t get any punishment but they realize their mistakes and mend their ways. My mother, wife and daughter are only my family members. The society should be aware that someone may attempt for taking benefits by misusing my name. I have also told them that now I have become almost like the social property so I may not get the time for working to benefit you only.
I also request journalist friends to deal cautiously with those who come with bad intention and claim that they are my family members. If you wish, you can acknowledge my works but please don’t get after delusory and fabricated accusations.
Q: Is it true that the young ladies should be compulsorily involved in the Bhajan-Kirtan team as it has come in the news stories in the newspaper?
Pokhrel: I couldn’t stop myself from laughing when I read these news stories and I feel pity to those who make such accusation. First, There is not a single lady in my Bhajan Team of 16/17 members. I don’t think I need to clarify this fact which is already clear among the people. Second, the organizing committee also monitors everything and every activity is under the surveillance of the people and devotees. Third, we know that people participating in the religious programs are almost elderly people-mostly our father, mother and sisters. Is it not strange and bad when elderly peoples start singing and dancing spontaneously during my Pravachan and bhajan-kirtan. I am a person who has been preaching the notion that where there is a respect of women, gods are satisfied there. At least I know very well how to respect a woman. I don’t need to say how much disgusting it is to allege someone just because woman participation remains high in our Yegyas. If these disgusting rumors are spread, what can I do? I don’t have anything to say. It might hurt our devotees, but I would never be deviated from my objective. I think the society should refute such sickening allegation upon those who are in a social movement. The state, society, media should acknowledge such social services rather than discouraging it.
Published Date: Sunday, December 9th, 2012 | 11:09 PM