The 20th anniversary of the campaign to save Bhaktivedanta Manor in Aldenham has been celebrated in Parliament.
On March 16, 1994, more than 36,000 Hindus marched in Westminster against Hertsmere Council’s decision to close the manor because of complaints from local residents about the increasing volume of traffic, especially around festival time.
However months before the deadline, devotees and well-wishers both nationally and internationally expressed their concerns to the Government and more than a hundred members of Parliament joined the list of supporters.
At the start of 1996 a public inquiry was held and the report from the Department of the Environment was issued, granting planning permission for Bhaktivedanta Manor.
Lords, MPs, councillors and key members of the Hare Krishna community came together last week to share their memories of the campaign that brought together the entire British Hindu community.
Akhandadhi Das, temple president at the time, delivered a speech recalling that when the Hindu community came together in such numbers they protested with integrity.
The Minister of Justice and Civil Liberties the Rt Hon Simon Hughes MP said that in the end the British democratic system prevailed and through peaceful protest the rights of worship were preserved.