Thursday, June 15, 2006

Temple Demolitions: Get heard

Following news items are the ones you definitely would have missed out.

(1) In Lahore the Krishna Mandir was recently demolished by the Pakistan Government. The temple site was sold by the administration to a private party to construct a commercial complex. No Hindu even protested the demolition fearing the use of muscle power by the new owner of the temple site. Now there is no temple in Lahore where Hindus can worship.

(2) In Minnesota (USA) this year, a newly constructed Hindu temple which was about to be inaugurated was attacked by ‘unknown miscreants’. Nine out of 14 deities were vandalized so badly that new deities should be made again.

(3) Since February this year three Hindu temples have been knocked down in Malaysia. Three more temples will soon see the dust. Local Hindus say there is an unofficial cleansing of Hindu temples in Malaysia.

(4) ISKCON purchased a land legally in Kazakhstan, a muslim dominated country. Seeing the land prices raising high the Government of Kazakhstan confiscated the land belonging to ISKCON illegally a few months back. Even the courts were not of any help to ISKCON to retain its legal property.

(5) In Russia, ISKCON temple was demolished by the Government a few years back. The Mayor had promised a new land for building the temple which has not been given till date. Archbishop Nikon of Russian Orthodox Church wrote to the Mayor of Moscow asking him not to allow a Hindu temple to be built in Moscow because according to him, “Lord Krishna is an evil demon, the personified power of hell, opposing God.”

(6) In Bangladesh, it is an annual event to vandalize Durga Deity during Durga Puja and last year at least at three places Muslims vandalized Durga Deity.

(7) During last year’s Deepavali, local Christians firebombed a Vishnu temple destroying the temple and injuring scores of Hindus celebrating Deepvali in Guyana.

It is possible that I have missed out more such news. By now you are aware that none of the above made it big on media. It is understandable because there were no subsequent riots on the streets disturbing the normal life anywhere. There was no damage caused to public property by those hurt by the above incidents. Obviously Hindus do not think it is worth to attack fellow civilians and public property due to above incidents, however unfortunate and unjustified the incidents are.

In Tamil Nadu last year, 250 temples were brought down to earth following High Court orders in Madurai. The reason was those temples were built on public property. There were no protests. Hindus there thought such a drive was carried out in the interest of people at large.

A few weeks back, following High Court orders a drive to demolish all religious places occupying public property was taken up in Vadodara. 42 Hindu temples were demolished and the city was peaceful as if nothing has happened. But soon after the demolition of a dargah, violence erupted. Everyone including the Central Government intervened. Central Government filed a petition in Supreme Court asking to stop further demolitions. SC ruling against the High Court ordered the State Government to stop the demolitions.

This goes on to show that to get what you want you should go out rioting, hurting fellow citizens and damaging the public property. Media becomes hyper active, politicians stunt around to grab an opportunity for votes, Central Government also drops in to give a parental care and of course the supreme ‘Supreme Court’ will come your rescue.


At 8:47 PM, Blogger Mahesh.R said...

I am not a religious fanatic, but there is one point I would like to make. Lot of temples are bulit by private people as clever means to get land cheaply. In Bangalore, the owner of big kidskemp, a shopping mall bought a huge peice of land from the government saying he wanted to build a shiva temple. Initially he did build one, later he built a huge shopping mall in front of it, pushing the GOD to the background. I have seen a lot of temples cropping up overnight over disputed property or on sites next to roads which the government wants to widen. All this to put the government in a difficult position. That just shows that people have fallen to low standards of misusing the religious sentiments in India. What happens in other countries cant be controlled by us. If some country decides to abolish Hinduism, it is their choice, but there is no point in rioting against it. It makes us bigger people if we dont care about it. Religion is something which should be kept personel. If the Indian Governmetn detroys a temple which was built legally, then what you say is true. Voice has to be raised against it. But protest should be non-violent. It is apparent how some muslim leaders are using the religious sentiments of people to unnecessarily provoke them. We must grow above that and not let parties like VHP turn us into violent religious fantics.

At 9:19 PM, Blogger Akshay said...

I will totally agree with Mahesh here.

At 12:15 AM, Blogger Shankar said...

i too agree with mahesh.....many of the incidents given here are from islamic counties. If it happens in a secular country, the country is truly not secular. If courts have ordered demolision, there will be reasons behind it. In Bangalore there are several temple built on the middle of the road (TOI publish picture of one iin JP Nagar couple of years back). If they are inconvienient to the general public, they have to be got down. Sometimes, the only reason why a road is not widened is because of a temple or a mosque on the road. That is ridiculous.
As far as Russian priest calling Krishna 'evil' is concerned, i think he is narrow minded. Remember, even in our country inter-religion or inter-caste marriage are frowned upon, that is plain narrow-mindedness. We 'officially' brought down Babri Mazjit. We have to deal with the fact that whatever has happened in the history has happened, move on. An extra temple here or there doesn't make god more divine or us more closer to god.

At 1:36 AM, Blogger Mayuresh Gaikwad said...

I do not agree with some of the comments here.
I would say that all these are just proof that "Might is Right". Non-vliolent protests, peaceful demonstrations et-al is good in a civilized society where the voices of all are heard and non-violence is the norm. But I don't see it in this world. And why did the supreme court order the demolitions to be stopped? If yes, it should also have passed a retrospective order to rebuild all the temples at government expense.
I myself am willing to sacrifice a religious structure for the "greater common good", but so should people of all religions. This clearly shows the double standards of the Supreme Court.

At 4:02 PM, Blogger SikhsRus said...

Great post. This is shame that it is going on. It makes me mad that these idiots can not see beyond Islam. From a Sikh perspective, I wish Hindus would stand up to Pakistan's or Afghanistan or other country demolishing Hindu or Sikh or Buddhist temples. Remember Taliban destroying statues of Buddha in Afghanistan. When it comes to courage, size of a communinty does not matter. So what if Hindus are a minority in these countries. A person has only one life to live and he or she has God given right to live in dignity, happiness and peace. If that life of liberty, peace and justice can not be allowed, it is better to die trying than to live. At least this is what I think Guru Gobind Singh tried to instill in Khalsa Sikhs. How can one human being be afraid of another when Ultimate Creator, sustainer, giver of both is same.

At 4:45 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

It is a well known fact that very rarely due to whatever reasons, some unscruplous rascals become heads of religious institutions and pass on such statements. We knew this in the life of Lord Nityananda, Jesus and Mohammed. They had to face so called religious leaders' wrath while trying humbly and sincerely to spread the glories of the Lord.

We can do nothing for the narrow minded unless they faced a real holy man and cared to discuss everything rationally. Then is the possibility of salvation. Lord is Lord and he will be so whatever might be. Those who decry Lord should atleast once see the literature available. No sane man will decry Bhagavadgita. There are many noted scientists and philosophers who greatly appreciated Bhagavadgita including Einstein and Henry David Thoreau.

We can only be sorry for such narrow minded fools but in any case no saintly or pious man will and should tolerate any sort of critisism against Lord or His Devotees. That is natural unless one is spiritually dead.

Simply to pass on such statements as it is is also disturbing. Probably a third person account with more decency would have been more gentle in this case if the writer(initial) doesnot mind. True devotees will not even be happy thinking of repeating such statements.


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