We urge readers to join the peaceful protest for highlighting Andhra Pradesh YSR Government's gross mismanagement of Hindu temples and his attempts to decimate 10,000 year old Hindu culture.
The event will take place in Chicago at Donald Stephens Convention Center (847-692-2220) on Sunday, May 6th, at 4:30PM. Additional information along with (optional) registration details is posted at http://www.savetemples.org/ . People from different parts of the country are attending this protest. If you need car pooling, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
There comes a time when a human being has to say, enough is enough. For Gandhiji, it was the cold night he was thrown out of the train in Africa just because his skin color is brown. For African Americans, it was the arrest of Rosa Parks for resisting the discrimination in Montgomery bus system. It is time for Hindus all over the world to arise and fight against the blatant violation of their culture. Let us join in the protest to express our frustration and hurt feelings caused by policies implemented by YSR.
What could happen if we do not act now? We just have to look into the history. Muhammand Ghazni attacked Somnath temple 17 times simply because there was no unified resistance. We now talk that if Hindus were united then, it would have avoided the brutal Islamic rule following that. Are we united now? What is happening in Andhra is harbinger of what will happen in every state in India. The systematic looting, the hurdles to celebration of Hindu festivals, removal of Hindu holidays, the sale and encroachment of temple lands, brazen assault on the most sacred Tirupathi temple, massive religious conversions surrounding all the temples in Andhra Pradesh are no isolated events. It is a well designed and planned destruction of one by one pillars of Hinduism, it is nonetheless the holocaust of 10,000 year old Hindu culture.
In any movement, the biggest enemy is the enemy within. There are these naysayers who say that this is not going to destroy the ancient culture. Just look at the Hinduism 700 years ago to today. How much of the ancient land still practices Hinduism? According to HAF site signed by multiple US legislators, 300,000 Kashmiri Pandits are living as refugees in their own country for last 12 years and dying in large numbers. There are virtually no Hindus left in Kashmir Valley, they are all driven out. The report says there are 400 documented attacks on Bangladeshi Hindus between Jan-Nov 2004, which includes murder, rape, kidnapping, temple destruction and physical intimidation. Kidnapping of vulnerable Hindus is well established multi-million industry in Pakistan. In 1947, Hindus were 30% in Bangla Desh and 15-24% in Pakistan and today they are less than 10% in Bangla Desh and 1.6% in Pakistan.
10,000 temples are demolished since 1985 in Malaysia. M.F. Husain who painted nude Hindu Gods and Goddesses copulating with Vahanas, who drew nude pictures of Gandhiji next to Hitler is honored by Indian Government. What future does Hinduism hold? So biased are media and Human Rights organizations, they go about as if Hindus and Hinduism do not even exist. In spite of all this, Hindus still deny anything significant is happening. Hindus mentality is that of an abused child or a rape victim who do not want to see the reality because it is too difficult to face it.
Then there are Hindu institutions, particularly Hindu temples spread across the United States that are doing precious little to bring Hindus together. In every other religion, the places of worship brings people together and help defend their religion against external attacks. Hindu temples in US have become places of business, the place where management get engrossed in their little sphere of influence. There is little thought to what relevance is of temples when Hinduism itself is under big threat. Then there are the Hindu institutions in form of varied associations which hide behind claims of secular nature and do not see that the fundamental denial of Hindu civil rights is a cause they can legitimately take and help further.
Then there are Hindus as individuals. As Trinidad ex-Prime Minister pointed out "An Indian (Hindu) is culturally more concerned about himself and his family, educating his children, making his life better, as opposed to group advancement. He is highly individualistic. That is what reduces his political power." Little do we realize our strength comes from the strength of family, community and the country. We wait until our own house is on fire. We think little of Dalits and the unfortunate we left behind, who are exploited by so many forces.
Please wake up before it is too late. As Vivekananda said, " Get Up and Set your shoulder to the wheel - how long is this life for? As you have come into this world, leave some mark behind. Otherwise where is the difference between you and the trees and stones? They too come into existence, decay and die."
Demand that Government hand over management of all Hindu institutions to Hindu spiritual leaders. We must bring in internal reforms with regards to discrimination of disadvantaged peoples and fight their exploitation by external forces. Demand that mandatory prison sentences given to those who discriminate. Listen to your conscience and stand up for what is right.