India is a nation which was partitioned in the name of religion. Islamic fundamentalists under the umbrella of Muslim League firstly demanded separate electoral privileges and after getting it, demanded separate land for Muslims. To get freedom from Britishers, Indian politicians accepted the demands of Muslim League and let British leave after partitioning India on the religious lines. However, India chose to remain secular and accepted every religion to have equal status and rights and have not made any distinction among its citizens unlike Pakistan which after formation made every other religion as their secondary and their believers as a second-class citizen.
The recent attack on Hindu temples in various states with a major portion in Andhra Pradesh however reminds of the pre-independence era. A lot of temples are witnessing attacks in a channelized manner. Firstly, the attack was on the rituals of the Hindu culture, which gradually took temples under its ambit and were damaged. Now, the attack has become even severe and the idols of deities are being discredited and broken and tarnished without an iota of provocation.
Indian temples are mostly under government control and all its management including salary of the priests, security of the temple, timings, donations, funds, and beautification are done by the respective state governments. This is a unique feature since every other religious places and institutes including that of Islam, Christians, Sikhs, Jains, Parsi, Jews etc are managed by their respective private boards. In such a scenario, when the temples are under almost absolute control of the state governments, this attack is nothing but a serious breach of trust and negligence from the state government since they’re neither taking enough measures to protect the safety of the temples and deities nor are providing a separate mechanism to protect the sanity of the same.
A Hindu temple is one where it is believed by the Hindus that their deities reside and when such mishaps take place, it is not only the monitory loss, but the effect is much larger and is intended to divide the society which is most largely known for it’s peaceful coexistence with others throughout history.
If the state government could protect the interests and security of their members of legislatures and legislative assemblies; if the state government could protect the interests and security of the judge’s and the courts; if the state government could protect the interests and security of the administrators and the administrative bodies, then what is stopping them to protect the temples and secure the deities? It is not difficult to understand the pattern in the attacks, however the difficult part is their lethargic attitude and ignorant behaviour in protecting the interests of the Hindus and their sentiments.
It is high time that the management of temple should either be transferred to the Hindu organisations or to provide full fledged security to the temples, deities, and the followers. A stable society is one where the people living have a faith in the government especially when the society constitutes the majority population. A continued lack in taking the situation under control may result in a volatile society which won’t be good for both the government as well as the nation at large.
National Poet Sh Ramdhari Singh ‘Dinkar’ said सिंहासन खाली करो कि जनता आती है।
Author: Adv. Shashank Shekhar Jha
Legal Editor, GoaChronicle.com