Worldwide Hindu community is aghast at reports of continuous vandalizing of Hindu temples in Trinidad and Tobago (TT) in recent months.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was shocking for Hindu communities in various parts of the world to hear about vandalizing of Hindu houses of worship in TT one after the other, latest being at Kali Mata Temple in Carli Bay on Wednesday, during the Hindu holy days of Navaratri.
It was reportedly highly heartbreaking for the hard-working, harmonious and peaceful Hindu community of TT to receive such signals of hatred, and to experience the desecration of their places of worship which they held in high reverence. TT Hindus had made a lot of contributions to the nation and society and continued to do so; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.
According to reports, Kali Mata Temple in Carli Bay, a pilgrimage site, was defiled on September 28, which included smashing of the head of goddess Kali murti, painting of warning graffiti. Few days back, Lakrani Ganesh Temple in Penal was desecrated; which included smashing of Lord Ganesh murti, removing dresses of the statues of gods, ransacking of temple, etc. Lord Shiv Temple in Carapo was vandalized twice in May and June, which included removing necklaces of deities, and cooking of corned beef on the premises in the same pots usually used for cooking prasad (religious offering). (Cow, the seat of many deities, is sacred and has long been venerated in Hinduism). Break-in happened at Princes Town Shiv Mandir in May.
Rajan Zed urged Trinidad and Tobago President Paula-Mae Weekes and Prime Minister Dr. Keith Christopher Rowley to take this issue seriously and urgently and launch swift action to put an end to such crimes and make sure that such incidents did not happen in the future. He also urged Weekes and Rowley to visit the vandalized Kali Mata Temple in Carli Bay and meet the Hindu community to reassure them.
Zed further said that as an interfaith gesture; Roman Catholic Archbishop of Port of Spain Jason Charles Gordon, Anglican Bishop of TT Diocese Claude Berkley, Caribbean Union Conference of Seventh-day Adventist Church President Kern Tobias, and leaders of other religions in TT should strongly condemn such acts at places of worship and also visit Kali Mata Temple in Carli Bay to show their solidarity with the Hindu community.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.