Fri. Jul 19th, 2024

I am astounded by the fact that Johor MIC leader who failed miserably in saving the Hindu temple in Masai, Johor, has the temerity to say that an alternative land was offered to the temple committee but such an offer was not taken up.

He said that an alternative land is available for the temple but they have to put in the necessary papers or the application.

How come such an option was not available for the temple before the demolition took place on Jan 11, 2017?

It is not that that temple was suddenly demolished without any warning. In fact, there was a court order issued in July 2016 for the committee to vacate the premises and hand over the said land to the landowner.

How come the MIC leaders were not aware of this? Why did not the MIC in Johor fail to act in terms of defusing the court order by working out a solution with the landowner?

It is well and good to say all kinds of things after the temple was torn down. The Johor MIC must face up to the truth.

It should not give lame excuses that it is part of the solution. In fact, the problem is the MIC itself. As far as the temple committee is concerned, there was no offer of land before the temple was demolished.

The MIC only appeared on the scene a day after the demolition merely to ease their guilty conscience.

The leaders promised the temple committee that they would work out solution allowing the temple to be rebuilt on the same place. I have witnesses to this promise. Ask the MIC leaders to deny this.

In the last three or four decades, too many Hindu temples and shrines have been demolished in the country by landowners in the name of development and progress. Such demolitions without finding an amicable solution have created anger, disgust and resentment towards the authorities.

Hindus have been terrible insulted by these irresponsible demolitions on the grounds of their “illegality”.

Perhaps a time has come for us to undertake a comprehensive study to understand the situation of Hindu temples in the country.

Such a study can determine the number of temples and shrines, where they are located, the problems they might face with owners and governmental authorities, their financial strength, whether such temples serve the religious and spiritual needs of the Hindu community, what are their challenges and what needs to be done to safeguard them for the future generations.

YB Prof. Dr. P. Ramasamy, DCM Penang