Assault on temple

Published: May 22, 2012

Mian Iftikhar visiting the temple on Monday. PHOTO: AGENCIES

The state of madness we have slipped into as a society is rather deplorable and the descent has taken a toll on ethical and moral values. The degree of hatred directed towards minority communities demonstrates just how depraved we have become and the extent to which we have alienated ourselves from all sense of rationality and logical reasoning.

The latest of many incidents of persecution against minority communities came in the Gorgathri district of Peshawar, where the 160-year-old Goraknath Hindu temple was vandalised when unknown individuals entered it in the early hours of morning, on May 20. When it was opened for prayer in the evening, the place had been ransacked. Sacred statues, Holy Scriptures and pictures placed inside had been destroyed, while the perpetrators were able to escape undetected. The police have lodged an FIR on the basis of complaints by the Hindu community. The historic temple, which had remained closed for 60 years, had opened only recently in October last year, following a ruling by a two-member Peshawar High Court bench arguing that despite the existing dispute over ownership, people could not be denied the right to worship at the temple.

But this basic right to practise one’s religion has now been snatched away by men who took matters into their own hands. It is not known who they are, but one can only assume they most likely had extremist links. It is difficult to fathom what they hold against a miniscule religious minority which presents no apparent threat to them and had been engaged with the temple, quietly and peacefully over time. The degree of intolerance we have built within our society is frightening and the incident in Peshawar is the latest manifestation of this. The demonstrations of hatred we see every now and then, at increasingly regular intervals, are still growing and will not end until the culprits in this case — and others like it — are apprehended and penalised under the relevant laws in order to deter others from taking similar action.

Published in The Express Tribune, May 22nd, 2012.

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Reader Comments (7)

  • abdullah
    May 22, 2012 - 1:16AM

    all false liberal propaganda to distract masses from more pressing problems hindu in peshawar are hardly one in ten thousand so why some one will waste time to destroy temple

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  • Mangoman
    May 22, 2012 - 1:19AM

    BBC Urdu reports that there is some conflict between temple authorities and archaeology department… and police says it was a drama by Hindu curator of temple.. What’s the story man?

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  • sharifL
    May 22, 2012 - 10:54AM

    Thanks for pointing out this evil deed in an editorial.
    If a mosque had been assaulted in a non Muslim or for that matter a muslim country, results would have been different. At least there will be shouts of anti Islam and perhaps attacks on non Muslim holy places. And result in deaths of some innocent human beings.
    I have a feeling we have got used to one sided way of thinking: We can build mosques in other parts of the world, try to convert others to Islam, (sometimes successfully), but threaten to kill any Muslim to change his or her faith. But then some might call my views blasphemous. I call this intolerance that does not into 21st century.

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  • Irfan Khan
    May 22, 2012 - 4:56PM

    Shame on the attackers and their mind sets in this era of Science & Technology long live Secular Indian Civilization of Peace and fraternity , this extremist group of minority in Peshawar will vanish in the ashes of their hatefull minds.

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  • abdullah
    May 22, 2012 - 5:40PM

    @Irfan Khan:
    simply when there are no kafir then why ANP IS IMPOSING A TEMPLE upon muslims of pushtankha/afghania i never saw any ANP/NORTHERN ALLIANCE condemning destruction of masajids in bombardment through out AFPAKRecommend

  • kaalchakra
    May 22, 2012 - 6:31PM

    What about Babri Masjid? Never heard any liberal Muslim raising any objections to the wanton destruction of Mosques in India.

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  • abdullah
    May 22, 2012 - 7:13PM

    @kaalchakra:
    forget india now there is no indo pak now talk about AFPAK

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