Update on Hindu Temple in Lahore: Case Closed?

Posted on June 30, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Culture & Heritage, Law & Justice, Minorities, Religion, Society
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Adil Najam

Update: here.

ATP has been following the developing story about the reported destruction of a Hindu temple in Rangmahal, Lahore. We first wrote about the initial reports on June 14 and then gave a detailed account of how how events were unfolding, on June 17. At that point, the ‘facts’ of the story (as opposed to all the rhetoric coming from both Pakistan and India) were:

  1. The building in question was NOT Krishna Mandir. There is a Krishna Mandir in Lahore, but it is on Ravi Road (far away from Rangmahal). Krishna Mandir is intact and functional. And, the Pakistan government has recently supported its renovation.
  2. However, there was concern that the demolished building was also once a Mandir, although no longer functional. A Hindu resident of Rawalpindi (250km from Lahore) Mr. Om Prakash Narayan had moved the Lahore High Court to stop construction on at the site. The Court had issued a stay order and required the authorities to provide evidence that their action was legal (which it would not be if it were a Temple).

There have been political murmurs on the issue since then, but ATP kept quiet because there were no facts to report or react to. Now, there seems to be a new and important development in the case.

According to the Daily Times on 30 June, 2006 Om Prakash Narayan, who had filed a petition in the Lahore High Court has withdrawn his writ, saying the temple was intact and he had filed the petition because of a misunderstanding. Mr Narayan, who is also the secretary general of the Pakistan Minorities Welfare Council was reported as saying:

“…after visiting the place and being told by the locals that there was no temple where the plaza was being constructed, I decided to file an application in the court to withdraw my petition against the federal secretary of Religious Affairs and Evacuee Property Trust Board (ETPB) chairman.â€Â?

Mr. Narayan was also reported as calling the statements of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leaders misleading and interference in Pakistan’s internal affairs and that “…they [BJP] should look at what is happening against minorities in India, which calls itself a liberal secular state.â€Â?

While BJP statements were unhelpful and playing to their own domestic political tunes, this last bit from Mr. Narayan sounds a little too canned, and mimics earlier statements from the Pakistan Minister for Religious Affaits, Ejazul Haq, who (again, according to the Daily Times) had spoken two days earlier to say that “India’s Hindu nationalist leadership must cease spreading propaganda about Hindu temples being destroyed in Pakistan” because such allegations could impede the India-Pakistan peace process.

He also criticised Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Lal Krishan Advani’s statements, saying the leader should act responsible and refrain from issuing baseless allegations. He also said Advani should visit Lahore and see for himself that it was intact and the Religious Affairs Ministry had spent Rs 1 million on its renovation. “I will receive Advani at Wagah and he will be my guest during his stay in Lahore,� he said.

It is noteworthy that Mr. Ejazul Haq was in the city to hand over a newly built Sikh crematorium at Babu Sabu near Bund Road to Sikh leaders and to lay the foundation of stone of a Hindu crematorium close to the Sikh one.

According to the same report: Mushtaq Victor, Minister of State for Minority Affairs, “said that another building that was reported to have been a temple and to have been demolished to make place for a commercial plaza, was found intact in Wachhoo Wali Bazaar.”

Hindu MNAs Kirshan Bheel and Devdas and MPAs Rajveer Singh, Ishwar Lal, Om Prakash, and Ram Narain Malkani praised the government for providing all facilities to minorities in Pakistan, saying the controversy was apparently engineered to create misunderstanding between Hindus and Muslims… Later, Ejazul Haq took the Hindu and Sikh leaders and reporters to Krishna Temple and met the pundit there.

The news that Krishna Temple is safe and remains operational and that the demolished building was not a Temple is happy news for all Pakistanis; Hindus as well as Muslims. It is news that Mr. Haq as well as Mr. Advani can and should celebrate. However, the fact that politicians on both sides continue to use this as something to wrap their political agendas around, is not welcome.

It would be best if everyone–Mr. Advani, Mr. Haq, and even Mr. Narayan–refrains from making this about anything more than the Temple itself. What would be even better is if Mr. Advani should accept Mr. Haq’s invitation to come over to Lahore!

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10 responses to “Update on Hindu Temple in Lahore: Case Closed?”

  1. bhattathiry says:

    Excellent article.Mind is the cause for both bondage and liberation. The word mind is derived from man to think and the word man derived from manu (sanskrit word for man). “The Supreme Lord is situated in everyone’s heart, O Arjuna, and is directing the wanderings of all living entities, who are seated as on a machine, made of the material energy.” There is no theory to be internalized and applied in this psychology. Ancient practices spontaneously induce what each person needs as the individual and the universal coincide. The work proceeds through intellectual knowledge of the playing field(jnana yoga), emotional devotion to the ideal(bhakti yoga) and right action that includes both feeling and knowledge(karma yoga). With !
    ongoing purification we approach wisdom. The Bhagavad Gita is a message addressed to each and every human individual to help him or her to solve the vexing problem of overcoming the present and progressing towards a bright future. Within its eighteen chapters is revealed a human drama. This is the experience of everyone in this world, the drama of the ascent of man from a state of utter dejection, sorrow and total breakdown and hopelessness to a state of perfect understanding, clarity, renewed strength and triumph. Introduction. Modern Management has become a necessity of everyday life, be it at family,in friend circle, in sports, in the office or factory and in Government. In all organizations, where a group of human beings assemble for a common purpose, management principles come into play through the management of resources, finance and planning, priorities, policies and practice. Management is a systematic way of carrying out activities in any field of human effort. Its!

  2. sujata says:

    Pakistan should take care of its cultural heritage which is multicultural in nature.A nation can not grow, a civilisation can not flourish if it is not receptive others.Pkistanis should make efforts to preserve their ancient cultures

  3. Thiagan says:

    19/3/07

    Mr.Bhasin is in self delusion. Advani is very much in the race; it is the pseudo secular gang that is on the run. BJP is ruling in most of the big states; minority appeasing Congress is ruling only in two big states; in one as a coalition partner. Next month UP goes to polls, when the friends of Bhasin will be rendered irrelevent. Secularism has flopped in Europe, Australia and elsewhere and it is a failiure in India too.

    Thiagan

  4. […] One of the very first posts we had done here on ATP was about the alleged demolition of a Hindu temple in Rangmahal Lahore (here). We followed it up with a second post demonstrating that by design and by default key forces in the media and amongst politicians tend to distort issues for their own myopic gains, even at the cost of the larger issues at stake (here). A third post on this issue from ATP followed up the story further and tried, as best as we could, to separate the facts from the rhetoric (here). […]

  5. Pandit Arvind Sharma says:

    Hi, najam I do not agree with Mr Bhasin this attitude of Hindu’s is the reason of the state Hindu’s are in Kashmir, Bangaladesh, Pakistan and caribian states. If a mosque is touched in India the whole muslim world cries foul,but when a temple which I am sure has been razed our own brothers say “till the time his own house is not on fire who the f*** cares”. I thank the Govt of Pakistan if temple is safe,if it has been destroyed please say it and don’t worry about Indians they are not going to react because majority is Mr Bhasin and his friends.

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