Protest in Chennai over Malaysia razing temples

via Courtesy: Deccan Chronicle published on November 7, 2007

Chennai : Hindu Munnani leaders Rama Gopalan, D Kuppu Ramu and BJP leader and former Union minister Pon. Radhakrishnan were among those arrested by the city police on Tuesday for staging a demonstration in front of the Malaysian consul general office here against the demolition of the Sri Mahamariamman Temple at Shah Alam, Selangor in Malaysia.

“It is unfortunate that a famous temple frequented by Hindus has been demolished. It is sad that this has been done before the Deepavali festival. The Hindus in Malaysia celebrated Navarathri festival at this temple since they consider Mother Mariamman Devi Durga,” Mr Rama Gopalan told reporters.
He claimed the Malaysian government had been demolishing Hindu temples at regular intervals. “Starting from February 2006 till date more than 19 Hindu temples have been demolished in Malaysia. It looks like the Malaysian government is demolishing one temple per month which is disturbing,” Mr Rama Gopalan said before he was arrested and whisked away by the police for staging the protest without permission. BJP’s Pon. Radhakrishnan said over 79 Hindu temples had been demolished by the Malaysian government since 1957.

“The frequency of demolitions has increased over the last couple of years. The Malaysian government has also nullified many rights enjoyed by the Hindus which make them look like second class citizens,” Mr Radhakrishnan alleged. Mr Rama Gopalan criticised chief minister Karunanidhi and the Union government for remaining indifferent to these incidents. “It is ridiculous to note that Karunandhi who writes poetry eulogising terrorists remains silent when Hindu temples are demolished in Malaysia. Sadly enough a majority of the Hindus in Malaysia are from Tamil Nadu and this is in fact an attack against the Tamils,” he contended.

In a memorandum submitted to the vice consul general of Malaysia, the Hindu Munnani leaders expressed shock over the Malaysian government’s silence while Hindu temples were being desecrated and demolished. “We expect the government of Malaysia to strongly condemn the desecrations, violation of Hindu civil rights and to make amends by rebuilding the temples to assuage the sentiments of Hindus,” they said in their memorandum. There was, however, no trouble during the protest as the police maintained strict vigil around the consul general office.

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