Pundit on vandalism of Curepe temple – Hindus will fight back

The content originally appeared on: Trinidad and Tobago Newsday

Spiritual leader of the Bharatiya Vidya Abhyas Mandali Temple Adesh Maharaj performs arti during the religious ceremony for the purpose of atonement and restoring purity following the desecration at the Temple at Watt Street, Curepe, on May 13. – Photo by Ayanna Kinsale

Secretary of the Pandits’ Parishad Pundit Rishi Maharaj says Hindus are angry and will take action as more and more temples are being vandalised.

He made the comments at the Jeemoddhaarana/Prayaschit ceremony at the Bharatiya Vidya AbhyasMandali, Curepe (Watt Street Hindu Temple) following the destruction of more than six murtis on May 8. His comments echoed other executive members of the Sanatan Dharma Maha Sabha (SDMS) also present at the ceremony.

Giving some history of the development of mandirs in the country, Maharaj said, “Today we have faced the worst type of desecration and it is called sacrilege…”

He said many disagreed with the use of the term but the fact remained that Hindus’ places of worship were under attack.

He said from 2006-2022 there were eight temples desecrated.

In 2023, that number grew and for this year, there were four instances of destruction at temples.

Maharaj said the Hindu community would not be intimidated. He said the SDMS would not allow this to continue and intended to fight back.

Maharaj said the organisation was waiting on word as to what those in authority planned to do.

“Those in authority have said in no uncertain words that these are not acts of sacrilege . These are not acts of religious intolerance.

“Today we ask what is it, if it is not sacrilege.”

He called on those in authority to make a public pronouncement as to what has happened and what seems to be a growing trend in Trinidad and Tobago.

Maharj said not only was the organisation concerned and alarmed but also annoyed, somewhat agitated and passionate about treatment Hindus were receiving in Trinidad and Tobago.

Chaguanas West MP and pundit Dinesh Rambally also spoke at the ceremony and said it was time to frontally address such issues.

He said temples, churches and mosques were institutions that stood as symbols of Trinidad and Tobago’s multicultural and multi religious heritage.

He added if acts of desecration were to go unaddressed, Trinidad and Tobago risked descending into chaos and intolerance.