THE EDITOR: The Hindu Women’s Organisation of Trinidad and Tobago Inc strongly condemns the actions of the perpetrators who recently defiled, looted and vandalised the Carapo Shiv Mandir.
The tremendous outpouring of empathy from people of all races and religions is heartening. It is a reminder that the words of our national anthem, “Here every creed and race finds an equal place,” still echo in the consciousness of many good and right-thinking people.
Breaking into a mandir, or any place of worship, is a disrespectful act. Other religious institutions have been robbed and vandalised in the last few years, but this intrusion is of a far more alarming level. This exceeded the limits of burglary and vandalism and one can conclude that it had a spiteful, religious intolerant and bigoted intent based on the actions of the perpetrators.
Cooking and consuming meat in a mandir affect the spiritual vibrations in the mandir. Mandirs are places of worship and when established certain prayers and rituals are conducted to ensure the vibrations meet the requirements of the scriptures. The vibrations of meat are contrary to the vibrations created in the mandir.
While the presence of meat in the mandir is offensive alone, the fact that beef was used adds another layer of insult and disrespect. It is well known in TT that cows are sacred to Hindus. For us Hindus the cow is likened to a mother who produces milk which sustains the baby when the mother cannot.
While this is our view, we do not force anyone to agree with our views, we do not try to change anyone’s diet. However, we must be allowed to practise our beliefs in our homes and mandirs without fear of disrespect or persecution.
The biggest crime here is not about the thousands of dollars of kitchen utensils and repairs. It is about a door being opened for religious hate crimes which we are only familiar with when we look at happenings in other countries where religious tension is a daily occurrence.
The actions of these intruders have proven that within the hearts of some there is deep-seated hatred and bigotry which if left unchecked can gradually manifest from one religion to another.
If these zealots are not brought to justice for their crimes, then as a nation we are entering a downward spiral of no return. It is for this reason that the police and judiciary must spare no effort in bringing these perpetrators to swift justice with an attitude of deterrence.
There must be a strong signal by all that this kind of behaviour is not part of the landscape of TT.
Organisation of TT