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Cover of the magazine Voice of Hind

By Sudeshna Paul

The cover photo of the recent edition of the ‘Voice of Hind’ magazine had a semi-demolished statue of a Hindu deity. It looked like the 123 feet tall Lord Shiva idol at a temple in Murudeshwara, Karnataka. The temple is a very well-known place and is a major pilgrimage destination. It attracts a lot of tourists throughout the year.

The Murudeshwar Temple is located in a town with the same name, in Bhatkal Taluk of Uttara Kannada district of Karnataka. Murudeshwar is another name for Lord Shiva. Located on top of the Kanduka hill, the temple is surrounded by the Arabian Sea on three sides. Beside the temple, there is a 123 feet tall statue of Lord Shiva. It the 2nd tallest statue of this particular deity, all across the world. Maha Shivratri is celebrated with great galore at this temple. The construction of this temple was funded by businessman and philanthropist Rama Nagappa Shetty.

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The ‘Voice of Hind’ magazine is known to be the mouthpiece of the Islamic Jihad terrorist organization. The image of the deity was digitally vandalized and the ISIS flag can be seen on top of the be-headed structure. It was captioned "It is Time to Break the False Gods". This had led to a big stir as it raises questions about the security of the lives and property of the people living in India. How good is our security system? Will the Government be able to protect the Temple and the statue from any kind of man-made destruction?

This incident has made the Karnataka Government increase the security around the temple premises.

Also Read : Muslims preserve Hindu temple in Kashmir

According to media outlets, this magazine " is a joint venture by the pro-ISIS media outlet Al-Qitaal Media Center and Junudul Khilafah al-Hind, can be defined as an India-centric online propaganda magazine. Launched in February 2020, it has been a regular menace, with a strong and obvious hatred for India. It canonizes the jihad terrorists of the Islamic State-Khorasan Province (ISIS-K, or ISKP) and has made a saint of Pakistani national Huzaifa-al-Bakistani, who was a key recruiter for the Islamic State and was killed in a drone strike in Afghanistan in 2019. “

Earlier this year, 3 men had been arrested from Kashmir as they were supposedly linked to a conspiracy regarding recruiting Indian muslim youths for Jihad, and were motivating them to join the ISIS. A few people, who have been suspected of translating the text of the magazine into local regional languages have also been arrested.

statue Statue of Lord Shiva beside the Murudeshwara temple.

Ever in earlier issues, this particular magazine had spoken about attacking India and taking revenge upon the people, hindus in particular.

According to India's National Investigation Agency (NIA) this "radical Islamic magazine is compiled by fresh graduates and translators operating from a “call centre-type setup” in Pakistan’s Karachi and Islamabad. Handlers responsible for collating the content for the ISIS mouthpiece are based in Afghanistan and India; some content creators have been recruited from Bangladesh and the Maldives as well. However, the editing of the articles, the designing of the pages, and the publishing of the final material all take place in the Pakistan-based facility only. “

I feel that the government should definitely ramp up the security of the temple and the surrounding area, as the threat has come from an enemy outside the country. But people should not use this as a reason to spread communal hatred and conflicts. Religion is a very sensitive issue and people should refrain from spreading hatred.

India being a secular country does not try to focus on any one religion in particular. The Indian Constitution grants all its citizens the Right to Freedom of Religion (Articles 25-28) as a Fundamental Right. It means that there is no official State religion, and that the state is required to treat all religions equally, impartially and neutrally. But this magazine seems to be trying to rattle India’s cohesiveness and promote religious fanaticism, which should never happen.

Keywords : Hindu temples, magazine, cover, Hindu, India, god, religion, muslim, fanaticism, secular, freedom.


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