Sunday August 19, 2018

Otomi Temple Destroyed in Hidalgo State, Mexico: Is Hinduism Under Threat?

Hindu Otomi temple destroyed in Mexico, community is upset over vandalism

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  • A religious Otomi temple has been destroyed in a religious site extending into the forest in Hidalgo State, Mexico
  • The assailants identified themselves as Jehova’s Witnesses and said they did it because the altars appeared to be blasphemous
  • Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has urged the Mexican president and the governor to take immediate action against such acts and provide security and protection to ceremonial sites

A religious Otomi temple has been destroyed in a religious site extending into the forest in Hidalgo State, Mexico. The vandals have reported having toppled the stone structures used as altars and scattered religious offerings. Damage to carved stones, paintings, and images at the faraway mountain shrine, called Mayonihka or Mexico Chiquito, was also disclosed.

Jamie Chavez, the leader of the Otomi Nation group, mentions that the natural space itself has been destroyed and that is it easy to replace damaged objects but spaces can be difficult to restore. Chavez said Indians from several states “use the site to perform ceremonies for Mother Nature, and some even do weddings or baptisms. What the elders want is for them to stop invading, or destroying the site.

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Damage to site. Image source: Archaeology Network

A researcher has said that the assailants identified themselves as Jehova’s Witnesses and said they did it because the altars appeared to be blasphemous. However, the spokesperson for the Christian denomination in Mexico said that the accusation appeared to be untrue. “To the extent, we have been able to investigate, we found this story to be false,” he said.

Luis Perez Lugo, a professor at University of Chapingo, said, “I was there, and the Jehova’s Witnesses said they had done it,” after interviewing a nearby village whose inhabitants had executed the act. Lugo also mentioned that some of them have converted recently and used to use the site for Otomi rituals earlier. The professor also stated, “They said it (the pre-Hispanic ceremonies) weren’t in their Bible, and, in their words, they said it was piggish, garbage that wasn’t in the Bible, and so they went to clear out what was offensive to their God.”

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Hindu statesman Rajan Zed has urged the Mexican president and the governor to take immediate action against such acts and provide security and protection to ceremonial sites. Many have been damaged in the past and had to be repaired so that the followers of the tradition could continue with their religious practices

– prepared by Varsha Gupta of NewsGram. Twitter: @VarshaGupta94

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President Ram Nath Kovind Pays His Condolences to Former UN Chief Kofi Annan

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 "for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world".

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India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death.
India condoles former UN chief Kofi Annan's death. Flickr

India on Saturday condoled the death of former UN Secretary General and Nobel laureate Kofi Annan with President Ram Nath Kovind expressing his condolences to the former Ghanaian diplomat’s family and the UN community as a whole.

“Sorry to learn of the passing of former Secretary General of the United Nations Kofi Annan,” Kovind said on the Rashtrapati Bhavan Twitter handle.

“My condolences to his family and to the UN community,” he stated.

Annan, 80, died on Saturday in Switzerland after a short illness, with his wife and three children by his side.

“It is with immense sadness that the Annan family and the Kofi Annan Foundation announce that the former Secretary General of the UN and Nobel Peace Laureate, passed away peacefully on Saturday 18th August after a short illness,” his family said.

Kofi Annan
Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. Flickr

Annan was the first black African to take up the role of the world’s top diplomat, serving two terms from 1997 to 2006. He later served as the UN special envoy for Syria, leading efforts to find a peaceful solution to the conflict.

He also led a UN commission to investigate the Rohingya refugee crisis in Myanmar.

The Myanmar government led by Aung San Suu Kyi supported Annan’s recommendations on the crisis in the country’s Rakhine State.

Also Read: New AI Model to Identify the Risk of Heart Disease in Indians

Annan was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize jointly with the UN in 2001 “for their work for a better organised and more peaceful world”.

His tenure as the UN chief coincided with the Iraq war and the HIV/Aids pandemic. (IANS)