Monday October 22, 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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Kejriwal’s Door to Door Donation Drive is a Farce: Munish Raizada

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors' list on its website and then only seek new donations.

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Dr. Munish Raizada along with his Chanda Bandh Satyagraha team outside the office of AAP MLA Jarnail Singh (Tilak Nagar). File photo

Chicago: The Aam Aadmi Party Convener and Delhi CM Arvind Kejriwal has launched a door to door campaign seeking donations for the AAP.  According to former overseas co-coordinator of Aam Aadmi Party, Dr. Munish Raizada, this is nothing more than a misleading campaign!

Raizada says that Kejriwal has no moral right to seek donations from common man as he has dismantled financial transparency in AAP by removing donors list from its website. Displaying donors’ list showing real time donations and making the income and expenditure accounts available online were the basis and the promise of the AAP, emphasised Raizada.

Now, after hiding donors’ list and its balance sheets from the public, the AAP cannot claim to be practising alternative politics.

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Lack of financial transparency in the Arvind Kejriwal-led AAP prompted a group of NRIs, who once worked to mobilise funds and support for the party, to turn against it. (File photo)

It may be noted that AAP removed the list of donors from its website in June 2016. Moreover, since then AAP has been surrounded with controversies related to donations. AAP had also received Rs 30.67 crore Income Tax notice, last year in November, implying that all is not well with AAP’s accounts, says Raizada.

He further questions Kejriwal, that if AAP has nothing to hide about its accounts and if AAP is honest with its account keeping then why is Kejriwal hiding the donations?

Even the donation policy that was earlier the pride of every AAP volunteer has been done away with. The donation policy on AAP website used to state: “Every single rupee donated to the party will be published on the website immediately along with the details of the donor. Every expense done by the party will also be published on the website.”

But rather than putting the donors’ list in public domain, the party’s corrupt leadership started blaming BJP and I.T. Department for harassing its donors.

 

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Chanda Bandh Satygrah demands restoration of  lost values in AAP ( File Photo)

 

Opaque political funding is the fountain head of corruption. Further, Raizada says that if the party cannot be transparent in its political funding, then talking about fighting corruption and graft is a mere rhetoric. He said that the appeals by Chanda Bandh Satyagraha have fallen on deaf ears as far as the party’s

leadership is concerned. 

Chanda Bandh Satyagraha makes an appeal that AAP should immediately restore donors’ list on its website and then only seek new donations. Chanda Bandh Satyagraha was started by AAP’s volunteers in 2016, with an appeal to the public not to donate to AAP unless it makes its donation lists open and transparent.