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In USA, Norco sets up committee to resolve Hindu Temple Project issues

On July 6, the Norco City Council members unanimously decided to block the construction of the temple on the grounds of reasons such as the temple doesn’t fit the city’s ‘western theme and identity’

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  • Norco City Council members in a unanimous 5-0 vote decided to block the construction of a Hindu temple on the grounds of not fitting the city’s ‘western theme and identity’
  • City Manager Andy Okoro plans to set up a resolving committee in the light of the recent misunderstandings in the media 
  • The time for the process cannot be assumed as it highly depends on the recommendations made

Officials of Norco just moved one step closer to lacking a Hindu temple in its 3636 Norconian Drive. One won’t be entirely wrong if he thinks it was a culturally unbelievable step by the Norco city council to deny the leaders of a faith organisation from moving ahead with their plans of bringing in a Hindu temple to the town.

On July 6, 2016, the Norco City Council members unanimously decided to block the construction of the temple on the grounds of reasons such as, the temple doesn’t fit the city’s ‘western theme and identity’.

Adding to that, Councilmen Greg Newton and Ted Hoffman raised concerns about adequate parking, water drainage and the effect on residential vistas before voting against the temple. To a common man, it might all seem like religious discrimination done behind a cloak, reported the Press Enterprise Website.

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“We were stunned when they denied us,” Patolia, also a chairman of the faith organisation, said this week. “They had already made up their minds not to allow it.” The supporters of the temple have already spent more than $200,000 on the 4-acre site, which is wedged between two Christian churches. Another reason added to the reject list by the city officials was about the proposed domed structure of the temple that falls beneath the city’s height allowance.

Ironically, the steeples of the Christian churches exceed city laws, reaching more than 60 feet into the air. Nevertheless, the developers appealed to reduce the building’s height by more than 10 feet and remove the traditional domed architecture that serves as a reflection of their religious expression.

Light at the end of the tunnel

However, all hope is not lost and a three-year effort is not assumed to go down the drain just yet. On July 20, a Corona resident filed a complaint with the American Civil Liberties Union for similar reasons due to which City Manager Andy Okoro has recommended forming a committee to resolve the above issues.

In his report for August 3, council meeting Okoro stated his reasons for a resolving committee. The Press Enterprise states those reasons –“misunderstanding in the media regarding the reasons why the project was denied” and the “applicant’s willingness to make changes” to the project are the reasons for a second chance.

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Norco City Councilman Kevin Bash. Image Source: The Press Enterprise
Norco City Councilman Kevin Bash. Image Source: The Press Enterprise

The Press Enterprise stated that the temple and cultural centre for the Swaminarayan Gurukul faith, a Hindu denomination, would have included a prayer room, covered patio, classrooms, kitchens and a tennis court. There would be Patrons daily yoga, prayers and meditation held in its enclosed area.

The proposed committee will be conducted in the presence of two city council members, two planning commissioners and temple representatives to oversee the architectural details and the temple’s effects on the local streets. The time for the process cannot be assumed as it highly depends on the recommendations made.

– prepared by Karishma Vanjani of NewsGram. Twitter: @BladesnBoots

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  • noh1bvisas

    assimilate. if you want to come to america, try to fit in. redesign, then resubmit – just like everyone else.

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Hindus In Delhi Push For A Temple On The Ruins Of a Mosque

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

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Supporters of Vishwa Hindu Parishad gather during a rally in New Delhi, Dec. 9, 2018. The group gathered thousands of supporters to demand the construction of a Hindu temple on a site where a mosque was attacked, demolished in 1992. VOA

Tens of thousands of hardline Hindu protesters marched in New Delhi on Sunday, calling for a grand temple to be built on the ruins of a destroyed mosque in a flashpoint Indian city.

Trident-waving devotees clad in saffron filled a huge parade ground in the Indian capital under tight security, where speakers warned Prime Minister Narendra Modi they would not let up until the temple was sanctioned.

Some of Modi’s supporters feel the Hindu nationalist leader has not done enough to raise a shrine at a site in Ayodhya, a city believed by many to be the birthplace of the deity Ram.

The site was home to a medieval mosque for 460 years until Hindu zealots tore it down in 1992, kicking off riots across India that left thousands dead, most of them Muslims.

Its future has been tied up in courts for decades but some hardliners want Modi, who is seeking reelection in 2019, to push parliament to guarantee the temple by law.

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“The gathering here is telling you that Hindus won’t sit back until the temple is built, and our wishes are respected,” said Champat Rai, the leader of the Vishva Hindu Parishad (VHP) group that organized the protest.

Demonstrators chanting “Praise be to Ram” packed the Ramlila Maidan, a vast ground capable of holding more than 50,000 people, and filled the surrounding streets.

Some carried maces and tridents — weapons traditionally wielded by Hindu gods — and traveled great distances by train and bus to reach the rally.

“We have come here to protect our religion and Hindu pride. We want a temple for our Lord Ram,” Hitesh Bharadwaj, a teacher from Delhi’s satellite city Noida, told AFP.

The hardline VHP has applied pressure on Modi in recent weeks, staging a huge show of force in Ayodhya itself last month.

Hindu, Mosque
Photo credit: theguardian.com

A close ally of Modi’s Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), the group is spearheading a push to raise the Ram temple, and is calling for more protests as the premier prepares to go to the polls by May.

The BJP was on the margins until the 1980s when its top leaders, including Modi, backed a growing movement for the construction of the Ram temple.

Its advocates want parliament to introduce a law bypassing legal hurdles blocking the temple before Modi’s term ends.

Also Read: Delhi’s Air Quality Leads To Ban On Trucks And Construction

The Supreme Court has delayed hearings into the disputed site but hardliners have vowed to lay a foundation stone next year regardless.

“We don’t care about the courts. A grand temple will be constructed in 2019,” Sushil Chawdhary, a VHP leader, told AFP. (VOA)