Monday December 17, 2018

Wilton Hindu Temple of Connecticut: The Temple draws Hindu community in Fairfield County

Read how, Wilton Hindu Temple gave new life to people living in Connecticut.

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Wilton Hindu Temple. Image Source: World Hindu News.
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  • Wilton Hindu Temple has motivated many families to move to Wilton
  • There is no specific offshoot attached to its name and hence any Hindu can come to the temple, anytime he pleases
  • One of the major benefits of the temple is that no specific offshoot is attached to its name and hence any Hindu can come to the temple, anytime he pleases

The temple gave us new life in Connecticut, when we came here, we felt so lonely. But Swami Balgopal taught us new things about how to live and how to worship to improve our lives.” Said Rajesh Ohri.

Rajesh Ohri just like many others moved from different parts of USA to Wilton where Swami Balgopal founded the Wilton Hindu Temple to serve the growing needs of the Hindu community, which as of today is thriving in the USA. Swami Balgopal founded the temple in 2014 and this temple represents Hindu community in the Fairfield County. He says, “When we chose Wilton, we came here for them, eighty families have moved to Wilton after we built the temple here.”

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68 Westport Road is the location where one can find the sacred temple; it was built to provide a safe and affordable location to Hindus, the population of whom have increased from 4,000 to 20,000 adherents since 2010. Based on his involvement with local Hindu committees in Fairfield County and the American Hindu RCO Mandir in New York for the past 15 years, Balgopal has assumed this number since official census no longer gather data based on religious affiliations reported worldhindunews.com.

One of the major benefits of the temple is that no specific offshoot is attached to its name and hence any Hindu can come to the temple, anytime he pleases. This universality not only gives the temple a better reputation but also displays a wider representation of the community in Fairfield. “Every week I see new cars, new babies, new homes,” he said. “You can really see that the Hindu population is growing. It’s an amazing thing.”

Life Before Wilton Hindu Temple

All Hindu families stayed in Middletown, Flushing, N.Y., or Pomona, N.J. as that’s where all the available temples were. Families wanted to raise their kids in an environment that had some trace of their backgrounds which would in turn help inculcating strong moral values about their cultural community. Artie Rokkam faced this same scenario; she lived in Stamford for 10 years before she moved to Wilton. “We are a young generation of Indians that have immigrated and we all have very young kids,” she said. “The desire to be able to raise your kids in knowledge and awareness of their roots is a common thread across the community.

According to worldhindunews.com, the above case existed even in the late 60’s when the numbers of Indians were far lesser – 50 to 70 people – as the same desire to fulfil spiritual and cultural needs filled their hearts. Janardan Upadhyaya who moved to Stamford from India in 1968 and later to Fairfield said, “We used to get together and have a prayer at somebody’s house once a month, from childhood, I had the opportunity to stay with my grandparents and they taught me what is Indian culture and why we need to pray to have peace of mind. I saw that and people got the knowledge and that way I started helping people how to pray.

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Wilton Hindu Temple has motivated many families to move to Wilton, not only for the temple but also for a greater sense of bonding, to keep the faith alive in the religion and to see the Hindu community grow.

– by Karishma Vanjani, an intern with NewsGram. Twitter @BladesnBoots

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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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Hindus don’t oppose anyone, don’t aspire to dominate: RSS chief

“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.

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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)