The recent defacement of the Swaminarayan Mandir Vasana Sanstha in Newark, California, has sparked outrage and condemnation, stirring sentiments within the Indian community and beyond. The Indian consulate in San Francisco swiftly denounced the incident, labeling it as an affront to the emotions of the Indian populace.
In a public statement, the consulate expressed deep dismay over the defacing of the revered Hindu temple with anti-India and pro-Khalistani graffiti. The act, characterized as an assault on the sentiments of the Indian diaspora, prompted an urgent call for a thorough investigation and swift action against the perpetrators.
“We strongly condemn the defacing of SMVS Shri Swaminarayan Mandir at Newark, California with anti-India graffiti. This incident has hurt the sentiments of the Indian community. We have pressed for quick investigation and prompt action against the vandals by the US authorities in this matter,” the consulate’s statement read, highlighting the gravity of the situation.
The Hindu American Foundation joined in the denouncement, sharing distressing images of the defiled temple walls on social media. The graffiti, laden with derogatory and inflammatory content against India and Prime Minister Narendra Modi, also included the name of Khalistani terrorist Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale, instigating fear and reviving past traumas.
“The mention of the Khalistan terrorist kingpin #Bhindranwale, who targeted Hindus for murder, is specifically meant to traumatize temple goers and create a fear of violence—meeting the CA definition of a hate crime,” the Hindu American Foundation emphasized, shedding light on the alarming nature of the incident.
Reported to have occurred on Thursday night, the discovery of the anti-India graffiti by a nearby resident and devotee shocked the temple administration. The reprehensible act, aimed at desecrating a place of worship and instigating fear among worshippers, has drawn widespread condemnation and calls for immediate action.
The incident not only violates the sanctity of a revered religious institution but also strikes at the heart of communal harmony and peace. The swift and unanimous condemnation by the Indian consulate, community organizations, and concerned individuals highlights the unity in standing against such acts of bigotry and vandalism.
In the face of adversity, the unified voice demanding justice and swift action demonstrates resilience and unwavering commitment to uphold the values of respect, tolerance, and communal harmony.