In the past one and a half years, since the YSR Congress Party led by Y S Jaganmohan Reddy assumed power in Andhra Pradesh, there has been an almost continuous spate of attacks on Hindu temple and vandalization of Hindu murtis (Idols).
While pseudo-secularists and International human rights activists don’t hesitate to cry hoarse over fake news narratives and fictious attacks on minorities in India, these “activists” have remained mute on these continuous attacks on Hindu temples and idol desecration in Andhra Pradesh.
Recent incidents include desecration of 400-year-old Murti of Lord Rama in Ramatheertham temple, the fire at the Antarvedi temple in which its 62-year-old chariot was gutted, stealing of three precious Idols from Sri Kanaka Durga temple in Vijayawada and much more.
Spate of Attacks on Hindu Temples
These violent attacks on temple and desecration of idols in Andhra Pradesh is going on at almost a daily basis, with the Director General of Police (DGP) of Andhra Pradesh saying that 2020 witnessed 228 cases of registered temple attacks, and 2019 witnessed 305 temple attacks.
On 29th of December this year, a 400-year-old idol of Lord Ram was beheaded by unidentified individuals at the Sita Lakshmana Kodandarama temple in Andhra Pradesh’s Ramatheertham.
Priests found the doors of the ancient Sita Lakshmana Kodandarama temple on the Bodikonda hillock in Ramatheertham broken and the Rama idol in the sanctum sanctorum sans the head. The severed portion was retrieved from the nearby temple pond the next day.
on 2nd January, unidentified attackers damaged the idol of Goddess Sita at a temple situated in the Bodycon Pandit Nehra Bus Station in Vijayawada in Andhra Pradesh.
On 1st of January, idol of Lord Subrahmanyeswara was vandalised at the Ganesh Temple in the state’s Rajamahendravaram city which is located in the East Godavari district.
In September of last year, the chariot of famous Sri Lakshmi Narasimha temple in Antarvedi of East Godavari district was gutted in a fire. The chariot, built over 60 years back, was used for special occasions and rituals at the temple.
While initially the state government tried to cover up the incidents put the blame on demented vagrants, public and political pressure forced the YSRCP government to refer the Antarvedi matter to the CBI.
These attacks are not the only high profile ones. In September last year, 3 silver lion statues on the chariot of the famous Goddess Kanaka Durga temple atop Indrakeeladri in Vijayawada were found to be missing, sparking a fresh row in the state.
In January last year, many Hindu idols at different places in the town of Pithapuram in Andhra Pradesh were attacked and desecrated. The present round seems to be some sort of an annual repeat of this ‘rtiual’.
These instances are just the tip of the iceberg. As we had quoted above as more than 228 attacks of Hindu temples were registered in 2020 alone in Andhra Pradesh.
BJP and its NDA ally in the state Jana Sena party (JSP) have strongly condemned these spates of attacks and have launched a protest against the apathy of state government towards these attacks.
Chief of Jana Sena party, Pawan Kalyan said that “They have resorted to evil acts in the historical temple because the state government acted adamantly without any seriousness on the incidents of Pithapuram, Konda Bitragunta and Antarvedi. The accused in the burning down of Sri Lakshmi Narasimha Swamy temple chariot in Antarvedi and people behind the barbaric act have not been traced and arrested till now” and demanded CBI probe must be ordered on these series of incidents.
National General Secretary of BJP and Co-in charge of Andhra Pradesh Sunil Deodhar has also strongly condemned these incidents and likened them to destruction of Bamiyan Buddhas in Afghanistan by Taliban. He also added that failure of Jagan Government to arrest anyone for these attacks and failure to prevent these attacks shows the tacit support of Jagan Reddy government to these attacks on Hindu temples.
Repeat attacks on Hindu temples in Andhra Pradesh are reminiscent of actions of 16th century ruthless St. Xavier in Goa who destroyed temples & carried out forced conversions & Taliban's destruction of giant Buddha statues in Bamiyan.
Join me & #CondemBeheadingLordRamIdol pic.twitter.com/hbeRhv17Qi
— Sunil Deodhar (@Sunil_Deodhar) December 30, 2020
BJP and JSP BJP-JSP also conducted Chalo Ramateertham Rally from Vizag city to Ramateertham of Vizianagaram district to protest against these spates of attacks on Hindu temple. However, Andhra Pradesh Police which has failed to prevent the attacks on temple has again and again prevented political parties in taking out procession protesting these gruesome attacks.
Andhra Government: Error of Commission or Error of Omission?
This logically begs the question – if any other places of faith were attacked 300 times in a year, would the state government be sitting on its hands and continuing to let these attacks continue?
The Andhra Pradesh government led by Chief minister Jaganmohan Reddy must answer why no one has been held responsible so far for these continuous spates of attacks on Hindu temples in land of Tirupati.