Hindu temples have been the target of anti Hindu elements since the time of Islamic invaders. In line with the Islamic ideology of Jihad, Islamic invaders didn’t just destroy Hindu temples, but desecrated Hindu deities, by using them as rubble for mosque construction, or worse, by mutilating their private parts. This was to establish religious dominion over Hindus. Islamic invasions were meant to Islamize the country, not just to rule over the people.
Fast forward to 2019, a similar pattern becomes evident when miscreants defile and destroy Hindu temples in a civilized, modern society. Many times, the acts of Islamic invaders are dismissed as barbaric and “history,”–implying that those were uncivilized acts which have no relevance today. But there is a relevance because Hindu temples are still being desecrated in the exact same way, for the exact same reasons.
Why It Matters
The desecration and vandalizing of Hindu deities is not a matter of merely “replacing” the deity. Hindu deities are installed as per elaborate rituals, and energized by enlightened masters, and radiate that energy for centuries. Many of the temples desecrated are many centuries old. Once a deity is desecrated, it ceases to radiate that energy.
This is loss of heritage, loss of spiritual ambiance, hurting of sacred sentiments, and ofcourse, huge economic losses, which are not covered by any government or NGO.
Attacks on Hindu Temples are NOT Civil Offences
Unlike other buildings, a Hindu temple is a representation of everything that is sacred to Hindus, and is not a mere gathering place. It is a place of worship, surrender, and abode of what Hindus hold divine. Hence, any attack, of any kind, on a Hindu temple is an attack on Hindus at large. It is an attack on a religious site, and is nothing less than defiling the premises.
The mainstream media fails to even report these crimes, nor highlight them. The name of criminals is not reported 30-40% of the times, even when it is known. This is clear shielding of criminals, or trying to hide the communal tinge in the crimes, misrepresenting them as “civil” crimes. The desecration and breaking of idols is a clear sign that these are not civil crimes, but done with a clear, planned intent to hurt religious sentiments of Hindus, and stoke fear in them.
Anti Hindu Elements At Work
The numerous attacks on Hindu temples are the handiwork of anti Hindu elements. Whether they are people of other religions, or people supposedly bearing Hindu names, in sentiment they are anti-Hindu, and demonstrate it visibly.
Just like any attack on a church violates all Christians, an attack on any mosque outrages all Muslims, and so on and so forth, any attack or attempt to desecrate or destroy Hindu temples and heritage is an attack on all Hindus.
Mind Boggling Numbers
Unlike other crimes, an attack on a religious institution is a crime which is of relatively less frequent occurrence, globally.
Yet, when it comes to Hindu temples,
There have already been ~62 attacks on Hindu temples in the year 2019 alone!
A big percentage of these crimes include vandalization of the temple idols. Jan, Feb, March & April saw 6-7 attacks per month, which means close to 2 attacks per week!
June and July saw the number of these crimes go through the roof, with 17 and 16 attacks respectively. This amounts to close to 3 attacks per week, or, one every alternate day.
A big percentage of the assailants or culprits have been Muslim miscreants. A good 30% of the criminals are not known, or not reported by media. This is once again by design, as the names of criminals are left out of news reports.
Yet, no human rights organization, no government, no eminent intellectuals have raised a hue and cry over such serious crimes, which repeat on a pattern.
Attacks on Hindu Temples in 2019: Data
Below is a list of the attacks, roughly in chronological order. Each attack/ crime at each temple has been counted as one incident.
#1 Hindu Temple Vandalized in Kentucky, USA by Christian Extremists
The deity images were spray painted with black paint, a knife was stabbed in the chair. The miscreants left spray painted hate messages on the walls, saying “Jesus is the only God.” Christian cross was also spray painted in some of the walls.
#2 Deities Stolen from Gobinda Jeu temple at Gobindanagar, Bangladesh
Krishna deity and gold and silver ornaments were stolen from the temple. The lock was broken and the temple was plundered close to midnight.
#3 Shiva Temple Vandalized in Tangail, Bangladesh
A Hindu temple and the owners’ family home were vandalized. The temple was built on land leased for the purpose, 20 years ago. Eight miscreants tried to forcefully destroy the temple and claim the land.
#4 Entrance to Sri Sri Radha Gopinath Iskcon Temple Barred in Rangpur, Bangladesh
Muslim Miscreants block off entrance to the main hall of the temple with corrugated metal sheet.
#5 200 Year Old Manasa Devi Temple Vandalized in Mahakal Village, Jessore, Bangladesh
Perpetrator Yasin tried to flee after vandalizing the temple, but was caught by temple devotees.
#6 Prasad Poisoned in Gangamma Temple, Karnataka. 2 Dead
Temple Prasad poisoned, which led to 2 people dying and 11 others being hospitalized.
#7 Idols and Holy Books Set on Fire in Sham Sundar Shewa Mandli Temple, Sindh, Pakistan
The temple was attacked by a roudy mob, desecrating the premises. Before setting the temple on fire they also attacked the deities and burnt down Shrimad Bhagwat Geeta and Guru Granth Sahib. Pakistan PM ordered probe into the attack, with no results so far.
#8 Hindu Temple Vandalized by Police in Patharghata, West Bengal
On the pretext of objecting to loudspeakers used in the temple for a religious celebration, the police brutally vandalized the temple, leading to outrage by the devotees. The villagers assert that the loudspeakers were turned off upon request, but the police still vandalized the place & forced the crowd to disperse.
#9 Three Diamond Studded Gold Crowns Stolen from Govindaraja Swami temple in Tirupati
Three Diamond studded gold crowns were stolen from one of the main temples of Tirupati. These ornaments are not only highly priced, but extremely sacred to worshipers of the presiding deities.
#10 Ashtadhatu Idols of Hanuman, Sita & Lakshman Stolen from Ram-Janki Temple, Bahraich, UP
The main deities of the temple were stolen away by breaking into the temple. These deities are extremely rare and worth crores.
#11 Kali Devi Idol Vandalized in Mirpur Temple, Bangladesh
Muslim miscreant vandalized the deity, hurting the religious sentiments of Hindu devotees.
#12 Kali Deity Vandalized in Kushita, Bangladesh
One Kali deity was broken and another was lying on the floor by the temple caretaker, along with several precious ornaments stolen, in a Hindu Temple in Kushtia, Bangladesh.
#13 Two Idols Vandalized in Sosan Kali Temple in Rajbari, Bangladesh
Two idols were desecrated by miscreants in the Sosan Kali temple. The matter was brought to the notice of authorities.
#14, #15 Shiva Temple Attacked in Mannar, Sri Lanka
Christian fanatic mob, led by Catholic priest, vandalized the temple just before Shiva Ratri. They broke the temple arch. Earlier in the year, the Shiva linga deity had been broken into two pieces by the unruly mob, in another similar attack. Police failed to take any action to protect the temple.
#16, #17 Two Hindu Temples in Suryaropeta, Kakinada, Telangana, Demolished by Christian Fanatics
Christian fanatics led by their pastors demolished two temples using machines and stole precious antique deities from the temple.
#18 Two Idols of Devi Kali Vandalized by Miscreants in Tulsi Borat village, Bangladesh
The Hindu temple committee found two idols of Kali disfigured in the temple. The criminals are Muslims and known, but no news of arrest as yet.
#19 Historic Prahaldpuri temple Lying in Ruins in Multan, Pakistan
The ancient, historic Prahladpuri Temple in Multan was demolished by Muslim mobs in 1992 in response to the Babri Masjid demolition in Ayodhya. Evacuee Trust Property Board (ETPB) was to rehabilitate the temple but even after four years, not a brick has been moved. The temple lies in ruins, which was once the sacred spot where Prahlad worshiped Narsimha.
#20 Sadhu Bela Temple on the River Indus Lying in Ruins in Pakistan
The Sadhu Bela Temple Built in 1823, was now in a bad condition, and was to be renovated by ETPB, with the budget sanctioned but paused due to objections. The temple is not maintained and no funds are available for its renovation.
#21, #22 A Hindu Temple Torched & Another Vandalized in Faridpur, Bangladesh
Miscreants vandalized idols Shiva and Kali in a Hindu temple, and torched a Saraswati temple in Manikdaho village.
#23 Hindu Idols Vandalized in Brahmanbaria, Bangladesh
Miscreants vandalized idols of Devi Lakshmi and Saraswati in a newly constructed Hindu temple.
#24 Idol Vandalized in Jhenaidah Kali temple, Bangladesh
A 20 year old Muslim miscreant was caught red handed while desecrating the Kali deity in the temple.
#25, #26 Two Hindu Temples Vandalized in Madaripur, Bangladesh
Muslim miscreants vandalized the Joyjar Radhagobinda and Kali Temple and Kundupara Kali Temple in Joyjar in Bangladesh. The idols of Kali and Roska Chandi were desecrated in one temple, and idols of Shiva and Kali in the other.
#27 Guru Nanak Palace with Sikh & Hindu Ancestry Demolished in Pakistan
Built over four centuries ago, housing ancient artifacts like pictures of founders of Sikhism and Hindu rulers, and a sacred place to Hindus and Sikhs, the Guru Nanak Palace has been demolished by a Muslim man who claims to be the owner of the place.
#28 Presiding Deity Idol in Ugratara temple in Guwahati Stolen
The ancient deity of Ugratara in the temple in Guwahati was stolen, which has now been recovered from a Muslim thief. The temple is one of the major Shaktipeeths.
#29 Hanuman Temple Vandalized in Mirpur, Pakistan
The Hanuman temple was vandalized and the idol thrown into the fields by miscreants. No action has been taken by authorities.
#30 Hindu Deities Arsoned in Trindad & Tobago
Miscreants armed with bolt cutters and flammable liquids set Hindu deities on fire, damaging one of the main deities enormously, along with several other idols in the temple.
#31 Christian Missionaries Construct Church Illegally Near Sacred Hindu Shrine in Kurnool, Andhra Pradesh
Near the shrine of Shri Lakshmi Jagannatha Gattu, Christian missionaries build a church on forest land, illegally. It is a clear attempt at disturbing temple activities and evangelism. The hills of the forest are also considered sacred by Hindus and this illegal construction further fans communal tension.
#32 Durga Temple Vandalized in Chandpur, Bangladesh
Muslim miscreants vandalize the Hindu temple and the deity in Daspara area.
#33 Kalabhairaveshwara Temple in Mudigere Looted, Karnataka
Thieves broke into the historic temple built by the Chola dynasty. All the money from the donation box was looted.
#34 Deities in Hindu Temple Broken & Vandalized in Fairdabad, Haryana
Miscreants threw bricks and broke Hanuman & Gansha deities in the temple. Villagers are outraged and demanding arrest of criminals.
#35 Muslim Mob Lynches Dalit Devotees in a Hindu Temple in Ghasauli, UP
Muslim mob which objected to loudspeaker in a temple near a mosque beat up Dalit Hindus with lathis and sticks.
#36 Muslim Mob Ransacks Temple & Vandalizes Deities in Pilibhit, UP
A Muslim mob objecting to loudspeakers playing bhajans ransacked a Hindu temple in Pilibhit. They also removed the temple deities and threw them away.
#37 Muslim Man Posts Obscene Photos with Deities in Thanjavur Temple
A Muslim man posted obscene photos with female Hindu deities on social media, with the intention to hurt Hindu sentiments & desecrate the deities.
#38 Idols Vandalized in Shiva Temple in Bijnor, UP
Miscreants vandalize several deities in Shiva temple in Bijnor, UP. This has caused outrage in the villagers.
#39 Banda Veer Bahadur Singh Bairagi Idol and Hindu Temple Vandalized in Haryana
Marble idol of Banda Veer Bahadur Singh Bairagi were vandalized and sculptures in the adjoining Hindu temple were broken by miscreants in Khanda village.
#40 Bikeriders Fire Gun Shots Outside Temple in Meerut, UP
Two riders on a two-wheeler fired gun shots outside a temple in Prahladnagar with the intention to stoke fear in Hindus in the temple. Villagers insist that the gun shots were real.
#41 Man Caught Stealing Idols from Temple in Kodungallur, Kerala
A thief was caught right after stealing idols from a temple in Kodungallur, Kerala when his scooter broke down a short distance away. He stole several antique deities and money from the temple.
#42 Sri Ram Idol Stolen from Shri Yugal Madhuri Kunj temple, Ayodhya
Thief broke into the temple in the afternoon and stole the Sri Ram deity. A few days later, due to immense body ache (which he attributed to his thievery), he turned himself in and returned the deity.
#43, #44, #45 Villagers Outraged at Proposed Government Takeover of Ancient Hindu Temples near Madurai, TN
HR&CE had proposed to take over the Mandai Karuppanasamy temple, Ezhaikatha Amman temple and Valladikarar temple in Tamil Nadu which have been managed by devotees for over 500 years. This move has outraged devotees in the area. Government takeover of temples allows irreligious groups to intervene in the activities and rituals of temples and causes interference and nuisance in practising Hindu traditions. Moreover, it causes misappropriation of the temple funds.
#46 Hanuman and Shiva Deities Broken in Binawala, Rajasthan
Shiva and Hanuman deities discovered broken by devotees. No arrests made at the time of report.
#47 Ancient Shiva Deity Broken in Allipur, Meerut, UP
Shiva deity found broken into many pieces by miscreants who broke into the ancient temple at night. To make matters worse, the police just replaced the deity with a different one, without following any rituals of prana pratishtha. Villagers are outraged at the incident. No arrests have been made.
#48, #49 Hindu Temple Attacked Twice & Idols Smashed in Birmingham, UK
Several idols were smashed and broken in two separate attacks in the Shri Ram Temple in Birmingham, UK. The miscreants walked away with the bust of one of the idols.
#50 Brindavana of Sri Vyasaraja near Hampi, Karnataka, Destroyed
Incident is from Anegundi village, near Hampi, where 16th-century Brindavana of Saint Vyasaraja Swamy, Rajaguru of Vijayanagara Emperor Krishnadevaraya were desecrated and destroyed by miscreants.
#51 25 Idols and Sculptures Destroyed in Periyanayaki Amman temple, Thiruvarur, TN
Several idols were broken and destroyed by minor boys. The incident happened before the consecration ceremony of the idols.
#52 Zakir Naik Inspired Terrorists Plan to Poison Prasad at Mumbra Temple, Mumbai
Criminals of Ummat-E-Mohammaddiya group were arrested on charges of planned attempt to poison 400 devotees of the Mumbra temple by poisoning the mahaprasad at the temple.
#53 Stone Pelted at Hanuman Temple, Muzzafarnagar, UP
A Muslim miscreant attempted to break the glass and vandalize the Hanuman deity in a Hindu temple in Khatauli, but failed. He was arrested by police.
#54 Muslim Man Desecrates Shiva Linga by Urinating on It, Bulandshahar, UP
A Muslim man was caught red handed urinating on the Shiva Linga deity in a temple in Bulandshahar. He was arrested and jailed by police. The incident has greatly outraged the local residents.
#55 Muslim Extremists Pelt Stones & Desecrate Deities in the Durga Mandir, Chawdi Bazar, Delhi
Starting with a small parking dispute, Muslim mobs started to pour in, in huge numbers in the Durga Mandir (which had nothing to do with the dispute), and desecrating the deities, wreaking havoc in the lane, sloganeering and chanting “Allah Hu Akbar.” This happened at midnight. The incident was followed by protests by Hindu groups, who were forced to end their rituals and processions by the police. The series of incidents has rocked the capital city, and set a rancid atmosphere of communal tension in the area.
#56 Muslim Mob Attacks & Damages Temple in Lakhimpur Kheri, UP
Starting with an argument between Hindu and Muslim groups over the construction of a sewage channel near the Mahadev Mandir, Muslim mobs got violent and attacked several Hindu devotees, tried to break the temple structure and defile the premises. One person was seriously injured in the incident.
#57 Miscreants Break Hanuman Deity in Saharanpur, UP
Miscreants broke a Hanuman deity and caused unrest in the area in Saharanpur. The Panchayat decided to levy a fine of ₹ 2 lakhs on the miscreants.
#58, #59 Shiva Deity Broken in Temple in Lalitpur, UP
In two separate incidents, a serial offender broke the Shiva deity in a Shiva Mandir in Lalitpur. This has caused deep unrest and anger in the Hindu community in the area. A case has been filed against him.
#60 Theft in Ancient Medhak Mandir in Lakhimpur, UP
Miscreants broke into the ancient Medhak Temple, and stole all the money from the donation box and copper snake deity. The temple is centuries old and the incident has made local residents angry.
#61 Christian Miscreants Disrupt Temple Activities, Lakshmipuram, AP
In a disturbing scenario, Christian mobs barge into a Hindu temple, disrupting the temple ritual activities and religious discourse and causing unrest.
#62 Shiva Deity Vandalized in Gondia, Maharashtra
A 400 year old 20 ft tall Shiva deity was vandalized by miscreants in Gondia, Maharashtra. It is suspected that Muslim miscreants are behind the attack.
Many incidents show a similar pattern of crime and reportage: miscreants break into the temple in the middle of the night, desecrate deities, run away, and their names and identities are neither fully investigated, nor reported. The worst and most sickening aspect of these crimes is that in many of the cases, no action is taken against the criminals whatsoever, resulting in no fear of the law in the criminals, and hence, a sharp rise in the number of crimes.
Data is last updated on 29 July, 2019. The article will be updated with data for the remainder of 2019.
Cover Photo by Irfan Ahmed via Flickr. Picture is for representative purposes only.