Tuesday, April 12, 2011
---------- Forwarded message ----------
From: USHA HEADQUARTERS
Date: Thu, Apr 7, 2011 at 8:37 PM
Subject: USHA Urges Afghan Government to Rebuild the Bamiyan Buddhas and Other Religious Structures Destroyed by the Taliban
To: Pakistan Hindu Post
USHA Urges Afghan Government to Rebuild the Bamiyan Buddhas and Other Religious Structures Destroyed by the Taliban
April 7, 2011 – Atlanta - The US Hindu Alliance sent the following letter to the President of Afghanistan urging the Afghan government to commence immediate reconstruction of the famous Bamiyan Buddhas as well as all Hindu temples and Sikh Gurdwaras destroyed during the reign of the Taliban. USHA has also launched an online petition campaign to mobilize public opinion supporting the Bamiyan Buddha Campaign.
Text of the Letter
Honorable Hamid Karzai, President, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan
Dear Mr. President,
In the nineties, after the emergence of the Taliban as a ruthless and barbaric force in Afghanistan, hundreds of historically significant religious sites were destroyed within a span of 6 years. Of these the Bamiyan Buddha Statues, have received the greatest worldwide attention.
Built in the second century, under the guidance of Emperor Kanishka, the statues were the result of more than 200 years of painstaking craftsmanship and stood as a testament to the spiritual importance of Afghanistan to the Hindu community. A masterpiece representing the 3000 year old Hindu civilizational identity of Afghanistan, these UNESCO heritage sites at Bamiyan, were destroyed by the Taliban, using anti aircraft guns, artillery, anti tank mines, dynamites and rockets.
Since then, numerous governmental agencies and eminent personalities have demanded the reconstruction of these symbols of world heritage. Several governments and philanthropists have also offered financial assistance for the reconstruction of these rare statues. However, the Afghan government has not shown its determination to reconstruct these monuments which were adored, admired and worshipped for centuries by millions of people around the world. In addition, hundreds of other sites of religious importance to Hindus and Sikhs were also destroyed.
A lesser known fact about Afghanistan is that a majority of the population of this land were Hindus for many Millenniums. Even until 1002 CE, Afghanistan was ruled by Hindu kings, including the last Hindu dynasty of the Shahi lineage. Recently, ever since the take-over of the Afghanistan by the Taliban, more than 144 Hindu temples and Sikh Gurdwaras were also destroyed, some of them more than 1,400 years old.
After the defeat of the Taliban, the people of Afghanistan and the rest of the world expected the immediate reconstruction of not only these monuments, but also the other Hindu and Sikh places of worship. Yet no steps of restoration and reconstruction have taken place. The Afghan government is yet to fulfill their moral obligation to Hindus and the world at large.
Until the Afghan government restores its own lost treasures, Afghanistan will not earn the respect of the civilized world. Hence, on the 10th anniversary of the destruction of the Bamiyan Buddha Statues, we, who have opposed the barbarism of the Taliban in the past, hereby demand the immediate reconstruction of the Bamiyan statues as well as all the destroyed Hindu Temples and Sikh Gurudwaras.
US Hindu Alliance
Note: The United States Hindu Alliance (USHA) is a national non profit, non partisan advocacy organization of Hindus to protect and promote the interests of Hindus worldwide. For details, please visit www.ushaonline.org.