I am a Hindu and I have a lot of friends from various other communities. I often visit the Bangla Sahib to do sewa and the Jama Masjid to eat at the langar that is offered to everyone, irrespective of the person’s religion.
Hindus are in majority in India, but the country is secular. People from different religions visit each other’s place of worship all the time. It promotes tolerance, peace and acceptance.
I was shocked to hear in the media that the Somnath Temple in Gujarat has banned non-Hindus from entering the temple premises. Such a step will not only create a negative perception among people, it could even derail Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s vision for religious harmony.
Will it not reflect badly upon India if Non-Hindus have to seek special permission to visit Somnath Temple? The temple trust needs to realise that India’s true identity lies in its diversity.
Somnath Temple, one of the 12 holiest Shiva temples in the country – had been sullied and vandalised repeatedly by Muslim invaders from time immemorial. Every time it sprung back at the same site. There was really no need to announce such discriminatory rules.
My friends and I were planning a visit to Gujarat to enjoy the Rann of Kutch, eat dhoklas, Fafras and shop for diamonds and Lehenga Choli. We were also looking forward to visiting the Somnath temple, but the recent news has completely ruined our programme. Not that we are not going, it’s just that it would have been nice to witness the wonder of Somnath temple.
How can a non-Hindu be a security threat? Hindus and non-Hindus live in harmony for most part. Why do we give rise to such non-sensical ideas? The Somnath Temple may be a holy place of worship for the Hindus, but let’s not forget, it is also historical. And history should be for everyone. Somnath Temple is the first among the twelve Jyotirlinga shrines of Shiva. The first Shiva temple at Somnath was built at some ‘unknown’ time in the past, that’s how olden it is. To deny people from other religion the opportunity to witness a monumental shrine is both unfair and in bad taste.
No one can exercise ownership over any divine entity. God is one and we are all his children. Why can’t we understand such a simple truth?
This notice not just shattered my Muslim and Sikh friends, it was disheartening for me too. I felt slightly embarrassed because I am a Hindu and I am equally respected and treated in a Gurudwaras and churches.
So, Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Salman Khan, Katrina Kaif and Sunny Leone, among others can stop making plans for Somnath now.