‘Vandals must feel full weight of law’


DISRESPECT: Pieces of bread and empty corned beef tins left behind by vandals at the Carapo Shiv Mandir on the weekend. PHOTO COURTESY HANSRAJ RAMDHANIE.

OROPOUCHE East MP, Dr Roodal Moonilal, has condemned as “appalling” the desecration of a Hindu temple in Carapo which was not only broken into and robbed, but where the intruders also cooked corned beef in one of the pots used to make parsad (a traditional sweet made for use in religious ceremonies).

The eating of beef is prohibited in the Hindu religion as the cow is a sacred animal to Hindus.

Moonilal issued a press release on Sunday saying the desecration of the Carapo Shiv Mandir was a sad reflection on a society that still has not fostered unity, respect, and tolerance for each other.

Oropouche East MP Dr Roodal Moonilal.

He also drew parallels with the desecration of the temple and the alleged disdain of the ruling People’s National Movement (PNM), a party Moonilal claimed, does not have a practising Hindu in the House of Representatives.

“The desecration (of the temple) is an expression of the disdain and contempt many still bear in this diverse country, despite the lofty phrases in our National Anthem and watchwords.”

This was most evident, Moonilal claimed in his release, in the country’s leadership, with the PNM not having a practising Hindu among its MPs, its alleged mockery of certain religious observances, “and blatant discrimination against certain communities.”

The despicable criminals who dishonoured the temple must be brought to justice and feel the full weight of the law, Moonilal said.

According to a report in the Sunday Newsday, burglars ransacked and desecrated the temple last Friday and again on Saturday.

The temple’s vice president Hansraj Ramdhanie told Sunday Newsday that members went to the temple on Friday around 7 pm to prepare for Mother’s Day celebrations scheduled for Saturday and found the place in shambles.

He said while murtis were not destroyed, jewellery on the murtis, gas tanks, ring stoves and other items were stolen.

“We found opened cans of corned beef and bread. Beef overall in prohibited in the Hindu religion, it’s a disrespect to the faith,” Ramdhanie said, according to the Sunday Newsday report.

A room in the temple which was ransacked by burglars. PHOTO COURTESY HANSRAJ RAMDHANIE.

In his press release, Moonilal said it was equally important for the PNM administration to set the moral tone for society, with reverence and deference to believers of all faiths, “and governance that does not shield lawbreakers, including land grabbers, in its fold.”

The PNM, he added, must abandon its biases and prejudices and govern equitably and justly, thereby setting an ethical and principled example.

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