The world is shocked! The Taliban is destroying, with explosives,
ancient works of art in Afghanistan. Amongst the structures, two of them
are 50 metre High Standing Buddhas. The taller figure is considered the
largest standing Buddha in the world. They are from the Gandhara period, from
the second and third century AD. The Taliban call the idols "non-islamic"
and "false gods".
So, if every religion demolishes what they might term as
"non-personal-religion" there would be nothing left.
Maybe the pyramids of Egypt, The Taj Mahal and it pains me to mention, what
else, would be hashed to pieces! What needs to be understood is that this
property does not belong to Afghanistan alone, but they constitute a part of the
world’s cultural heritage. This outrageous act is the result of a fatwa to
prevent the worship of ‘false idols’
At this point, I would like to put up my defense in favor of ‘idol
It is easier for humans to concentrate on ‘something’ rather than on The
Formless’, to be able to worship. Krishna proclaims that because God is
omni-present He resides in the idol. Even Mussalmans, face Mecca while praying.
To me, that is a form of Idol worship. So then, what is wrong with the practice?
The only, point to consider, is that the prayer should touch upon the
Infinite, beyond the form.
One might argue that the idol is not God. Nor is the flag, a nation,
nor is your wedding ring a marriage, nor is your father’s photograph, your
father! Yet, you would never dream of treating these symbols with disrespect.
Having said that, it is heartening to note that many Islamic leaders from
various fields have deplored the deeply tragic act as ‘unIslamic’. An
Islamic Scholar has stated that the ‘Holy Quran has denounced the desecration
of sacred sites of other religions, and the act of these fanatics in Afghanistan
is bringing disgrace to the Islamic faith. Alright, so am I seeing a smug
look in the faces of the Hindus?
It is time to look at our deeds. Killing of brides for dowry demands is
still prevalent in Mother India.
The world must not retaliate. Let us not cast a stone, because we too,
Gandhiji said that if we live by the dictum: "An eye for an eye",
the world would become blind. However we must raise a collective voice to
stop senseless destruction of irreplaceable inheritance of mankind, before it is
It is already later than we think!