HinduPACT, a leading Hindu advocacy organization, strongly condemns the recent acts of vandalism at the Gauri Shankar Mandir in Brampton, Canada and the Ram Mandir in Mississauga, Canada.
“These heinous acts against the Indian community in Canada is a reflection of the rising tide of hate crimes targeting the Hindu community throughout North America, the United Kingdom and Australia” said Ajay Shah, Convenor of HinduPACT and American Hindus Against Defamation (AHAD). Shah continued, “HinduPACT calls on the Canadian authorities to conduct a thorough investigation into these incidents and bring the perpetrators to justice.”
“The desecration of Hindu temples is a deplorable act and an attack on the religious freedom of the Hindu community,” said Tejal Shah, Convenor of the Hindu Mandir Executives’ Conference (HMEC) and Jt. General Secretary of the World Hindu Council of America (VHPA). “HMEC represents hundreds of Hindu Mandirs in North America and stands in solidarity with our brothers and sisters in Canada and calls for a swift and thorough investigation into these hate crimes.”
Vallabha Tantry, Director of Temple Relations for HinduPACT, said: “These acts of vandalism are not isolated incidents and are the third and fourth recorded acts of a ‘hate crime’ in Canada since last July. It has raised fears among minority communities, particularly the Indian community, which is the fastest-growing demographic group in Canada and North America.”
On January 31, the Gauri Shankar Mandir was defaced and on Thursday, the Ram Mandir was vandalized with the words “Declare Modi terrorist (BBC) and Hindustan Murdabad,” which translates to “death to India.” The defacing of these temples, which are a symbol of Indian heritage, are not isolated incidents. Since July of last year, at least three similar acts of vandalism have been reported in Canada and the United States and several others have taken place globally.
In September 2021, a Hindu temple in Swindon, UK was desecrated for the fifth time. In February 2022, at least six Hindu temples were vandalized or burgled in Toronto in a span of two weeks. In August, a Gandhi statue placed outside of a Hindu temple in Queens, York was vandalized twice in two weeks.
Earlier this year, a prominent Hindu mandir in Australia was desecrated by Khalistani extremists.
HinduPACT urges the Canadian government to take proactive measures to ensure the safety and security of all minority communities in the country. The Indian community, which is the fastest-growing demographic group in North America, should not live in fear of hate crimes and attacks.
HinduPACT stands in solidarity with the Indian community in North America and will continue to advocate for their rights and raise awareness about the increasing incidents of hate crimes targeting minority communities.