Tuesday
21
Nov 2017

Hindus welcome return of stolen Shiva statue by Australia to India

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Nevada - Hindus have welcomed Australia’s reported indication to return about 900-years-old bronze Shiva Nataraja statue stolen from a temple in India and sold to National Gallery of Australia (NGA) for $5 million.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) , called it a “step in the right direction”. Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, urged the India Government to return the statue to the temple in Sripuranthan village in Ariyalur district of Tamil Nadu (India) from where it was reportedly stolen, once the Australia handed it over to them.

Zed asked all the museums and art galleries of the world to exhaustively re-examine the procurement process and the provenance of their Hindu art collections, and if proved stolen, return these to Hindu temples they originally belonged.

When acquiring new Hindu artifacts in the future, these institutions should make sure that these were not looted from Hindu religious centers and should follow strict due diligence procedures and have transparent provenance. Pillaging of Hindu temples and archeological sites for mercantile greed was not okay, Zed argued

NGA in Canberra, whose Vision includes "cultural enrichment of all Australians", has reportedly about 170,000 works of art in its collections, including a significant collection of Indian art. It has an exclusive gallery for "Art of the Indian subcontinent", which displays many fine Hindu sculptures, textiles and paintings; including images of Hindu gods and goddesses. John Hindmarsh is Chairman of NGA Foundation Board, Allan Myers is Chairman of NGA Council and Dr. Ron Radford is Director of NGA.

The Shiva Nataraja statue, originated in Tamil Nadu dated 11th-12th century CE, is said to be a superb example of Indian Chola-period bronze casting. Purchased by NGA in 2008 and consistently on display since February 2008, it represents the Hindu deity Shiva in an iconographic form known as Nataraja, or Lord of the Dance.

Hindus urge Kenya’s President to consider minority rights before signing polygamy law

Likewise , Hindus have urged Kenya’s President Uhuru Kenyatta to keep in mind the feelings and rights of minorities before signing Kenya's marriage bill which legalizes polygamy.

 Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) , said that polygamy was not practiced in contemporary Hindu society. Marriage was taken very seriously as it was considered a sacred rite and highest duty in Hinduism.

He indicated that Kenyatta should meet the leaders of Christian, Hindu, Sikh, Baha’i and other minority religions/denominations in Kenya and take into account their viewpoint before signing the marriage bill into law.

Ethnic diversity of Kenya, described as "the cradle of humanity" which showed earliest evidence of human's ancestors, had produced a vibrant culture. With its abundant wildlife and scenic beauty, if Kenya wanted to continue attracting tourists and increase their numbers, it had to take care of its minorities and project a picture of harmonious coexistence to the world, Zed noted.

March , 2014

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