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 worship’
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, have sinned.
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 too late.
It is already later than we think!