By Universal Society of Hinduism

Guest Columnist

Hindus are disheartened by the delay in approval of Hindu temple by Medina City Council, which they felt was quite unnecessary.

Despite being on the council agenda twice in October, the site plan for 46,000-square-foot Hindu temple building, submitted by BAPS Minneapolis, is reportedly still not approved.

Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada, said that we were well into 21st century now and the City should be more respectful and accepting of the symbols, icons, practices and beliefs-systems of “other” religions.

Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, indicated that it was heartbreaking to receive such unwelcoming signals for hard-working, harmonious and peaceful Hindu community; which had made lot of contributions to the region, Minnesota, nation and society; and continued to do so.

The city of Medina, whose Vision Statement included “enhance the quality of life of its residents,” should be more welcoming and inclusive, and embracing of diversity; as this planned Hindu place of worship would enhance beauty of the city, broaden the religious horizon of its residents and would be an added attraction to the visitors, Zed emphasized.

Zed urged Medina Mayor Kathleen Martin, council members, City Administrator Scott Johnson, and Planning Director Dusty Finke, to urgently rethink about the issue recommending its approval, instead of unnecessarily delaying it for few more months. Many of the other BAPS Hindu temples in north America reportedly had similar designs.

Zed further said that as an interfaith gesture; Archbishop of Saint Paul and Minneapolis Bernard A. Hebda, ELCA Minneapolis Area Synod Bishop Ann Svennungsen and area leaders of other religions should express their support for Hindus on this issue, showing their solidarity with brothers-sisters from different and minority faith backgrounds.

Hinduism is oldest and third largest religion of the world with about 1.2 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal. There are about three million Hindus in USA.

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