Sri Mandir Temple Attack Story – Why we did it?

December 16, 2010 1 Comment by admin

Temple priest, Pandit Jatin Kumar Bhatt

One of the oldest temples of Australia attacked by vandals and the reports of the temple being the subject of similar attacks since the past 5 years and being seen as a soft target have caused deep anguish in our society. We thought it would be morally wrong not to cover this story. The story was too important to be left to the politicians to be solved. The Indian was intimated of these attacks, two months back and was holding off publishing this news story. But the attack on 10th November broke off the straw. We were “advised and “cautioned about publishing this story and the rationale was that it could spark copy cat attacks and that the local politicians were trying to do everything to prevent such attacks. We felt instead of putting a sexy Bollywood personality on the cover page and brushing aside the story, we would be doing a great injustice to the community and had a duty to explain to the community, the constant threat the temple faced from the vandal elements and extreme threat to the life of Panditji and his family living in the temple premises. In this 21st century, if the Panditji and his family have to put themselves behind iron shutters on their doors and windows to protect themselves from goons and vandals in Australia, it is a matter of great shame.

This incident also raises a critical question which needs introspection. When Indian students were attacked by goons last year, they complained to the police and also whined later that their complaints were not taken seriously by the police and complained about the lack of interest of the police to nab the culprits. Subsequently committees were formed and individual associations and members of the community came together to find solutions and at least in NSW, an excellent outcome was achieved to ebb these attacks. We found a similar situation develop in the attack on the temple. Temple authorities said they had complained many times to the local police and found them wanting to take action. I also tried to explain this to one of the politicians when discussing this issue. I said, “If I attack or hit someone on the road, the police will come and catch me. But when it comes to these vandals attacking soft Indian targets, we have to form committees, have meetings with the politicians and local police in order to find solutions and to deter such attacks.” Isn’t this the job of the local police to go after the vandals and goons first, put them in jail rather than focusing on meetings and assuring that the culprits will be caught? The rule of law should follow. We are not casting any doubts on the ability of the people who attend such meetings by sacrificing their personal time. What we are stressing that organising community meetings should be the last extreme resort to stop physical attacks or abuse on a property or any person. What we need to question is that holding meetings should not be a prelude for government machinery to initiate a crackdown on goons? It is a constant routine mundane exercise which police should do, and this activity is funded by regular tax payer funds.

We have received a few malicious emails on the issue and would like to reassure our readers that we will not be cowed down by these threats and will expose these trouble makers soon.

These are the types of stories we hate to do and wish they don’t ever happen in the future. We wish our community and readers a safe living in our adopted country. On this note wishing all our readers a happy and a prosperous New Year 2011. Drive safe if you are travelling during the holiday period and thanks for your support in 2010.

One Comment

  1. sanjeev raja
    7 years ago

    I admire you for publishing this story. I can understand the pressure that must have been put on you to not publish it. It does not go in line with the image of Multicultural Australia.

    This sort of problem is not very hard for the local police to tackle. I am sure something will be done after this issue is highlighted by you. At least people know about it now.

    Good work Rohit – you are doing a commendable job.


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