Can our brothers and sisters pray in peace, please?

Posted on December 10, 2008

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‘Every person has the right to profess and practise his religion and, subject to Clause (4), to propagate’ it’ – Article 11(1) of the Federal Constitution

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Since the detention of the Hindraf 5 under the ISA on 13th December, last year, the consciousness of this nation to how this draconian piece of law has been abused by the authorities has been heightened.

The government and the policing authorities, however, appear determined to silence the various efforts to take this consciousness to every home, every village and every town and city.

Candlelight vigils and public rallies have been brutally disrupted.

A cycle campaign has been disrupted by police harassment, arrests and arson.

And Hindu brothers and sisters have been told that they face arrest if they pray for the release of the Hndraf 5.

That’s right.

Since the detention of the 5 last December, people throughout the country have been holding prayers for the release, not just of the Hindraf 5, but  for all ISA detainees.

In Hulu Selangor, the Hindu community, too, have been saying prayers for the release of the 5 every month during the ‘Pournami Pooja’ ( which, I’m told, means ‘power prayers’ during the full moon ).

Last month, those prayers were to be held on the 12th at a temple in Batang Kali.

2 days before the scheduled prayers, one of the members of that community was summoned by Special Branch to their headquarters. This individual was told that the prayers scheduled for the 12th of November must not proceed. The officer insisted that there should not be prayers for the Hindraf 5 and that if it did proceed, devotees who participated in the same would face arrest.

Initially, the community, no doubt intimidated, were minded to cancel the prayers to avert any untoward incident. There was, thankfully, a re-think, and with the support of the temple management and devotees, the  brave Hindu anak-anak Bangsa Malaysia of Hulu Selangor  proceeded with their prayers on 12th November, notwithstanding efforts by ‘you know who’ to intimidate devotees with their presence and intrusive behaviour.

This month, the Pournami Pooja is scheduled for this Friday, 12th December.

Our Hindu brothers and sisters in Hulu Selangor are, understandably concerned about whether they will face any reprisal from the police authorities this Friday and in the coming months.

Last Friday, some of us accompanied the individual who had attended at the Special Branch office on 10th November, to lodge a complaint with YB Ronnie Liu, YB Teresa Kok and YB Xavier Jeyakumar, who make up the 3-man state exco committee to look into issues of temples and churches in the state.

The YBs have assured us that they will be taking this matter up with the state police authorities.

Meanwhile, I have been informed that our Hindu brothers and sisters in Hulu Selangor will be hosting a very modest Malam Mesra Rakyat at the Subramaniar temple, Kg Kandiar, Rasa, Selangor at which they will be holding their Pournami Pooja this Friday. They have asked me to extend an invitation on their behalf to any and all who would care to partake in fellowship with them.

The evening’s programme and a map appear below.

God Willling, I shall be there.

Programme

7.00pm – Prayers

7.30pm – Homa rituals at fire pit

8.30pm – Mantra recitation and other rituals

9.15pm-9.30pm – Refreshments

Contact person : Suppiah ( 019-2636357 )

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Posted in: Bangsa Malaysia