Saturday, July 17, 2010

advani floored about Hindus in Indonesia

17 July 2010


From Our Delhi Bureau

NEW DELHI: Bhartiya Janata Party veteran leader Lal Krishna Advani, who is just back from a world Sindhi conference in Jakarta, has blogged this time on the immense Hindu influence in the Muslim-majority Indonesia.

He writes that he was surprised and impressed to find Lord Ganesh imprinted on that country's high-denomination currency note of 20,000 Rupiah and epics like Ramayana and Mahabharat dominating prominent sculptures mounted in various parts of Indonesia.

He felt this was also significant as the Hindus otherwise constitute hardly 2 per cent of the country's population, with the Muslims dominaing 88 per cent of 20.28 crore people and Christians accounting for another 10 per cent.

Unlike in the past, his blog this time carries pictures to buttress his impressions like a brand logo recently adopted for the island of Bali, the homeland of the Hindus, manifesting the country's Hindu traditions, the Sri Krishna-Arjun pair mounted on a multiple-horse drawn chariot at the main square in capital Jakarta and another in Bali, Ghatotkach statue near the Ngurah Rai international airport and the statue of Bheem.

Even in India very few would be able to identify who Ghatotkach was, but "here was the driver of our car knowing fully well both Ghatotkach as well as his relationship with Bneema," Advani points out, adding that Indonesia seemed to know and cherish Ramayana and Mahabharat better than we do.

He was pleased to gather that the official mascot of Indonesian Military Intelligence is Hanuman. The rationale offered by a local was that it was Hanuman who had been able to trace Sita, kidnapped by Ravan and kept in confinement at the Ashok Vatika.

Turning to his own Sindhi community whose over 1000 members thronged the Sindhi conference from 32 countries, Advani write that he felt proud that the Sindhis had gone through the most traumatic experience of partition in 1947 with confidence and fortitude but they actually prospered immensely, converting a calamity into an opportunity.

He underlined that partition of India dealt a terrible blow to millions on both sides of the Redcliff Line. "Hindus from Sindh had not only been uprooted from their hearths and homes, but unlike Hindus of Punjab and Bengal who had the satisfaction of saving something like half of their home state, has also despoiled off their entire province, and forced to adopt different states of divided India as their totally new homes."

Advani was in Indonesia for the 3-day Sindhi conference from July 9 to 11 with his wife Kamla, daughter Pratibha and his associate for decades, Deepak Chopra and his wife Veena. They returned to Delhi on July 13.


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