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Protecting Mandirs – The Hindu places of worship in UK

Protecting Mandirs – The Hindu places of worship in UK

The Hindu Manifesto UK 2024 was recently launched by the Hindus for Democracy umbrella organisation. The manifesto has been framed by major Hindu organisations across the UK, including INSIGHT UK, NHSF UK, HSS, Hindu Council UK and many more.

This iGlobal series digs deeper, chapter by chapter, through each of the issues highlighted in the first-of-its-kind Hindu Manifesto 2024 – Part 2 focussed on “Protecting Mandirs – The Hindu places of worship”…

Over the past few years, there has been an increase in incidents of vandalism, arson, and threats against religious institutions. This highlights the need for enhanced security measures to protect places of worship. Data from the Community Security Trust (CST) and the Metropolitan Police Service (MPS) indicate a rise in hate-motivated attacks targeting religious sites, including temples, gurudwaras, synagogues, and churches.

·       September 2022: Hindu mandirs in Leicester, Smethwick and Birmingham vandalised and attacked

·       Hindu mandirs across UK have been subject to burglary, vandalism, threating behaviour towards congregations

·       January 2024: Hindu Mandir in Wembley was vandalised and deities damaged

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In response to these, the manifesto advocates for the allocation of dedicated funds to enhance security at all places of worship fairly.

The UK government has framed exclusive schemes for the protection of Islamic Mosques and places of worship for the Jewish community. In 2024, the government has committed to providing UK Muslims with more than £117 million of protective security funding over the next 4 years with a similar sum of £70 million allocated to the Jewish community.

However, despite repeated attacks on Hindu places of worship, no special grant or scheme of protection of Hindu mandirs has been framed by the government. The manifesto asks for a similar fund to be allocated for the security and protection of temples, which may include installing surveillance cameras, hiring security personnel, and implementing access control measures to prevent unauthorised entry. By investing in proactive security measures, the manifesto aims to safeguard the freedom of worship and ensure that Hindu communities can practise their faith without fear of intimidation or violence

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Manifesto expectations from candidates contesting in the General Elections 2024:

1.     Support exclusive security schemes and fundings for Hindu Mandirs (Hindu temples) akin to the exclusive security schemes and fundings for other religious places of worship

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