After a long struggle, Tamil Hindus to have their own temple in Jakarta Province - Permission to build temple in Bekasi granted after a 60 year wait
Plan to construct Hindu temple in Jakarta was met with protests by Jihadis last year. Finally, foundation for the temple was laid on 14th February by Governor of Jakarta in the presence of Indian Ambassador to Indonesia.
Governor of DKI Jakarta Province, Anies Baswedan, has granted the permission to build a Hindu temple in Bekasi, a Greater Jakarta province. Hindus in this province who are mostly Tamils, had been waiting for this decision for nearly 60 years since they first made the request. The foundation stone for the Temple was laid by the governor on 14th February, 2020.
The foundation laying ceremony was attended by the Indian Ambassador to Indonesia Pradeep Kumar Rawat. Members of Jakarta Council (DPRD), Prominent leaders of Jakarta Provincial Government, and interfaith leaders were also present on the occasion. DPP Chairperson of Gema Sadhama, AS Kobalen explained the long wait for establishing the first Hindu place worship in Jakarta. "Our wait was very long. We have been fighting for almost 60 years. Today, our wish for our own house of worship has come true", he said.
Governor Anies spoke on the occasion and highly appreciated the Tamil Hindu community in Jakarta for their contribution. He said that the Hindu community had expressed their wish for a Temple earlier. When we was conveyed the wish, he ensured that their wish was granted and the wait was over. "Today, the question that was hanging over has got an answer with the laying of this foundation. The next stage will be to realize the dream of constructing the temple," Governor Anies said.
Anies Baswedan, Governor of DKI Jakarta Province, granted the permission to build a Hindu temple in the province.
He further said that granting the permission for a place of worship for Tamil ethnic Hindus was based on the commitment of the DKI Jakarta Provincial Government to bring social justice and equality to all its citizens. He said that his government works on a simple principle which is social justice for all Indonesian people. "So, for taking any decision we have the responsibility of adhering to social justice and equalizing opportunities. Construction of houses of worship and the celebration of all religious holidays in Jakarta was one of them", he explained.
Anies hoped that in the future the construction process would be smooth. He hoped that the Tamil Hindu community would soon be able to take advantage of the various facilities in the Temple. "We hope that the Temple would be completed soon in a time bound manner. We pray that it will be executed well so that we can all be present at the inauguration of the temple. We all expect it to be on schedule and adheres to the prescribed quality and budget, " he added.
It can be recalled that in May 2019, the plan to build a Hindu Temple in Bekasi of Greater Jakarta was opposed by Jihadis. Several photos and videos that showed how local Muslim residents protested over a plan to construct a Hindu temple in Sukahurip village in Sukatani district in Bekasi regency. The videos of their protests had gone viral showing their opposition to anything deemed 'un-Islamic'.
The images showed Muslims protesting with banners, one of which read: “Be careful! If you insist on building the temple, we are ready to carry out jihad as you are the one who started this.”
There are 6,000 to 7,000 Hindus in the regency but they did not have a single temple. Hindus from the region who wanted to practice their rituals had to travel all the way to Pura Agung Tirta Bhuana in neighboring Bekasi municipality. Hence, the Hindu community had been requesting a temple in the region which was opposed by the Islamists all these years.