Andhra Pradesh, under the reign of Jagan Mohan Reddy, a devout Christian, has become the epicentre of anti-Hindu activities. Temples after the temples are being vandalised in the state because anti-Hindu elements are being mainstreamed by the Andhra Pradesh government. Hindus, despite being a majority in the state, have been sidelined since the last one and a half year and now their religious places are under siege by miscreants.
In the latest anti-Hindu activity, a 400-year-old idol of Bhagwan Ram was destroyed at Ramatheertham temple in Vizianagaram of Andhra Pradesh. However, this time, the simmering anger of the Hindus against the temple vandalising spree in the state has come out, and there is a massive protest against the Jagan Mohan Reddy government.
The opposition also attacked Jagan Mohan Reddy for giving free hand to anti-Hindu elements. “Attacks on temples has become a daily occurrence, because of the government’s indifference. Neither the public nor the gods inside the temple are safe in the state. Matters would not have come this far if stern action was taken in the first such case The government has the responsibility to safeguard the sentiments of all communities,” former CM Chandrababu Naidu said.
Pawan Kalyan, the popular actor turned politician and the President of the Jana Sena said that while Ram Temple is being built in Ayodhya, in Andhra Bhagwan Ram’s idol is being persecuted.
On the other hand, devout Christian Jagan Mohan Reddy has put the onus on God to punish the miscreants. “Desecration of idols is atrocious and will not be tolerated. God will surely punish those who show such irreverence towards temples and idols,” he said.
Many other similar incidents have happened in the last few weeks. A Nandi idol was destroyed, an old heritage chariot parked at ancient Antarvedi Lakshmi Narasimha Temple was found burnt, and Subrahmanya Swamy’s idol in Lord Vigneshwara temple of Rajahmundry district was destroyed– all within the last few weeks. As per rough estimates, 120 attacks on temples took place in the 19 months reign of devout Christian Jagan Mohan Reddy.
If the situation under Jagan Mohan Reddy worsens in Andhra Pradesh, a massive protest could be witnessed in the coming days. In the last 19 months, the Jagan government has delivered on almost every promise made to the Christians and Muslims, but those made to the farmers, labourers, and the larger Hindu population, are from being delivered.
Last year, on July 12, the newly elected Andhra Pradesh government led by Jagan Mohan Reddy presented its annual budget. In the budget presented by Buggana Rajendranath, the State Finance Minister in the Jagan government announced the honorarium to Imams to be enhanced to ₹10,000 per month and for the Mouzzans to ₹5,000 per month. Similar proposals were made for the Pastors as well, with an honorarium of ₹5,000 per month.
Later, the Minorities Welfare Department Principal Secretary Mohd Ilyas Rizvi too announced to enhance the financial assistance to Christians for undertaking the pilgrimage to Jerusalem and other Biblical places and he said that pilgrims with an annual income of up to ₹3 lakh would be given ₹60,000 for a pilgrimage to Jerusalem, Bethlehem, Nazareth, Jordan River, Dead Sea and Sea of Galilee and those with an income of over ₹3 lakh would get ₹30,000, upping the overall budget by ₹20,000.
Jagan Mohan Reddy again stroked a controversy as he undertook an extravagant trip to Jerusalem with his family, which was of course funded by the taxpayers. The Andhra Pradesh government even released funds to the tune of ₹22.52 lakh on the Chief Minister’s security on the four-day visit.
A few months ago, the Andhra government even issued tickets to travellers from Tirupati to the temple town of Tirumala with advertisements of Haj and Jerusalem pilgrimage on the back. Travellers seemed to be agitated by this development and they reportedly raised the issue before the regional manager who stated that a bundle with printed material about non-Hindu pilgrimage had wrongly come to Tirupati.
The government is preparing to deliver on the few other manifesto promises to the Christian community- like plots and house construction for the pastors and financial assistance of ₹1 lakh for the wedding of Christian girls. It seems that the Reddy government is hellbent to deliver on all promises to his religious fellows, but, at the cost of other communities.
The Hindus of the state have now started protesting and in the next few months, a massive moment against the Jagan Mohan Reddy-led Andhra government could be witnessed.