Hindus are heartbroken as moratorium on erecting new monuments on Oklahoma (USA) Capitol grounds declared by Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission (OSCPC) on December 19, 2013, continues.
Universal Society of Hinduism had planned to apply to OSCPC for permission to place a statue of Lord Hanuman in the statehouse grounds and hoped that Commission would approve it. Lord Hanuman is greatly revered and worshipped in Hinduism and is known for incredible strength and was a perfect grammarian.
Commission Chairman Trait Thompson, in an email to Hindu statesman Rajan Zed on March 23, said: Currently, the moratorium on new monuments established by the CPC in December 2013 is still in effect. As there is still a case pending on the 10 Commandments monument at the state level, there are no plans to consider lifting it at this time.
“For the moratorium to be lifted, an actionable item must be placed on the CPC’s agenda and approved by a vote of the members”, was Thompson’s reply when Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, asked: “Will the OSCPC ever lift the moratorium?”
Explaining moratorium terms, Thompson noted: “The moratorium is open-ended based on the adjudication of the lawsuits concerning the 10 Commandments”. The current case is reportedly filed by ACLU.
Rajan Zed, in an email to Thompson on December nine, 2013, had expressed desire to erect Lord Hanuman statue in Oklahoma State Capitol grounds.
Zed has stressed that many Hindus among the about three million strong Hindu community in the USA were very excited and enthusiastic on hearing about the possibility of having Lord Hanuman statue in the future on Oklahoma Capitol grounds, said to be a first Hindu religious monument on public land in USA.
Rajan Zed indicated that the moratorium was not appropriate and fair for Hinduism, world’s oldest religion with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought. Although concerned about the effect of the moratorium, Hindus would love to have a statue of Lord Hanuman in Oklahoma Capitol grounds once the moratorium was lifted, Zed added.
Zed further said that Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Baha’i leaders; United Church of Christ pastor Richard L. Smith, Buddhist priest Jikai’ Phil Bryan, Jewish Rabbi ElizaBeth Webb Beyer and Baha’i teacher Mary Jo Adams respectively; had already backed the proposed bid of Hindus of erecting a statue of Lord Hanuman in Oklahoma State Capitol grounds.
Rajan Zed pointed out that besides honoring the Hindus living in Oklahoma, this Lord Hanuman statue, which they planned to make big and weather-proof, would raise awareness of Oklahomans about Hinduism.
Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission, based in Oklahoma City, has 15 members, including Thompson; and Mark Liotta is Vice Chair. Created in 1982 to plan and supervise the preservation and restoration of the interior and exterior of the Oklahoma State Capitol building, it also controls the display of objects in public areas of the State Capitol building.
Mary Fallin is the Governor of Oklahoma, also known as Sooner State, which Lonely Planet describes as “a place with deep Native American significance”. Over 25 Native American languages are reportedly spoken in Oklahoma.