In a remarkable interfaith gesture, an exhibition supported by Malaysia’s Ministry of Tourism & Culture and displaying Hindu temples and gods is touring various cities of Malaysia.
Titled “Grandeur of Chola Temples of India” (Higher than earth, Bigger than the sky), it is currently showing at National Visual Arts Gallery of Kuala Lumpur, where it will continue till March 28. Then it will be displayed in Georgetown’s Penang Town Hall from April four to 12, at Ipoh’s Rayan Cultural Hall from April 17 to 26, and at Sungai Petani in May.
Said to be first of its kind in Malaysia, it is organized by India’s Ministry of Culture and created by American Institute of Indian Studies in cooperation with Malaysia’s National Visual Arts Gallery. This exhibition of photographs shows Hindu temples and statues of Hindu deities created from 9th to 11th century during Chola dynasty rule in India.
Applauding Malaysia government for supporting Hinduism focused exhibition, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that governments of other nations should also patronize Hinduism focused displays, thus sharing the rich Hindu heritage, concepts and traditions with their populace. It was a step in the right direction for Malaysia government, Zed added.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, also commended Malaysian Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak for joining in Hindu Thaipusam celebrations at Batu Caves Hindu shrine near Kuala Lumpur on February three, thus sending signals of inclusiveness and harmony in the Malaysian society.
Rajan Zed urged Najib to do more for the minority ethnic Indian community of Malaysia so that they did not feel left out in south-east Asia’s most vibrant economies and had their share in the fruits of its decades of industrial growth. Hindus had contributed significantly to the building and development of Malaysia, Zed noted.
Zed stressed the urgent need of empowering the Hindu community through various means; including creating helpful business environment for them, better equipping the entrepreneurs, providing more seats in higher-education institutions, etc.
Rajan Zed also welcomed Najib’s reported calls in the past of inter-religious dialogue. Dialogue would bring us mutual enrichment, Zed pointed out.
Zed stated that all religions should work together for a just and peaceful world. Religion was a powerful and complex component of human life so we must take it seriously. A more inclusive and broader understanding of religion was needed, Zed indicated.
Rajan Zed further urged Najib to organize and preside over an annual dialogue session in capital Kuala Lumpur with leaders of all the existing religions in Malaysia and formulate a strategy of strengthening cohesiveness and unity among various communities in a diverse Malaysia.