Skip to main content

Hindus for Human Rights: Faisal Khan's arrest 'contradicts' Rg Veda, Bhagwat Gita

Faisal Khan, third from left 
Counterview Desk
Hindus for Human Rights (HfHR), a US based Indian diaspora organization, strongly protesting against the arrest of Faisal Khan, a Gandhian activist who revived Khudai Khidmatgar (founded by Frontier Gandhi during the pre-Independence days), for offering namaz in a Mathura temple, has said, “As Hindus, we see nothing wrong in anyone offering prayers in a Hindu temple.”
In a statement, HfHR, demanding immediate release of Khan and his colleagues, said, “Placing such boundaries, and criminalizing the beautiful prayers of someone who devotes his life to peace and communal harmony, does a grave disservice to the legacy of great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, as well as to the incredibly inclusive teachings of Hindu scriptures like the Rg Veda and the Bhagavad Gita.”

Text:

We are appalled that our brother and a member of our advisory board -- Faisal Khan -- and three other members of his organization Khudai Kidmatgar, were arrested for praying in a Hindu temple in Mathura. We call for his immediate release because he committed no crime.
The Uttar Pradesh Cabinet Minister Shrikant Sharma told reporters that “legal action will be taken against the culprits who are trying to create disharmony in the society.”
We have been following the recent travels of Faisal Bhai and other members of Khudai Kidmatgar during their yatra for communal harmony in Brij, a place of pilgrimage for Krishna devotees. Their only message is peace and harmony across religious lines. We shared photos from this yatra in our October newsletter, just a few days ago, showing Faisal Bhai and his fellow Khudai Kidmatgar members in Krishna temples, along with Hindu priests and swamis.
We have also followed the activities of Khudai Kidmatgar over the past year, engaged in selfless and unrelenting Covid relief to the poor of all religions throughout the country.
Khudai Kidmatgar means Servants of God, and is a movement started in 1929 by the great Frontier Gandhi, Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, or Badshah Khan. Badhsah Khan was a freedom fighter and a nonviolent resister who insisted on and exemplified Hindu-Muslim Unity. Faisal Khan is our modern day Frontier Gandhi, continuing the legacy of Badshah Khan, tirelessly and for no pay.
When we asked him recently about his concern for Indian democracy, he answered: 
“Of course I am very concerned about the state of the Indian democracy. It is a challenging time, I don’t deny that. A dark time. Some people think I am mad, but I maintain that the only way we will bring light to this darkness is with even more truth and love. Khudai Kidmatgar is doing it, but we need to do more. We must take from Gandhi’s example and Bacha Khan’s example, and go among the people with love and humanity. And the most important thing is to work with both Muslim and Hindu youth.”
Faisal Khan was arrested for doing namaz (Muslim prayers) in a Hindu temple in Mathura. We have been receiving messages on a daily basis from Faisal Khan, as he and his colleagues travel through India with their message of peace and unity. Indeed, today we received three photographs of Faisal Khan and another Kudhai Kidmatgar member doing namaz. The photos came with a message in Hindi which we translated:
“On the last day of Brij Yatra -- an 84km yatra to spread the Gandhian message of sarva dharma sambhav (the possibility of communal harmony and religious tolerance) -- we were at Nand Baba Temple, the most prominent temple of the village when it was time for namaz (prayer). We wanted to go out of the temple to do namaz, but the main pujari told us that since we were in the place where people sing bhajans, it was okay to do our namaz there. With the permission of the main pujari, we offered namaz in the temple.”
We at Hindus for Human Rights stand by our brother, friend and Advisory Board member Faisal Khan. We believe he did no wrong, no crime, by praying in a Hindu temple. 
Faisal Khan was arrested even though he had taken permission from the main pujari before offering namaz in the temple compound
The story of Hiranyakashipu and Prahlad is one of countless stories in Hinduism that God is not contained in a temple, but is in every atom of the universe.
Our ancient Rg Veda states, “Ekam Sat Vipra Bahudha Vadanti,” which means that “The Truth is One, though it may be called by different names.” Our most ancient scriptures guide us to see the same truth in all faiths and paths.
This was a temple to Lord Krishna, who Himself states to Arjuna in the Bhagavad Gita, “If anyone offers Me with love and devotion a leaf, a flower, fruit or water, I will accept it,” and “Everything lies in me, and in everyone, it’s me behind every action.” If Lord Krishna does not see any difference between us all, between people of different races, religions, gender, why should we who worship Lord Krishna see such differences.
Finally, the text we received from Faisal Bhai before he was arrested made it clear that he had taken permission from the main pujari in the temple before praying in the temple.
As Hindus, we see nothing wrong in anyone offering prayers in a Hindu temple. Placing such boundaries, and criminalizing the beautiful prayers of someone who devotes his life to peace and communal harmony, does a grave disservice to the legacy of great leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, as well as to the incredibly inclusive teachings of Hindu scriptures like the Rg Veda and the Bhagavad Gita.
For the sake of our nation, as well as the values of shanti (peace), ahimsa (nonviolence) and ekatva (the oneness of all) at the heart of our Hindu faith, we ask that our brother Faisal Khan be released immediately.

Comments

TRENDING

'Wedding of the century': What does Mukesh Ambani want to prove by such extravaganza?

By NS Venkataraman*  Mukesh  Ambani,   a renowned Indian industrialist who is said to be the richest person in India and  one of the richest persons in the world,   has just now conducted the wedding celebration of  his son in Mumbai,   with unheard level of lavishness in India.

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

'Modi govt's assault on dissent': Foreign funds of top finance NGO blocked

By Rajiv Shah  In a surprise move, the Ministry of Home Affairs, Government of India, has cancelled the foreign funding license of the well-known advocacy group, Centre for Financial Accountability (CFA), known for critically examining India's finance and banking sectors from human rights and environmental angle.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.

'28% rise in sedition cases': Top global NGO alliance rates India's civil space 'repressed'

By Rajiv Shah Rating India's civic space as repressed , Civicus, a global civil society alliance, in its new report submitted to the UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) on the state of civic space in the country has said that the use of sedition law against the Modi government’s critics continues. "Under the government of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, sedition cases have increased by 28 per cent with over 500 cases against more than 7,000 people", it says.

How US is using Tibetans to provoke conflict with China 'ignoring' India

By Lobsang Tenzin*  On July 12, US President Joe Biden signed the Resolve Tibet Act, and Tibetans cheered for it, believing that the law promotes a resolution of the dispute between Tibet and China. Is this true? First, let's look at the issue of the ownership of Tibet. 

Tribals from 60 villages observe seed festival to 'protect' diversity of indigenous seeds

By Bharat Dogra*  Nearly sixty villagers are sitting on an open floor covered by a roof for shade but otherwise open on all sides. Women and men are present in equal numbers but the visibility of women is higher because of their colorful dresses.

Over 3.8 billion animals at risk: India on crossroad in animal welfare practices

By Rupali Soni*  In a collaborative effort, the India Animal Fund and Dasra have unveiled their report , "Our Shared Future | Securing Animal Welfare, Human Wellbeing, and Sustainability in India." This landscape report provides a thorough overview of animal welfare and underscores its indispensable role within India's socio-economic and ecological frameworks. It also illustrates how animal welfare is intricately intertwined with public health, labor welfare, and climate resilience.

How embracing diversity enriched my life, brought profound sense of joy

By Mike Ghouse*  If you can shed the bias towards others, you'll love the connections with every human that God or his systems have created. This gives a sense of freedom and brings meaning and joy to life. Embracing and respecting how people dress, eat, and practice their beliefs becomes an enriching experience.