In a disheartening turn of events, a 400-year-old Hindu temple in Ahmedpur Lamma city, Punjab, Pakistan, has been converted into a cattle farm, highlighting the concerning challenges faced by religious minorities in the region.
The ancient temple, shrouded in a history spanning four centuries, has succumbed to neglect and misuse. Currently under the ownership of an individual who is using the sacred space into a cattle farm, the temple’s transformation has left its identity in ambiguity, with no confirmation regarding the deity to whom it was dedicated.
Unraveling the History
The son of the current owner sheds light on the temple’s past and desecration. It was originally constructed by Mohan Bhagat, a wealthy man in the whole city, he owned haveli, extensive land and property.
Mohan Bhagat chose not to leave the temple and his properties during the partition. However, his decision proved fatal as local Islamists killed him and confiscated his entire assets. The temple fell into the hands of the owner’s father, only to face further desecration, eventually leading to its current state of ruins.
Religious Minorities at Risk
Earlier as well, in Ahmed Pur, Pakistan, a temple that once stood with Shri Krishna as deity in sanctum was forcefully converted into a mosque. This significant alteration shed light on the erasure of Hindu identity persisting in Pakistan. And now, the conversion of the 400-year-old Hindu temple to a cattle farm reflects a distressing reality for religious minorities in Pakistan. Beyond the physical transformation, it symbolizes the erosion of cultural heritage and the urgent need for safeguarding religious sites of minority communities.
The story of this temple is a microcosm of the larger story of religious minorities in Pakistan. Hindus, who make up about 2% of the country’s population, have faced discrimination and violence for decades. The recent conversion of the temple into a cattle farm is just one example of the challenges they face.