Idol desecration in Goa
by Yadnesh Sawant on 17 Jan 2009 1 Comment

Condemnable incidents of idol desecration date back to the black history of Portuguese invasion in Goa. During their rule, the Portuguese compelled the Hindus to convert to Christianity. They committed horrible atrocities on the Hindus, attacked their temples and desecrated the murtis in order to create terror. Goa has a black history of the infamous Inquisition.

Though Goa will celebrate the golden jubilee of its independence in a few years, it is sad to note that incidents of desecration of murtis of Hindu deities and saints continue. So far, as many as 22 desecration incidents have occurred between August 2004 to December 2008 – at Sanguem, Curchorem, Bambolim, Ponda, Chodan, Quepem, Panaji – but not a single culprit has been booked in any case.

The aim of the iconoclasts is of course, to ruin the faith of Hindus in their gods, sants, and Dharma. The Congress regime in Goa is most negligent in protecting Hindus against such brutalities.

Hindu Janajagruti Samiti and Akhil Goa Mandir Suraksha Samiti (AGMSS)

On 28 August 2004, an image of Sri Paaikdev was desecrated at Valse, Bhati, Sanguem. The very next day, 29 August, a murti of Sri Kanerisiddha was desecrated in the same taluka. In 2004-05, there were four image desecration incidents; in 2007, there were four incidents; and by April 2008 another four incidents of desecration took place.

The Hindu Janajagruti Samiti (HJS) took serious note of these incidents and with the help of like-minded organisations, staunch Hindus and local devotees, staged an agitation against these incidents. Memorandums were submitted memorandums to the administration, Government and police several times, but all pleas fell on deaf ears.

On 23 June 2008, yet another image was desecrated at Sri Someshwar temple at Shirvai, Quepem. Given the growing number of such incidents and the persistent failure of the police and administration to act to curb the same, several Hindu organisations, temple trustees and devotees joined hands to form an autonomous body to spread awareness about this iconoclasm and take steps to curb the same. Thus, the Akhil Goa Mandir Suraksha Samiti (AGMSS) came into being. From its inception, its activities have been guided by H.H. Bramheshanand Swamiji, Pithadeesh of the Padmanabh Sect, Tapobhoomi, Kundaim, Goa.

The AGMSS has so far conducted meetings in almost all Talukas of the State; a state level public meeting on 17 August 2008 in the capital, was attended by 1000 temple representatives from all over the State and graced by H.H. Shivanand Saraswati Swamiji of Sri Saunsthan Gaudapadacharya Mutt, Kavlem, Ponda, Goa; Sri Sri Sacchidananda Dyaneshwar Bharati Swamiji of Karki Mutt of Daivadnya Brahman Samaj (North Karnataka); Srimad Vidyadhiraj Teerth Vader Swamiji of Partagal Mutt, Goa; Sri Vibhushit Jagadguru Ramanandacharya; Sri Swami Narendracharya Maharaj of ‘Sri Sampraday;’ and H.H. Bramheshanand Swamiji of Tapobhoomi, Kundaim, Goa. The outcome of this awareness programme is that any incident of desecration is promptly and intensely protested by devotees and the general public.

AGMSS programmes

The Akhil Goa Mandir Suraksha Samiti has organised exhibitions of image desecration in Goa, along with brief information about the various incidents. AGMSS also prepared a CD to spread further awareness, as a result of which thousands have become aware of this atrocity from the viewpoint of Hindu Dharma. 

Presently, the Hindu community appears to have lost its inner strength and is unable to resist and defend itself from repeated attacks on its gods and temples. To invigorate the community and remind it of the puissance of its divinities, the AGMSS organised a ‘public weapon worship’ programme last Dussehra at various places in the state.

The AGMSS called a ‘Goa bandh’ on 20 October 2008 to pressurise the government to catch the iconoclasts. The Congress government fumbled as the bandh call received overwhelming public response. On 18 October 2008, AGMSS state level coordinators, Vinayak Chari, Rajendra Velingkar and Jayesh Thali, were arrested by police for using a loudspeaker while campaigning for the ‘Goa Bandh’ near the Old Bus Stand at Margoa! But they had to be released a few hours later.

The Congress regime, however, made several attempts to frustrate the ‘Goa bandh.’ One day before, the Government placed an advertisement in the daily newspapers appealing to the public to refrain from participating in the ‘Goa bandh;’ it assured police protection to those who did not join. It also invoked Section 144 throughout the state on 20 October, and tried to arrest the principal leaders of the agitation. Despite these measures, there was cent percent participation by Goans.

Devasthan Saurakshan Mahasammelan

Despite these measures, image desecration incidents still continued in parts of Goa, prompting the AGMSS to organise a ‘Devasthan Saurakshan Mahasammelan’ in Panaji on 10 January 2009. An impressive 35,000 Hindus united for the cause of temple security. Resolutions unanimously called for a ‘Temple Protection Act’ to permanently curb the deplorable series of desecration incidents in Goa, laws to stop denigration of Hindu deities, an ‘Anti-Conversion Act.’

The Mahasammelan was graced by H.H. Jagadguru Madhvacharya Sri Vishweshteerth Swami Maharaj, Pejawar Mathadish, Udupi; H.H. Jagadguru Sri Shankaracharya Vidyanrusiha Bharati, Karveer Pithadish, Kolhapur, Maharashtra; H.H. Acharya Dharmendraji Swami Maharaj, Panchkhand Pithadish, Jaipur, Rajasthan; H.H. Bramheshanandacharya Swami, Parampujya Padmanabh Shishya Sampradaya (Goa) Tapobhoomi, Kundaim Pithadish; H.H. Sadguru Sri Mukundraj Maharaj; Pujya Kedarji Chaitanya.


The Mahasammelan demanded that:

* A ‘Temple Protection Act’ be enacted to permanently curb the deplorable series of murti     desecration incidents in Goa and the guilty be traced and punished
* Punish advertisers and actors who denigrate Hindus deities
* Enact a law to stop the slaughter of cows completely
* Stop aid for ‘Haj’ pilgrimage with immediate effect
* Re-instate police officers transferred in the ‘Vasco Madarasa case’
* Enact an ‘Anti-conversion Act’
* Take strict action against Convent Schools that were closed on 29 August 2008 and all schools     closed on Goa Liberation Day 
* Accord national anthem status to ‘Vande Mataram’ and make it mandatory to all schools
* Hang terrorist Mohammad Afzal immediately.

The Mahasammelan also vowed that Hindus would not sell their votes to any political party; Hindus would not accept financial aid given for temples with a political motive; and Hindus would only vote for candidates who work for the interest of the Hindu community.

The author is Coordinator, Hindu Jagruti Samiti; its website is

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