“Arunachal Pradesh is already in contention to be known as the land of temples”, a friend of mine suggested.
“That’s good for us,” I told him.
“Good for us! How?” He was not ready to agree.
I knew I cannot beat him in argument but I went for it. “Well, I can’t think of how it’s not good for us, any way,” I said.
“I think”, he said, “Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa was right when he said that God lives in the pure heart of every child.”
“That’s right, but…..”
“Let me finish first,” he interrupted me. “Remember those childhood days in Itanagar at H-Sector. We used to gather there at the open space-a sort of small playground for the children of the sector. We’d play, shout, fight and cry – it was such a fun, those days. You might have seen what has happened to that small playground. A temple has come up and fences have been erected around it.”
“Yes that’s so.” I had to agree because it happens to be true.
“Do you know what the children of the sector do now-a-days? Some play in the road and some whose parents think the road too unsafe to play on are confined to their home. H-Sector is just one example – go to A-Sector, B-Sector, C-Sector – everywhere in Itanagar and Naharlagun, you’ll see temples coming up at the spaces meant for the children. You’ll see…….” Just then his mobile rang. It was his mother.
“I have to go,” he said. He looked little annoyed to leave at this juncture. It was a disappointment for me as well, as I wanted to elicit some more from him.
The next day I made a quick survey to what he had told me about the temples. He was right. What once used to be a small open breathing space left in the colony or a small playground for the children, as he called it, was replaced by a temple in the heart of
“Does law allow encroachment of public land anywhere to build a place of worship?” I asked myself.
“No comment”, said my inner voice. “This is a sensitive matter.”
I wonder if readers of Arunachal Diary has any comment on it.