No place here for for Hindu Lord Hanuman
The Arkansas Secretary of State’s office has denied a request from the Universal Society of Hinduism to place a privately funded Hindu statue of Lord Hanuman on Capitol grounds.
According to this report, The Hindu society and a number of other organisations have been pushing for the erection of their their own monuments on the Capitol grounds ever since the Arkansas General Assembly passed a law this year to erect a Ten Commandments statue.
The Hindu society released a statement on Friday saying it was now considering sending its request to Governor Asa Hutchinson, above, who signed the Ten Commandments statue law in April. The bill he signed opened with this monumental tosh:
The Ten Commandments represent a philosophy of government held by many of the founders of this nation and by many Arkansans and other Americans today, that God has ordained civil government and has delegated limited authority to civil government, that God has limited the authority of civil government, and that God has endowed people with certain unalienable rights, including life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
The society’s president, Rajan Zed, said that the group had asked in an August 6 letter to place a privately-funded statue of the Lord Hanuman outside the Capitol.
Zed said in a statement
If permitted, we planned to make it big and weatherproof. Besides honoring the Arkansas Hindus, this statue would raise awareness of Arkansans about Hinduism, oldest and third-largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought.
A rejection letter, dated August 17 told the group to either apply through the General Assembly for permission or to submit an application to the Arkansas State Capitol Arts and Grounds Commission, which has jurisdiction over such requests.
Kelly Boyd, the Chief Deputy Secretary of State, wrote in the letter that the office was involved in the process for the Ten Commandments statue only because the legislature had mandated its placement on the property.
A spokesman for the Secretary of State’s office, Chris Powell, said the Universal Society of Hinduism was the only group that had sent a formal proposal for a statue. He said that People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals had also submitted an idea, but that it violated state policies.
That was for a banner they wanted to hang across the front of the Capitol that would have said, ‘Give peas a chance’. I don’t know if we answered that request, but in the picture it would have taken up half of the columns. It violated our display policy.
During the debate over the Ten Commandments statue legislation, supporters argued that it was not a religious monument, but instead highlighted the historic importance of the commandments as a legal document.