Universal Society of Hinduism President Rajan Zed, in an email to Commission Chair Trait Thompson on December nine, had expressed desire to erect Lord Hanuman statue in Oklahoma State Capitol grounds.
According to reports, Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission, in its meeting on December 19, declared a moratorium on erecting new monuments on Capitol grounds.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that many Hindus among the about three million strong Hindu community in the USA were very excited and enthusiastic on hearing about the possibility of having Lord Hanuman statue in the future on Oklahoma Capitol grounds, said to be a first Hindu religious monument on public land in USA.
Rajan Zed noted that the moratorium was not appropriate and fair for Hinduism, world’s oldest religion with about one billion adherents and a rich philosophical thought. They were concerned about the effect of the moratorium and were thinking of consulting an attorney to proceed further on this issue. They were also thinking of still going forward with the requisite paperwork for Lord Hanuman statue to be placed in the Capitol grounds, Zed added.
Zed further said that Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Baha’i leaders; United Church of Christ pastor Richard L. Smith, Buddhist priest Jikai’ Phil Bryan, Jewish Rabbi ElizaBeth Webb Beyer and Baha’i teacher Mary Jo Adams respectively; had already backed the proposed bid of Hindus of erecting a statue of Lord Hanuman in Oklahoma State Capitol grounds.
Rajan Zed pointed out that besides honoring the Hindus living in Oklahoma, this Lord Hanuman statue, which they planned to make big and weather-proof, would raise awareness of Oklahomans about Hinduism.
Hindus greatly revere and worship Lord Hanuman, who is known for incredible strength and was a perfect grammarian. Moksh (liberation) is the ultimate goal of Hinduism.
Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission, based in Oklahoma City, has 15 members, including Thompson, who is Senior Policy Advisor in Oklahoma Senate; and Louis Trost is Vice Chair. Created in 1982 to plan and supervise the preservation and restoration of the interior and exterior of the Oklahoma State Capitol building, it also controls the display of objects in public areas of the State Capitol building.
Mary Fallin is the Governor of Oklahoma, also known as Sooner State, which Lonely Planet describes as “a place with deep Native American significance”. Over 25 Native American languages are reportedly spoken in Oklahoma.