Religious sites must be protected

2017-02-15 06:02

MY visit to the Siva Soobramaniam and Mari Uma temples in Pietermaritzburg was safe and comfortable until I journeyed down William Street, a filthy, vermin-infested, narrow one-way “lane”.

It was to difficult find a safe parking because the road was obstructed by numerous five-ton construction vehicles that were parked haphazardly across the road, which itself was strewn with construction rubble and debris.

I slipped into a state of sadness and nostalgia when I confronted by a monstrosity, a concrete slab that that had been built in the narrow and filthy lane that is only a few metres across from my family’s place of deep devotion and worship.

The Siva Soobramaniam and Mari Uma temples are on consecrated ground, where four generations of my family and the public have witnessed numerous miracles take place. The energy and positive vibrations that the powerful murthies exuded just dissipated into the heavy laden smog enveloping the area.

The murthies were devoutly and delicately hand-crafted 120 years ago by a Mr Reddy from South India, who was commissioned by the temple committee. It was a meeting place for robust religious debate, a safe haven from colonial oppression and slavery, and a venue for academics, devotees, religious and political leaders and tourists.

It is a historic religious site, accredited by Amafa, the historic building association of KwaZulu-Natal. A full investigation must be conducted by the city council and Amafa regarding future extensions in and around religious sites and the impact these will have on the environment and its devotees.

I call academics, council members, political and religious leaders and the temple executive committee to comment on the present situation and open debate on social media and in newspapers about the protection of religious sites and the extension of neighbouring buildings and their impact on the environment and its devotees in the Pietermaritzburg area.

DEENA PADAYACHEE

Hayfields

NEXT ON NEWS24X

Inside News24

 
Most Read
News In Your Area
Top Lifestyle

Matric Results are coming soon!

Notify me when results become available

/News
Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.
 
English
Afrikaans
isiZulu

Hello 

Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.


Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.