Christian, Buddhist, Jewish and Baha’i leaders have backed the proposed bid of Hindus of erecting a statue of Lord Hanuman in Oklahoma State Capitol grounds in Oklahoma City.
Universal Society of Hinduism has planned to apply to Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission for permission to place a statue of Lord Hanuman in the statehouse grounds and hopes that Commission will approve it.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, in a statement in Nevada, has said that if the Oklahoma State Capitol was open to different monuments, we would love to have a statue of Lord Hanuman, who was greatly revered and worshipped and known for incredible strength and was a perfect grammarian.
According to well-known Buddhist minister Jikai’ Phil Bryan, “Hindus and Hinduism have made many positive contributions to the American society. It is my hope that the Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission recognizes the growing importance of Hinduism in America by including the statue of Lord Hanuman in Oklahoma Capitol grounds, which is a wonderful idea.”
Richard L. Smith, a United Church of Christ pastor mirrored those thoughts, while admitting that, “While I have questions about the presence of religious monuments on public land, I do believe that if they are to be allowed, then no religion should be favored above or to the exclusion of any others. Fairness demands equal expression for all, and therefore I would have no problem with a Hindu statue taking its place among others.”
Rabbi ElizaBeth Webb Beyer, JD, who is a lawyer and a rabbi in Nevada and California and who has an interest in equal protection cases, said, “When one faith group is allowed to have a monument on public land, other groups must be given the same opportunity. Alternatively, no one may do so. Case law supports either option.”
Baha’i leader Mary Jo Adams said, “There is validity and truth in all religions. Acknowledging the billion adherents of Hinduism and raising its awareness and understanding with a Lord Hanuman statue will be a wonderful gift that Oklahoma could give to USA and the world, the gift that will strengthen unity and brotherhood.”
Rajan Zed has pointed out that besides honoring the Hindus living in Oklahoma, this statue would raise awareness of Oklahomans about Hinduism.
Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission, based in Oklahoma City, has 15 members, with Trait Thompson and Louis Trost is Chair and Vice Chair respectively. 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.
There are about three million Hindus living in USA and ultimate goal of Hinduism is moksh (liberation).