A Hindu temple in Melbourne's northern suburb of Craigieburn, Australia, received a threatening call on February 14. The caller, speaking in Punjabi, demanded the cancellation of a spiritual programme scheduled to take place on March 4 or face consequences. The temple, Kali Mata Mandir, is dedicated to Hindu Goddess Kali, and the caller claimed that the singer scheduled to perform was a "staunch Hindu" and trouble would follow if he was allowed to perform.
The priestess of the temple, Bhawna, received the call from a "no caller ID" number and was threatened with violence if the programme went ahead. Bhawna pleaded with the caller, telling him that even Guru Govind Singh used to pray at the temple and asked why someone would want to come and fight there. This incident follows a spate of attacks on Hindu temples in Australia and other countries, including Canada and Bangladesh, in recent months.
In January, the Shri Shiva Vishnu Temple in Carrum Downs was vandalised during the "Thai Pongal" festival, and the Swaminarayan temple in Melbourne was defaced with anti-India graffiti. The incident at the Ram Mandir in Mississauga, Canada, where miscreants scribbled anti-India graffiti on its walls, sparked outrage, leading to the Consulate General of India in Toronto calling for prompt action.
Similarly, in January, a Hindu Temple in Brampton, Canada, was defaced with hate-filled messages directed towards India, causing an outrage among the Indian community. In Dhaka, unidentified miscreants vandalised 14 Hindu temples in a series of orchestrated attacks overnight on February 5.
The recent attacks on Hindu temples have been linked to the Khalistani movement, a separatist movement seeking the creation of an independent state for Sikhs in Punjab, India. The movement has been accused of promoting extremism and violence against the Indian state, leading to tensions between Sikhs and Hindus living outside India.
These attacks have prompted calls for increased security measures at Hindu temples worldwide, with many members of the Indian diaspora expressing concern for their safety. The incidents have also sparked outrage and condemnation from political leaders, religious figures, and community members, who have called for an end to the violence and the promotion of tolerance and understanding among different religious groups.
In response to the threat received by Kali Mata Mandir, the local police have launched an investigation, and security measures have been increased at the temple. The incident has been condemned by the Hindu community in Australia, who have called for an end to the violence and discrimination against their community.