Masonic Hall transformed into Hindu Temple in England

Nevada, USA, April 21, 2011 (Washington Bangla Radio) Former Central Masonic Hall in Hull (England, UK) is Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre now.

Before it, Hindus in North and North-East Lincolnshire and East Yorkshire either had to travel to Bradford or Birmingham or gather at various halls for religious needs. Hull and East Riding Hindu Cultural Association purchased this majestic building and transformed it into a Hindu temple, which is now a focal point for religious and social activities for the community; including pujas, bhajans, weekly prasad-bhojans, musical and dance performances, yoga workshops, social gatherings, etc.

This Association, formed in 1993, is a registered charity with Charity Commission for England and Wales and celebrates Holi, Diwali, Janmashtami, and Sararswati puja annually besides weekly pujas. Its aims include to “promote an understanding of Indian and Hindu culture” and to “educate children and adults into the principles and practices of Hindu culture”. Tapan K. Mahapatra is the Association chairperson, Dr. Hiten Thakkar and Jagdish Gandhi are vice chairpersons, while Dr. Rajiv Chitnis is the secretary.

Meanwhile, Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, applauded efforts of Association leaders and Hull and surrounding areas community to realize this wonderful Hindu Temple and Cultural Centre.

Rajan Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, further said that it was important to pass on Hindu spirituality, concepts and traditions to coming generations amidst so many distractions in the consumerist society and hoped that this new temple complex would focus in this direction. Zed stressed that instead of running after materialism; we should focus on inner search and realization of self and work towards achieving moksh (liberation), which was the goal of Hinduism.

Founded in 12th century, waterfront city Hull (Kingston-upon-Hull) which Lonely Planet describes as "Tough, uncompromising", with about 72% Christian population, has reportedly the lowest church attendance in the United Kingdom. It suffered heavy damage during Second World War bombing raids and houses University of Hull, Hull York Medical School, Hull School of Art, etc. Notable people associated with Hull include poet Philip Larkin, aviator Amy Johnson, actors John Alderton and Maureen Lipman, musicians Paul Heaton and Mick Ronson, rugby player Clive Sullivan, etc. David Gemmel and Cllr Mark Collinson are Lord Mayor and Deputy Lord Mayor respectively. Hull City Council has published "A Guide to Life in the UK" in Punjabi.

Freemasonry, with worldwide membership of about six million, is a fraternal organization with history dating back to 16th century. Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about one billion adherents.