Hindus want to put a statue of one of their gods on the grounds of the State Capitol if state voters amend the Oklahoma Constitution to allow display of the Ten Commandments.
The House passed HJR 1062 on March 9 and sent it to the Senate. It would put on the November ballot a proposal to amend the Constitution to repeal Section 5 of Article II.
State Hindus will renew their interest to install a Lord Hanuman statue at Oklahoma Capitol grounds in Oklahoma City is the amendment passes.
The section under question states: “No public money or property shall ever be appropriated, applied, donated, or used, directly or indirectly, for the use, benefit, or support of any sect, church, denomination, or system of religion, or for the use, benefit, or support of any priest, preacher, minister, or other religious teacher or dignitary, or sectarian institution as such.”
The Ten Commandments Monument was paid for entirely by the family of Rep. Mike Ritze, R-Broken Arrow.
The liberal Oklahoma Supreme Court ruled that the 10 Commandments Monument at the State Capitol had to be removed based on that part of the Constitution, even though the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the same monument could be displayed at the Texas State Capitol in Austin.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada, said that if and when the Oklahoma State Capitol became open again in the future to different monuments and space was available in the statehouse grounds, Hindus would request placing a statue of Lord Hanuman, which might become the first Hindu religious monument on public land in America.
Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, had written to the Oklahoma State Capitol Preservation Commission (OSCPC) officials in the past showing interest in erecting the Lord Hanuman statue, which they planned to make big and weather-proof. OSCPC, created in 1982 to plan and supervise the preservation and restoration of the interior and exterior of the Oklahoma State Capitol building, also controls the display of objects in public areas of the State Capitol building.
Zed pointed out that besides honoring the Hindus living in Oklahoma, this Lord Hanuman statue would promote conversion to Hinduism in Oklahoma.
Hinduism is the third largest religion of the world with about one billion adherents.
Zed said some Christian, Buddhist and Jewish leaders had backed the proposed bid of Hindus of erecting a statue at the State Capitol grounds.
There are about three million Hindus in United States.