The Buddhas of Bamiyan were built in the 6th century when Bamiyan was a holy Buddhist site. The 629 AD, Chinese traveller Xuanzang described Bamiyan as a place full of activities with tens of thousands of monks. The prominent statues were 55m and 37m high. It was carved out of sandstone cliffs. Bamiyan valley is in the Hazarajat region of central Afghanistan. But this ancient sandstone carving was destroyed by the Taliban terrorists in March 2001.
The destruction of Buddhas of Bamiyan was widely condemned by several nations. But what shocked everyone was the statement given by Zakir Naik, an Islamic preacher. Yes, this Islamic who has escaped from India had said that “It is the right thing to do the destruction of Bamiyan Buddha, because Lord Buddha, who was against idolatry, would have approved that.”
He further says “For millions of human beings in the world, drug is god for them”. He also called Afghanistan, and its Buddhist statues the “property” of the Taliban. He adds “Who are we to object?
This statement was given by Zakir Naik in a Chennai event in 2002. This is really a disgusting statement because he has a huge fan base and what message will be sent to his followers by such kind of statements. Isn’t this provoking hatred against other religions?
How Taliban destroyed the statues?
The operation to wreck the statues carved into a cliff in the Bamiyan Valley in the Hindu Kush Mountains of central Afghanistan was supervised by Mullah Obaidullah, the Taliban defence minister.
After failing to destroy the 1,700-year-old sandstone statues of Buddha with anti-aircraft and tank fire, the Taliban brought a lorry load of dynamite from Kabul. They drilled holes into the torsos of the two statues and then placed dynamite charges inside the holes to blow them up.
Look at the logic less statement given by the Taliban supreme leader Mullah Omar who had ordered to destroy the statue, “I did not want to destroy the Bamiyan Buddha. In fact, some foreigners came to me and said they would like to conduct the repair work of the Bamiyan Buddha that had been slightly damaged due to rains. This shocked me. I thought, these callous people have no regard for thousands of living human beings — the Afghans who are dying of hunger, but they are so concerned about non-living objects like the Buddha. This was extremely deplorable. That is why I ordered its destruction. Had they come for humanitarian work, I would have never ordered the Buddha’s destruction”.