Published On: Thu, Mar 24th, 2022

Australia Returns Millions Worth Stolen Hindu Artifacts to India

Australia is returning twenty-nine ancient Hindu artifacts to India that were stolen and smuggled out of the country. Illegally exporting Hindu artifacts out of India has become a multi-billion dollar international industry with ancient, irreplaceable items being sold in global antique markets. 

Australia is returning artifacts, some of which are as old as from the 9th century C.E. These artifacts are stolen from ancient Hindu temples and sacred sites which have worshiped and maintained these outstanding marvels of the Hindu civilization for centuries. These ancient artifacts are awe-striking as such genius designs and sculptings were done at a time devoid of modern-day technology as we know and use today. 

The most unfortunate part is many Indians themselves are participating and aiding in this artifact-smuggling business. Our Hindu ancestors have put their lives on the line to maintain and protect the Hindu heritage amidst successive invasions and colonization, yet we do not seem to value their sacrifices and contributions. 

Hinduism is a rich tradition, which has exquisite murtis or sacred deities made of various stones, marbles, metals, etc. The ornate designs on temples or the decoration pieces on the sides are all part of a larger story of the ancient Hindu tradition. These “artifacts” are not just artifacts but living stories of our ancestors that speak through the artifacts. 

These stolen properties of Hinduism cannot even come close to being valued using normal numerical projections and prices. These are a part of our civilization and cannot be replaced. These international markets stealing and selling our birthright contributes greatly to the religious erasure of Sanatana Hindu Dharma, popularly known as Hinduism.

Such stolen Hindu artifacts exist all around the world and most never make their way back home to where they are supposed to be. Thousands of such artifacts are smuggled every year out of India by hiding them in furniture and textile exports. Just for some money, the perpetrators of this crime are not just committing financial fraud but are actively contributing to religious erasure.

Countless nations have stored such stolen artifacts that have managed to be exported out of India and it is a groundbreaking gesture by Australia to return Hindu artifacts to India where they belong. It is difficult to map exactly where the artifacts belonged but through experimentation and investigation, their original sites can be found for them to be returned appropriately. It is the responsibility of every Hindu to protect Hindu heritage by ensuring such fraudulent activities are kept in check by protecting temples and other sacred Hindu sites where such artifacts are prevalent in large numbers. Australia’s gesture is truly heartwarming and hopefully more countries enact the same.

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