Editor in Chief: Moh. Reza Huwaida Wednesday, July 8th, 2020

Bamiyan Buddhas to be Commemorated

In the memory of the two Buddha statues destructed by Taliban in Bamiyan province of Afghanistan early March 2001, according to reports, the Queen of Thailand Sirikit, has outlined plans to build a 32-metre Buddha at the Thip Sukhontharam Temple in Kanchanaburi province, about 100 kilometers west of Bangkok. That will be a great way to commemorate the giant Buddhas of Bamiyan by a nation whose 90 percent of population stands to be Buddhist.

The intention of the queen to honor the Buddha signals the invaluable love and respect of Thai nation towards the historical Buddha statues of Bamiyan. In June, 2006, the Thai government had offered to reconstruct the ancient statues of Buddha but like many other countries' promises, this offer remained unprocessed either.

The loss caused by Taliban to Afghanistan and the whole humanity by destructing the statues in Bamiyan can not be compensated by any way. The former Afghan Islamic fundamentalist regime dynamited and used artillery to deface and destroy the priceless twin Buddha statues, carved into the heart of the Hindu Kush mountains in Bamiyan, claiming that all statues are idols and therefore their existence was contrary to Islamic belief. The Taliban action against one of Asia's great historical treasures caused international outrage and widespread condemnation.

Since the ouster of Taliban, nonetheless, many countries have shown willingness to rebuild the Buddhas in Bamiyan. But due to certain reasons – majorly security – their willingness is not taking any practical shape. To create an art piece, such as Buddhas, it takes years and needs knowledge, creativity and consistent hard work.

Demolition of Buddha that took only some days can never be compensated by any means, as we have permanently lost them. Early this year, German scientists said that it was possible to reconstruct one of the two Buddhas dynamited by Taliban. Even if the Buddha is reconstructed, there is no guarantee that it would remain safe.

Although Buddhas have not been re-constructed and the Bamiyan province has seen very little development in the last ten years, every year thousands of tourists, national foreign, pay visits to Bamiyan. This shows the historical importance and capacity of Bamiyan to generate huge amounts of tourism revenue for the government.