Personal Property or Public Property, Asks Dato Thasleem
Brickfields Vivekananda Ashram has been a very significant element in the history of Kuala Lumpur. No one can deny the facts. The Ashram should be retained and maintained at least for its cultural heritage value, said Dato Hj Thasleem, the Chairman of NIAT.
Looking the artist impression drawing of the proposed construction, me as a person who’s involving in the construction industry, believe they are constructing the 23 floors building by encapsulating Vivekananda Ashram. Thus the ashram will be preserved, and the building will be stratified separately. I have seen similar construction techniques in foreign countries. However I am not sure, whether this is feasible in our country. Though the physical structure will be maintained, I doubt Swami Vivekananda’s name and cultural pride will not be there anymore.
The NIAT Chairman added that this Board of trustees has formed a closed circle among them. It won’t be proper to say only a specific group handling all of this, but it’s time to accept the bitter truth.
The Vivekananda Ashram Board of Trustees living in a false pride. The ashram is not a private property. They should have sought public opinion before making any decision on the ashram. Many have complained that the board of trustees never seeks public opinion. If they have, they should provide evidence. It is not proper to make own decision on issues that pertain to the public, said Dato Hj Thasleem.
I am quite baffled with the “financial issues” that they were claiming. What sort of issues are they facing? What’s the gross profit from the sale of the land? If these questions were to be answered, then I am quite sure the public will come forward to lend a helping hand or share ideas on how we can protect our cultural heritage without selling it. So, the responsibility falls on the shoulder of trustees to clear the clouds.
Putting this aside, I am keen to know how many Indians actually know about Vivekananda Ashram or about the presence of Swami Vivekananda in Malaysia. Were there weekly or monthly programs on Swami Vivekananda? Swami Vivekananda should be seen not just as a religious leader but as great philosopher. That will benefit the entire nation. Instead developing the land, they should refurbish the hall into a multilingual knowledge centre. This eventually helps the teaching of Swami Vivekananda to reach all regardless of race and religion besides preserving the structure. Dato Hj Thasleem has expressed his concern over the issue.