The world around us is breaking down following tremors triggered by religious hatred which at times manifests itself in the form of terrorism. Yet there are islands of hope on which stand tall people like Lt Javed Khan. Khan is an American police officer, a kick boxing champion and an eighth dan in Taekwondo. And Khan is also in charge of the security of the largest Hindu temple, the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana, in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.
Born in Mumbai, Khan immigrated to the United States in 2001, the year 9/11 happened in the country. Despite the racist wave that the 9/11 incident triggered across US, Khan continued building a positive image of his community and his origin country in the society. The respect he gained both on the professional and personal front made Khan a man to look up to.
Then one day something happened. Khan’s daughter fell in love with a Telugu Hindu boy and insisted upon marrying him.
Without any hesitation, Khan allowed his daughter to marry the love of her life. The wedding took place at the Hindu temple in Indianapolis, and it was at this wedding that Khan realized that the temple needed some kind of security. He offered his services and the temple authorities gladly accepted. Since then Khan became a part of the temple itself. Every visitor to the temple now feel safer with Khan as the director of security.
In fact, it was under Khan’s security that the temple’s formal opening ceremony – Kumbhabhishekam – was held in 2015, several years after the establishment of the temple.
A 2015 photo of the Hindu Temple of Central Indiana, where Javed is the director of security. AP Photo/The Indianapolis Star, Charlie Ny
The ceremony was attended by Indiana Governor Mike Pence who is now Republican vice-presidential candidate. When asked what he felt being a Muslim and keeping a Hindu temple safe, Khan said, “We are Indians. Half my family is Hindu. I do not believe in Hindu-Muslim thing.” His words are full of truth. Khan himself loves being at the temple. “Whenever, I go to temple, I do not even feel I am in America. I feel I am in India,” Khan says. ” Of course, Khan has been very famous in India.
Many top Bollywood actors learnt martial arts from Khan, including John Abraham and Bobby Deol. Khan has also conducted martial arts training for Mumbai police.
“My message is this; we are all one. We are all the children of God. There is only one God and then there are different forms and names, we choose to worship,” Khan told PTI in a phone interview from Indianapolis. In fact, he finds his duty so normal that he modestly told PTI that what he is doing is neither special nor extraordinary. Perhaps people around the world and the right- and left-wings in every religion and society need to take classes from Khan.