Caption: Hindus were joined by iTaukei brothers during the last day of processions where the participants danced and rejoiced celebrating the Ganesh festival in Ba.Photo: SUPPLIED.
By ASHTOSH SINGH
The Vishva Hindu Parishad of Fiji has raised concerns on the article that was published on Sunday, October 6, 2013 in the Fiji Times titled “Sabha condemns murti practice” by the Sanatan Dharam Partinidhi Sabha of Fiji in condemning an internationally Hindu celebrated-Ganesh festival.
“It displays their sheer lack of knowledge and ignorance towards Hindu Dharm,” said National President of the VHP Fiji, Mr Jay Dayal.
The Ganesh festival has a strong religious significance that is being celebrated by Hindus since time immemorial. In Fiji it was mostly a domestic or personal prayer session that has with time now grown into a national event not only for Hindus but followers of other faiths have also actively taken part in the celebrations.
Many organizations have joined hands to make this festival joyous and Vishva Hindu Parishad (World Hindu Council) is very pleased to support any such festival that fosters love, brotherhood and supports community building and religious tolerance.
“The visarjan or immersion of Ganesh murti also holds strong religious significance and it is sad the Sanatan Pratinidhi Sabha has made such ridiculous statements,” said Mr Dayal.
According to Mr Dayal the branches of Sabha have also been taking part in the Ganesh festival and now that many people wish to celebrate in association with other organizations the Sanatan Pratinidhi Sabha is creating unnecessary issues which in our view is uncalled for and very childish.
“It is probably because Sabha sees the other organizations as competitors so they chose fit to make antireligious comments about the very Dharma that they are supposed to promote and protect,” said Ashneel Sudhakar, the General Secretary of VHP Fiji.
VHP together with all its nationwide branches and the Western and Northern Brahman Sabha branches fully support and encourages all Hindus to actively take part annual gatherings such as the Ganesh festival and requests all Hindus to ignore the statements by Vijendra Prakash the Secretary of Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha.
The festival facilitates community participation and involvement in the form of intellectual discourses, poetry recitals, performances of plays, musical concerts, and folk dances and involvement of children and youths. The Ganesh festival is now the largest Hindu gathering in the country and our constitution allows us our right to religious freedom.
Meanwhile, in Ba and elsewhere Hindus were joined by iTaukei brothers during the last day of processions where the participants danced and rejoiced with the Hindus.
“If the iTaukei brothers can come together, the fragmentation of Hindus as suggested by Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha is beyond our understanding. Only those with least interest of Hindu Dharma at heart will make such derogatory and foolish comments”, added Mr Jay Dayal, National President of VHP Fiji.