According to reports, desecration was caused on December 16 night, violating this sacred Hindu place of worship. Damage included pouring paint over the images of deities Ganesha, Hanuman, etc; graffiti/slurs on walls; theft of donation box, sound system and other equipment; rubbish strewn in prayer area; etc.; and was said to be third such act at the temple.
Distinguished Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, said that it was reportedly disturbing for the hard-working, harmonious and peaceful Fijian Hindu community; who had made lot of contributions to the nation and society; to receive such signals of hatred and anger.
Such incidents should not be acceptable in a country like Fiji which reportedly protects freedom of conscience, belief, and religion; and where communities of diverse faiths frequently come together to develop mutual understanding and respect; Zed, who is President of Universal Society of Hinduism, noted.
Rajan Zed urged Fijian President Major General Jioji Konusi Konrote, Prime Minister Rear Admiral Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama and Commissioner of Western Division to visit this Hindu Temple to show solidarity with the Hindu-Fijians, meet the area Hindu community to reassure them and address a public rally in Votualevu condemning the desecration. He also urged them to take the issue seriously and urgently and make sure that such incidents did not happen in the future, in order regain the reportedly falling confidence of the Hindu community.
As an interfaith gesture, Zed also urged Reverend Dr. Tevita Nawadra Banivanua, President of Fiji Methodist Church; leaders of Roman Catholic, Assemblies of God, Seventh-day Adventist, Anglican and other Christians denominations; and leaders of Muslim, Sikh, Baha’i and other religious communities and non-believers; and ordinary Fijians to come forward condemning this desecration and expressing solidarity with the nation’s Hindus; who had also made huge contributions to its success, prosperity and growth.
Rajan Zed suggested the Hindu-Fijians to continue with the traditional values of hard work, higher morals, stress on education, sanctity of marriage, etc., amidst so many distractions; which was the reason for their success.
Hinduism, oldest and third largest religion of the world, has about 1.1 billion adherents and moksh (liberation) is its ultimate goal.
Source: World Hindu News (WHN)