Opinion

Where Are The Voices That Count In Temple Attacks?

The anguish and despair on the face of Vijendra Prakash on the front page of the January 22 issue spoke volumes. Mr Prakash, the president of the Rewa Division Sanatan
23 Jan 2018 14:48
Where Are The Voices That Count In Temple Attacks?
The look of despair. The president of Rewa Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha, Vijendra Prakash, in the Gopal Sadhu Hanuman Ghandi Mandir in Wainibuku on January 21, 2018 gets emotional about the break-in of their temple on Friday. Photo: Losirene Lacanivalu

The anguish and despair on the face of Vijendra Prakash on the front page of the January 22 issue spoke volumes.

Mr Prakash, the president of the Rewa Division Sanatan Dharam Pratinidhi Sabha, was in tears after a third temple attack in one month.

His religion and place of worship is dear to him and, for many Hindus, they become so attached to the temples which they have known since children.

So when such attacks on their temples happen, it hits them right to the core of their hearts.

What is wrong with our society today?

The desecration of religious places of worship and some Christian churches have come under such outrageously unrestrained actions of these hooligans that it is a cause for concern for the whole nation.

Time and again when such attacks take place, we find leaders of different political parties and other leaders pipe up but their voices fizzle out not long after you hear it.

The late Roko Tui Bau and former High Court judge, Ratu Joni Madraiwiwi, in October 2003 expressed his concern at the lack of vocal condemnation from national leaders of the attacks on the Hindu temples.

Ratu Joni had said his anxiety was based on the underlying intolerance which motivated such behaviour.

He told a workshop on reconciliation that intolerance, intemperance and insensitivity do not occur naturally. It was all learned behaviour.

Those who had no respect for others acquired that mindset from those around them, as well as the homes in which they grew up, he said.

Ratu Joni said in order to create a tolerant, caring and open society, the leaders and parents of tomorrow must be taught these values.

So it’s back to the drawing board, so to speak, the family.

Family values, sad to say, (it’s sounding like a scratched record) is missing in a lot of families now where respect for parents and elders is unheard of.

But are the children to blame only or are parents as guilty as they are.

Walk into some homes and you would be appalled at the level of swears, abuse and violence flying around the house and here we talk about the involvement of the whole family.

And then there is laughter and everything is normal.

The brunt of these types of upbringings is now being partially felt by these temples.

Respect for these places of worship is dwindling and will hit rock bottom if parents, leaders in the communities and those that people look up to and respect do not lend a hand to help quell this insanity.

If we cannot  practise religious tolerance, then these attacks may worsen and lead us down some other dark alley.

If we can’t help, at least keep an eye out for these vandals and report them to the Police.

Feedback:  charles.chambers@fijisun.com.fj

 

 



Fijisun Ad Space


Get updates from the Fiji Sun, handpicked and delivered to your inbox.


By entering your email address you're giving us permission to send you news and offers. You can opt-out at any time.


Fiji Sun Instagram
Subscribe-to-Newspaper