NEWS

Bulitavu Descends To A New Low: Raj

‘(They) gloss over the unspeakable violence and trauma of the Indian indenture system. Indian men were not born murderers and Indian women were not born with the natural proclivity to have affairs.’
06 Jul 2019 14:57
Bulitavu Descends To A New Low: Raj
Ashwin Raj

Mosese Bulitavu is an unabashed racist and misogynist who lacks historical consciousness. He has descended to a new low by criminalising the descendants of indentured labourers as an innately violent community ensconced in a culture of “murder and stabbing” and the debasement of Indo-Fijian women as lascivious. No community is innately violent. His ignorant comments gloss over the unspeakable violence and trauma of the Indian indenture system.

Indian men were not born murderers and Indian women were not born with the natural proclivity to have extra-marital affairs. History teaches us that suicides, rape, murders and infanticides, among other social ills which colonial authorities conveniently classified as crimes of “sexual jealousy” were in fact a consequence of the colonial policy of disproportionate sex ratios where for every 100 men, colonial rulers and capitalists recruited 40 women in the “coolie lines”.  Stereotyping, debasement and dehumanisation, as we know, breeds racism.

Sadly, such comments are reminiscent of the fervour of racist vitriol that has shaped much of our history in our struggle for common and equal citizenry.  Not so long ago, an entire community was likened to a “barking dog” and incidentally it is not racist according to our Opposition political parties, including the NFP. The Leader of Opposition has publicly struggled to recognise everyone as Fijians and incidentally it is not racist either! When another traditional leader from SODELPA labelled the NFP and FLP as “vulagi” political parties, the leaders of NFP and FLP jumped and cried racism while the SODELPA lot is still immersed in a flurry of semantics justifying why the term “vulagi” is not racist. Call it by any other name, racism is racism and we cannot be selective about which acts of racism we condemn and the ones we condone.

Descendants of indentured labourers made Fiji their home 140 years ago and only in 2013 were they extended the constitutional right and dignity to be called Fijians. We must weed out racism.

More than ever, we must unite and jealously guard our hard-fought constitutional right to be called Fijians despite our race, ethnicity, gender, colour or creed or economic status.

Feedback: jyotip@fijisun.com.fj

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