Sri Siva Subramaniya Swami Temple in Nadi (Fiji) is reportedly planned to undergo a $0.5 million upgrade and beautification.
Upgrading also includes constructing a vegetarian eatery. This Temple, run by Then India Sanmarga Ikya Sangam Fiji (TISISF), also plans to celebrate its 24th anniversary with elaborate Mahakumbabhishekam rituals in June next.
This temple, which opens at six am every day, holds hour-long Trishati Pooja every Tuesday evening. Anand Gurukkal is the Head Priest.
Hindu statesman Rajan Zed, in a statement in Nevada (USA) today, commended efforts of TISISF and temple leaders and area community towards undertaking this grand beautification.
TISISF, headquartered in Nadi and established in 1926; runs various schools, colleges, temples, farms, nursery; besides undertaking various sporting and cultural activities and organizing conventions. Jai Narayan is the Chief Executive Officer.
Nadi is the third-largest conurbation of Fiji, located in its west; which Lonely Planet described as “a unique blend of cultures”.
According to the 2007 census, there are some 313,798 Hindus in Fiji. Hindus are the second largest religious community in Fiji, comprising approximately 28% of the total population and approximately 76% of the Indian community.
Hindus were initially brought to Fiji in 1879 by the British colonists as part of the indentured labor system to work on sugar cane plantations. This brutal practice, akin to slavery, was finally abolished in 1916, but discrimination against Hindus has continued, abetted by the state.
Hindu American Foundation had noted gross human rights violations of Hindus in Fiji. In its 2017 report on Fiji, it noted that the “Indian-Hindu minority faces ongoing racial prejudice and inequitable treatment in many sectors, while longstanding ethnic tensions between the iTaukei (indigenous Fijian) population and Indo-Fijians continues to plague the country.”
While noting that government has tried to confront discrimination and reduce ethnic tensions in recent years yet, it said, that the land ownership regulations, however, remain inequitable and continue to marginalize Indo-Fijian farmers.
The majority of land in Fiji is still concentrated in the hands of iTaukei Fijians with restrictions on the ability of Indo-Fijians farmers to purchase land under discriminatory land tenure legislation. While a recent land use decree has increased access to land and extended lease periods to up to 99 years (from 30 years), Indo-Fijian farmers are still dependent on leased lands.
The HAF report also said that ethnic and religiously motivated violence targeting the Indian-Hindu minority has also drastically declined, though there were a string of racially and religiously motivated break-ins targeting the Indian-Hindu community in June 2016. The Lovu Sangam School on the outskirts of Lautoka and an adjacent Hindu temple, for instance, were vandalized multiple times and Hindu symbols and sacred items desecrated. The vandals also wrote messages taunting the school that serves 500 Indian students. This followed an incident of vandalism and desecration of religious items at the Nadi Arya Samaj Primary School, a Hindu religious school, in 2014.