Located in the South Pacific Ocean, Fiji is an archipelago and a nation often referred to as India’s “Pivot of the Pacific.” Although the nation appears to be a distant dot on the globe past Australia, major trade routes pass through the region, which makes the nation and its surroundings crucial from a geo-strategic perspective. However, Fiji has been in the news for all sorts of wrong reasons, and here is another story of “subordination of Hindus.”
Fiji: A Hindu majority nation in the South Pacific
Fiji, a tiny country in the South Pacific Ocean, has a sizeable Hindu population, for which credit can certainly be given to the British colonialists. The Indo-Fijian Hindus were initially brought to the island to work on sugarcane plantations.
Between 1879 and 1916, the British transported over 60,000 Indians to the islands in order to benefit from the cheap labour, as by then slavery had been abolished in Britain and its colonies.
At the present time, the population in Fiji can be divided into two broad categories: iTaukei, the indigenous people who make up 56% of the population, and Indo-Fijians, who constitute 37.5% of the population.
Fiji faces the threat of radicalization
As per reports, most Indo-Fijians still practise Hinduism (27.9% of the total population and 76% of the Indian community). And there is a threat looming over these Hindus.
Despite the Indo-Fijian community’s contribution to nation-building, their persecution has not stopped. Rather, it has seen an increase with the backing of Economy Minister Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum, the one accused of having close ties with Pakistan’s ISI. The probable reason behind the ongoing persecution of Hindus.
Khaiyum and the Pakistan connection
Reports suggest that Khaiyum used NADRA, the national database authority of Pakistan, to conduct the 2018 elections and ensure the victory of Frank Bainimarama. It was after the victory that Bainimarama gave a free hand to Khaiyum, and Khaiyum turned all his attention towards the Hindu community. It has been emphasised that following this, not only did temple attacks become more frequent, but Hindu intellectuals were routinely picked up by the police and harassed using false cases in Fiji.
Further, the island nation has recently signed a MOU (Memorandum of Understanding) with Pakistan, which led to the constitution of the Pakistan-Fiji Business Council.
Stuffing Muslims in key positions
Khaiyum’s introduction of a Pak-based NADRA is not his only sin; he has also been accused of appointing Muslims to key positions in the Reserve Bank, Broadcasting, Financial Intelligence Units, and Election Supervisor, among others.
For the unversed, Muslims contribute just 6% to the population, and their appointments are disproportionate to the population. The ones being appointed by the Khaiyum force have been accused of facilitating the unceremonious ouster of Hindus from powerful positions.
So, now you tell me what is going on in Fiji? Hindus are being sacked from their positions, Muslims are being stuffed into positions of power, languages are being changed, the Indic roots are being severed, and there is an increase in proximity with Pakistan. All that is happening in Fiji can be summed up as the Islamisation of Hindu-majority Fiji.
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