#header-inner img {margin: 0 auto !important; #header-inner {text-align: Center ;} Fiji Coupfourpointfive: Bose Levu Vakaturaga has rightful place in Fiji life

Monday, November 22, 2010

Bose Levu Vakaturaga has rightful place in Fiji life

As the illegal regime extends the public emergency regulations yet again, freedom advocate Suliasi Daunitutu looks at another area the illegal attorney general is trying to destroy, the Bose Levu Vakaturaga (Great Council of Chiefs).
  
Aiyaz Sayed Khaiyum’s “Sunset Clause” where he wrote the Fijian Chiefly system is to evolve or be dissolved, is mischievous in its contradictory values and assumption of tradition and cultures.

He himself is of the Muslim religion, a religion bound by strict rules and tradition which I dare say, did not originate from India or Pakistan but from the Middle East and is still upheld by practicing Muslims around the world including Fiji.

I can say that the religion has evolved, too, and still endeavours to capture the core value of its belief.

There is also the traditions and culture that our Indian brothers and sisters brought with them from India.  This might have been watered down to suit their habitat and the occupants of their new environment, but the Fijian race has not interfered with those values that could so easily be seen as a tool that isolates Indians from us.

That, in my view, is also a deterrent for economical and social advancement, as the separation caused by these traditions and cultures add up to difficulty in communication and can lead to intolerance.

It is, in fact, the Fijian structure that Khaiyum seems so determined to destroy that is the one that takes the first brave steps towards the merging (or at least, partly) of the two ethnic groups.

It is only in recent times that we have noticed that the two cultures can be harmoniously intertwined and engage in unison from a singular platform such as marriage, politics, business and at the same time preserve  their individual heritage.

The Indo Fijians have also enjoyed their cultural heritage as dictated by democratic law in their own favoured way.  Weddings, deaths and marriages are also conducted by their own priests, complete in their own unique rituals.

Again, Fijians could claim that these are also reasons the two different cultures cannot merge, but the indigenous populace have chosen to ignore the differences and to accept it is “the way” they do things.

Khaiyum's arrogant analysis that we are “creatures of British rule” could make me laugh as he has forgotten his existence in Fiji is also a product of that part of Fiji’s history, the one he is trying to wipe out like the Fiji Times.

The Bose Levu Vakaturaga, might be separate institution but it is an indigenous one, and should be respected for its content and representation.  

If it is allowed to make vital decisions in the running of Fiji, then there is perfect sense in that occurrence.

I don’t see migrant Indians making an impact in the House of Commons or the House of Lords in Britain, or migrant Brits making their mark in the Indian government.

Fijians have the Bose Levu Vakaturaga, and it should be accorded the prestige and honour it deserves as those who preside in them, preside in the country and its 14 Yasanas.

And I don’t think the BLV will be making decisions that are detrimental to other ethnic groups as opposed to ones that promote the  Nation.

I respect the analysis and research work done for the his thesis, but my views are based on the experience of daily co- existence, which I have had the pleasure of living through and enjoying.

In conclusion, the problem the illegal attorney general might be mistaking as the one caused by the Fijian system could be, in my view, a combination of both.

The Fijian has a vertical structure with Chief at the top down to the common villager, which was determined through their warlord lineage and conquering capabilties.

That structure still allows the chief's daughter to marry the common villager and vice versa.

The Indians have a horizontal structure or a cast system whereby the higher cast girl cannot marry "downcast" or vice versa.

That mentallity has to change in my view or in his (Khaiyum's) words - "evolve or dissolve" . Would he be willing to let his daughter marry a lower cast girl from the squatter settlements ? I think not.

Khaiyum will make sure that what he does is best for "him and his" - and whoever and whatever they are, remain in his thoughts. But all will be revealed in time and in his actions because as we now know, his thesis was a preface to them.

14 comments:

  1. Tell him he's dreaming.

    Simply won't happen - what he envisages is a generational thing & right now Time is something he's hasn't got - way things are going be lucky if he see's out Christmas Tick - tock - tick - tock....

    ReplyDelete
  2. How do you reconcile an imported predatory culture based on monetary & personal gain with an indigenous one that isn't?

    ReplyDelete
  3. I would like to go a step further and say that they are chiefs of the whole of Fiji and all its people, not just i-taukei. The politicisation of the BLV and its actions/inactions in tough times in the past has led to the relegation of members of that august body. Having said that, I dont support the AG and his draconian decrees either. All of us except Jake and Croz like to see his back soon.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Swaraj Paul, Baron Paul of Marylebone, deputy speaker of House of Lords
    Lord Desai, House of Lords
    Baron Alli, House of Lords
    Baron Hameed, House of Lords
    Baron Bilimoria, House of Lords
    Baron Dholakia, House of Lords
    Baron Rana, House of Lords
    Baron Bhattacharyya, House of Lords

    ReplyDelete
  5. Interesting debate about this cast thing. I can safely say that most if not all Fiji Indians do not even know which cast they belong too. The modern Indian is oblivious of this and the example given on Khaiyum letting his daughter marry a lower cast girl from the squatter settlement is more social discrimination then anything else. I think the writer really needs to investigate this issue further before making such a bold statement. Indians are intermarrying and intermingling like never before both within their own sub communities and with other races. ANON 8.16 seems to imply that the i-taukei is not greedy and predatory. This may have been so a long time ago pal. If this was true then the i-taukei chiefs would not be fighting for positions and the subsequent perks that go with it like the $200k Land Crussier, the jails would not be full of i-taukei who prefer to take by force things they want rather then working for it, The many allegations of corruption by the i-taukei in the civil service who to this day still outnumber other races as civil servants, The members of the mataqali who burn tires, block roads and beat people up for the want of more money, the extra ordinary demands for lease renewal goodwill money. I can go on and on with examples of the the i-taukei's love for money and all the goodies it can buy so please wake up to reality. The i-taukei may have come to the party late but now that they are here they want to dance all night, Their is nothing wrong with this as this is the way the world is today but please don't pretend that you are anything else. The truth is all humans despite who we are ethnically basically want the same things in life. A comfortable life style with all the modern conveniences a future for our children and the freedom to say what we like and do what we like. Why can’t we work towards this instead of always picking on each others race color, etc etc. By the way if the culture of Indians was as predatory as suggested India would have had no problems forcibly taking over this country. India is a nuclear power with one of the largest and most well occupied armies of the world. They could walk in here and do as they want and they have been given good reason in the past when the coups were done to marginalize the Fiji Indian community but they choose not to interfere. So please make statements with some thought for others.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Interesting debate about this cast thing. I can safely say that most if not all Fiji Indians do not even know which cast they belong too. The modern Indian is oblivious of this and the example given on Khaiyum letting his daughter marry a lower cast girl from the squatter settlement is more social discrimination then anything else. I think the writer really needs to investigate this issue further before making such a bold statement. Indians are intermarrying and intermingling like never before both within their own sub communities and with other races. ANON 8.16 seems to imply that the i-taukei is not greedy and predatory. This may have been so a long time ago pal. If this was true then the i-taukei chiefs would not be fighting for positions and the subsequent perks that go with it like the $200k Land Crussier, the jails would not be full of i-taukei who prefer to take by force things they want rather then working for it, The many allegations of corruption by the i-taukei in the civil service who to this day still outnumber other races as civil servants, The members of the mataqali who burn tires, block roads and beat people up for the want of more money, the extra ordinary demands for lease renewal goodwill money. I can go on and on with examples of the the i-taukei's love for money and all the goodies it can buy so please wake up to reality. The i-taukei may have come to the party late but now that they are here they want to dance all night, Their is nothing wrong with this as this is the way the world is today but please don't pretend that you are anything else. The truth is all humans despite who we are ethnically basically want the same things in life. A comfortable life style with all the modern conveniences a future for our children and the freedom to say what we like and do what we like. Why can’t we work towards this instead of always picking on each others race color, etc etc.

    ReplyDelete
  7. If they do not know their cast their names will,the Singhs,the Rajs whatever are more high in the cast system while the Vinod,the Rams etc are of lower cast.Why they want to ignore the fact of their cast systen.Their names will expose them all its just because majority of the Indians in Fiji are of lower cast

    ReplyDelete
  8. BLV is history. All indegenous fijians like the dumb Military & Voreqe should now bow down to our one and only CHIEF who is running Fiji- Sir Khaiyum President & Prime Minister.

    We Fiji Indians love you sir.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I think Fiji deserves a change, the country should now have a Bose Levu Vakamarama. Only women chiefs are members...they may have more balls yeoooo than the turagas.

    ReplyDelete
  10. GMB RTD to be President!

    ReplyDelete
  11. @Anon 10:32.

    $200k Land Cruisers? Gee like too sell you a car...or 4.

    ReplyDelete
  12. Khaiyum's daughter to marry a squatter is not "cast" but term referred to as "class".

    For this "class" is why the housing houses in NZ are spread out in all suburbs so that the "class" people's children have similar dignity as others i.e. able to lift themselves out of "class",...

    As for lineage, everyone wants to stay within their lianage so that they can serve their forefathers and their lineage Guru's i,e. stay under the decipline of umbrella that they got babtised under. i.e. serving the lord through their baptised descipline.

    Cast is much more to what the writer thinks he understands the cast topic.

    However all casts are to be respected equally, but as human nature abuse is everywhere. That includes within the chiefs and vanua, so cast has no issues to do with anything.

    ReplyDelete
  13. Typical brainwashed view of chiefs and native Fijian culture, without depth of knowledge. Of all the colonies of the British empire, it should be noted that the Indians have successfully managed to mould their own system using their own brand of nationalism and is now a respected country economically. The Native Fijian could learn from this. For in reality, native History and a lot of what it claims tradition were a successful concotion of cocktails. Thanks to some British and Sukuna.

    ReplyDelete
  14. While I am not a supporter of the coup (any coup) and do not trust Fiji's leadership (present & past), Khaiyum at least had the balls to research Fijian institutions. The Fijians on their part are very quick to jump to conclusions and lay the blame game on anyone particularly an Indo-Fijians who dares tread into what Fijians seem to think their territory - ie. everything that is Vaka i Taukei. Yet, Fijians lack the courage to take a critical inward assessment of themselves and forget that as long as these Institutions are supported by tax payers, every tax payer therefore has the right to question what his/her dollar is spent on! For example, what use have any of these Colonially imported Fijian Institutions brought? (1) The Native Land Commission (NLC) set up for land administration is unable to efficiently manage the piled up chiefly disputes in its Office, and Justice Filimoni Jitoko in his seat of duty more or less told the NLC it had a duty to be transparent to its customers - the Fijians (2) The NLTB likewise for land ownership and is a body of corrupt/inefficient officials, (3) The Fijian Administration continues to allow a separate management of the Fijians which instead disempowers them further and the Village By-Laws is a classic example, (4) The Great Council of Chiefs (or Thiefs) adopted selective acceptance of recommendation by consultants on Fijian development by ensuring the introduced chiefly system now embedded as state chiefs stayed in power and the real indigenous chiefs/most of whom are amongst the biggest landowners in the interior of Viti Levu and Vanua Levu remain oblivious to the truth. The late Rev Ratu Isireli Caucau's plea for truth in the GCC meeting after the Dec 5th illegal takeover was enough to warn us, the quality of the so-called (dis)honourable body of chief/thiefs. On another but related note, the view that Fijian governance included a hierarchical system is Polynesian and was borrowed from the Tongans hence the reason it is prevalent in coastal and other areas that Ma'afu was prominent in. Na governance system in the Melanesian I Taukei dina is lateral - a tribe of elders. While Daunitutu prefers to write from his experience and not take into account previous researches, he must be careful that he is not responsible for instituting lies the Fijian society has had to put up with - particularly from the time of Madraiwiwi (who by the way sold off much native land in Vanua Levu & Ra to please his Brit boss)and his son, Sukuna. Daunitutu is obviously not aware that the Fijian society now is an exciting blend of urban and overseas people who have intermarried and increasingly becoming unconnected with the 'vanua' because earning cash by employment seems easier than toiling the land back in the village. And in most villages now, the Turaga ni Koro (British introduced role) has taken over the role of the chief who does not know how to lead. That's why the villages are in disarray and this Government seems to think the easiest way out is the archaic village by-laws - wrong again!

    ReplyDelete

Please verify to prove you're not a robot.