|Academic gave Bainimarama the Biblical proportions of the prophet, Moses.|
|Nandan (second left) with Khaiyum and others.pic the Jet|
It seems that's the very thing Satendra Nandan has done and he has been suitably rewarded.
Nandan is one of the two commissioners named so far by Frank Bainimarama for the newly-formed Constitution Commission, after chair Yash Ghai.
The academic fled Fiji after the first military coup in 1987. He returned in 2005 and supported the Fiji Labour Party in the 2006 election. After the coup, he began praising Bainimarama. By June 2008, he was comparing the regime leader to Moses and the Peoples Charter to the Bible.
We found the following article where Nandan makes a meal of Christian doctrines, including the adage that the first casualty is truth, in the Fiji Times archives.
Academic refers to charter as sacred
Saturday, June 21, 2008
Saturday, June 21, 2008
THE most sacred text after the Bible in the history of Fiji will be the People's Charter for Change Peace and Prosperity, an academic said.
Professor Satendra Nandan quoted Bishop Desmond Tutu's book No Future Without Forgiveness which said those who treated others abominably were not heathens but claimed to be fellow Christians who read the Bible.
"Each of us has been created in the image of God. Treating anybody as if they were less than this is veritably blasphemous. It is like spitting in the face of God. The Bible turned out to be the most subversive book imaginable in a situation of justice and oppression," Mr Nandan quoted from Bishop Tutu's book.
Speaking at a public forum organised by the Ecumenical Centre for Research Education Advocacy, Mr Nandan said Christianity went to India with Doubting Thomas 400 years before it came to England.
"To want justice, we have to be just to others. The time has come for us to challenge parochialism, resist fundamentalism, demolish walls of exclusion and practices that diminish our people's humanity for a fistful of dollars," he said.
"Our houses can be made of walls and beams, a nation is built on love and dreams."
Mr Nandan said all texts, sacred and profane go through changes and to hold on stubbornly to the purity of a text was as absurd as to hold on to the purity of race.
Fiji was spared from the decimation and dispossession that took place in many islands and continents particularly since 1492 a fact we had to thank God for, Mr Nandan said.
"Until 1987, one had never heard of the burning of a temple or mosque in our seascape. On May 14, that fateful day, a culture of violence and violation was introduced in Fiji. Many individuals and institutions felt violated and it was done deliberately, conspiratorially, traumatically.
"Whatever may have been our past neglect or mistakes, our children and grandchildren should not be caught in the net."
Mr Nandan said in any act of charlatanism, the first recruit was often God and the first casualty was truth.
He said those who spoke in terms of the chosen people had no understanding of 2000 years of persecution and suffering of Jews.
"Do we in the third Christian millennium still talk of heathen races? And if the colonel was seen as Moses, many may see the Commodore as Jesus. After all, Jesus was more radical, I think, than Moses. And his impact more lasting."
Fiji has a holiness of heart's affection which sustained us like a Diwali diya on the darkest night of the year, Mr Nandan said.
He said study words such as Fijian', Indian' and Australian' contained multiple identities none of which were indigenous and yet became an integral part of our being and becoming.
Fiji Times – 21st June 2008