Fiji was hit by severe tropical cyclone Winston in the month of February, 2016. The cyclone took 3 weeks to dissipate. This caused a great devastation in Fiji.
Here is a video capturing the devastation of cyclone Winston:
Vishwa Hindu Parishad of Fiji has stated that it had distributed 400 solar lights in last 3 days in the interior areas of the Western Division of Fiji where electricity outage had not been restored as yet. In areas like Navia, Qalela, Qanai and Veisaru in Ba, solar lights have been distributed.
Jay Dayal, President of Vishwa Hindu Parishad, Fiji stated that the Hindu organization would distribute more light sources. They had ordered close to a thousand solar bulbs from China.
Dayal believes that there is satisfaction among the people where they have carried out the relief work.
On Tuesday, the US government released its State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report for 2016
The report lists the growing attacks against Hindus in India as well as abroad
Particularly in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Malaysia, the attacks against Hindus is common
US, August 17, 2017: On Tuesday, August 17, the US Government released its State Department’s International Religious Freedom Report (IRFR) for the year 2016. The report lists growing number of attacks against Hindus in India as well as abroad.
The report, released by Secretary of State Rex Tillerson in Washington, particularly talks about the growing number of assaults on Hindus in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Malaysia. Furthermore, there were also mentioned incidents of assault against Sikhs in Denmark and France.
Interestingly, the recent incidents of Gau Rakshaks of India are also presented in the report. It has highlighted the increasing attack against individuals from minority groups by cow-protection activists.
In Bangladesh especially, there has been a sharp increase in the attacks against Hindus who constitute the religious minority of the country. This can be attributed to the presence of terrorist groups such as ISIS and Al-Qaeda.
The IRFR also reports an incident from October in Bangladesh. Over a Facebook post that some may find offensive to Islam, more than 50 Hindu families and over 15 Hindu temples were ruined by hundreds of villagers. This attack claimed the lives of 25 people.
The report has also recognized Pakistan government’s inability to help safeguard the rights of religious minorities, particularly Hindus. But a larger problem that exists in Pakistan is the forced conversions of Hindus and Christians.
There have also been offenses against the Sikh community present in France and Denmark. In France, Turbans are banned in schools, offices, and other public spaces. In Denmark, court judges are prohibited from wearing the turbans. These bans include the religious symbols as well as crucifixes.
In England and Wales, 1,055 crimes against other religions such as Hindus, Sikhs, and few Christians were recorded by the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in the US government report.
From April-November 2016, eight Hindu temples were vandalized in Malaysia. Hindu leaders of the country have alleged that the police is ignorant of the problems.
Zakir Naik, controversial figure in India, was warmly received by the Malaysian government as Hindus protested his speaking tour. Zakir Naik’s speech is always intended to insult Hindus and promote extremism. Bangladesh, on the other hand, had banned Zakir Naik’s Peace TV Bangla as it was spreading extremist ideologies.
In Fiji, three Hindu temples were desecrated in 2016. In Mauritius, no religious violence took place despite the growing tensions between Hindus and Muslims.
This report by the US Commission has come under heavy fire from the Hindu American Foundation. The leaders of the foundation have asserted that the International Religious Freedom Report was outsourced to writer and activist Dr. Iqtidar Karamat Cheema than being written by the staff of the US commission. The Foundation’s allegations have raised questions about the nature of credibility of the commission.
Furthermore, the Foundation claims that the author has cited “alternative facts.” Also interesting to note is that Dr. Cheema has been honored by several Pakistani government bodies previously who has supported separatist agendas.
– prepared by Saksham Narula of NewsGram. Twitter: @Saksham2394
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Botad (Gujarat), April 18, 2017: Imploring farmers to adopt modern technology, Prime Minister Narendra Modi yesterday stated his government has decided to double their income by 2022 when India would celebrate 75 years of Independence.
Modi made the announcement while dedicating the Rs 1,500 -crore phase I of link-II pipeline canal of SAUNI (Saurashtra Narmada Avataran Irrigation) project to the people and laying the foundation stone for Rs 1,694-crore phase II of link II of the project.
The phase II of the project envisages laying the foundation of a 74- kilometer pipeline network connecting Bhimdad dam to seven other dams in Botad and Bhavnagar districts, mentioned PTI.
The SAUNI scheme would take water from Narmada to 115 dams in the parched Saurashtra region.
The PM asked farmers to adopt modern farming methods like drip irrigation and said his government has aimed to double the farmers’ income by 2022.
“Centre has decided to double farmers’ income by 2022 by improving technology, increasing milk production, use of solar light, honey production. Fifteen years ago people would not have thought that we can come out of drought-like situation (in this region),” he said.
“We will have to make it our nature to adopt modern technology. Entire government — be it the Central government or the state governments — and banks should come under your mobile phone,” he said, while urging the people to download BHIM app and earn money by helping others to download it, mentioned
Being a former CM, he understood farmers’ issues better, he stated.
“I am the first person to become the PM after serving as a CM for a long time. And that is why I know how much farmers are troubled when they do not get urea or water in time. For me, it is easy to understand people’s problems,” he stated.
“When as the Gujarart chief minister I would go to the Centre for meetings and say that we spend a large part of our budget on water, many would criticise me saying you cannot win elections that way. I don’t work to win elections but to serve the people of Gujarat. It is only water and not money that can make rural Gujarat progress,” the Prime Minister stated.
“Today Goddess Narmada herself has descended to bless the people here. Water is like God, we have no right to waste it,” he stated.
Modi also applauded Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan for his `Narmada Yatra’ campaign.
“Gujarat farmers should be grateful to Chouhan government. To ensure that the Gujarat farmers do not face any water scarcity, the MP government has organised Narmada Yatra and asked people to plant trees along its (Narmada’s) banks,” he stated.
“Shivraj Singh Chouhan government of the BJP is raising forests so that Mother Narmada does not go dry even after hundred years,” Modi stated.
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The project which Modi dedicated to the region today consists a 51-kilometre network of underground pipeline to carry Narmada water from Limbdi-Bhogavo-II Dam in Surendranagar district to Bhimdad Dam in Botad district.
Last August, the Prime Minister had dedicated phase 1 of Link-I canal network of the project. SAUNI Yojana envisages channelling floodwater through Narmada Dam project by laying 1,126-kilometre network of pipelines to feed 115 reservoirs in Saurashtra and irrigate 10.22 lakh acres of land.
November 9, 2016: History says, the last ship that sailed from India was the ‘Sutlej V’- on 1916. It arrived in Fiji on 11th November. November 2016 marks the 100 years of the of British Indian Indentured Servitude system in Fiji. The arrival of the last Girmit ship ‘Sutlej-V’ from India to Fiji was at the Albert Park, Suva in Fiji on 9th November 2016.
To mark the 100 years of Indian Indentured Servitude System, Indian Diaspora in Fiji organized amazing centenary celebrations today. This was followed by the police band of Fiji, who led a float procession. Needless to say, that the events and the functions have wonderfully served the purpose of the celebrations.
The Indo-Fijian community dates back its history to the time of 1879. That year marks the historic arrival of the indentured laborers from India to Fiji. On 14th May of 1879, the British colonialists took the contracted laborers from India, transporting a mass segment of the population to the Fiji archipelago. The first ship, “Leonidas”, hit the shores on Fiji and marked the beginning of a long period of heavy labor, struggle and unmentioned tortures!
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The system of bringing the laborers got popularized as ‘Girmits’, mispronounced from the original term “agreement”, which had the Indians bound in a contractual labor to the foreign lands under the British rule.
Fiji saw the arrival of total 87 voyages in between 1879 and 1916. The history of the Girmitiyas is well narrated in a documentary concerning the indentured laborers. ‘Calcutta to the Caribbean- an Indian Journey’, directed by Gideon Hanumansingh, portrays the plights of the Indians who got transported to the Caribbean and post the abolition of slavery, started working in the sugar plantations.
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Post the historical sail of the ship ‘Fatel Rozack’ that carried 217 Indian men and women and reached the port of Trinidad on 1845, the voyages followed and about 1, 43,939 Indian indentured laborers got shipped to Trinidad in the course of the next 72 years. The majority of the workers, that is 2, 40,000 were shipped to Guyana, 36000 to the land of Jamaica and smaller numbers of the population to Grenada, Martinique, St. Vincent and St. Lucia.
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The contract-bound laborers were taken from various states across the country that included- Bengal (through the port of Calcutta), Uttar Pradesh, Bihar, and Oudh. In the earlier times of the transportation, laborers were taken from Chennai as well. The workers mostly belonged to Hindu faith and a few of them were Muslims.
History records the torture, struggle and the painful lives of the doomed laborers. A contract that got them cursed for lives. Their journey and their laboring period tell us a lot about slavery. The multiple numbers of voyages that carried the indentured Indians to the foreign lands are cataloged in history. The National Library of Australia holds the record of a proper catalog of the pass-numbers and the year and date of all the ships that carried the laborers. It includes names of ships like- Leonidas, Berar, Syria, Howrah, Ganges, Bruce, Allanshaw, Jamuna, Arno, Virawa, Sangola, Mutlah, Chenab, Sutlej and many more.