As South Africans of Indian Origin we have been marginalized for many years during the country’s colonization and than Apartheid.
For years during the Apartheid the various members of our various religious communities worked side by side. We respected each others cultural, religious and value systems.
Subsequent to our democracy and the adoption of our new constitution our religious and cultural rights have become enshrined in our constitution.
This is an extract from the South African Constitution:
31. Cultural, religious and linguistic communities
- Persons belonging to a cultural, religious or linguistic community may not be denied the right, with other members of that community
- to enjoy their culture, practice their religion and use their language; and
- b. To form, join and maintain cultural, religious and linguistic associations and other organs of civil society.
- The rights in subsection (1) may not be exercised in a manner inconsistent with any provision of the Bill of Rights.
Home temples and Mosques and other religious gatherings outside of our official worship places has been “accepted” and tolerated over the years.
Recent event/s within our communities shows a lack of tolerance displayed over the years. It is ironic as we celebrate 150 years since our arrival in South Africa, intolerance within our community raises its ugly head.
As an organization we salute the constitution whereby our rights to practice our religion and culture is enshrined. We call upon our membership and the wider community membership outside of the Hindu community to show tolerance.
We urge all our Religious organizations to encourage the spirit of our Constitution and show tolerance to our fellow brothers and sisters.
The Pretoria Hindu School supports the Tamil Federation of Gauteng in their stance for religious tolerance.
Daya Chetty, Vice – President -Tamil Federation of Gauteng