LETTER TO THE EDITOR: The controversy surrounding inciting division within the South African Indian community is peaking to new heights with ongoing social media wars taking place on every front.
The most recent development is a Cape Town group hosted a protest against Indian lawmakers. The initial rift was aggressively driven by foreign nationals based in Durban by luring the local Indian community onto the street to support their ideology of foreign base politics.
The question is “WHO” is driving this campaign and “WHY”?
While the names of the 3 pro-Indian Durban based organisations has varied with each protest over a period of 1 year. The name of an individual speaking on behalf of 2 of the organisations via media remains the same, Amit Shivaji More, a foreign Indian national employed by Transnet as a tank specialist as per his public social media profile.
In March 2019, an article by the Sunday Tribune written by Mervyn Naidoo claims Amit Shivaji More to be the founder and President of the Indian Association of South Africa. He is seen to have close relationships with many high profile local political figures and socialites. An individual who preaches peace as seen with the February 2019 so called peace prayer yet their actions contradicts his speech. An article by Nathan Craig in the Post on 22 January 2020, Amit Shivaji More spoke to the reporter on behalf of the United Indian Movement (UIM) organisation. This has brought concern over the name changing of the protest organisations.
The question is why is Amit Shivaji More driving a foreign political campaign in South Africa which affects the unity of our local Indian community across religious beliefs? Some question his conduct in South Africa and attribute it to very much like the previous foreign national family that brought a stale stigma now associated with the local Indian community.
Attempts to establish the name of the founders and organisers of the Friends of India group that staged the protest in September last year has led to no success, another overnight group linked to the promotion of foreign Indian politics. One cannot surpass the thought on the matter surrounding the South African Hindu Maha Sabha and the rumoured establishment of a new national Hindu platform, is this part of the campaign of those bringing instability to the South African Indian community?
In view of the foreign political campaign being driven in South Africa and the individuals associated with them, this can only be deliberated as a threat to the national security of South Africa which can lead to a complete division within the local Indian community with ripple effects of damage that will takes decades to repair. A worrying factor is the local Indian political leaders that are in continuous social intermingling with one of the known individuals who posts his association with them on social media as if he attributes his relationship with them to escalation his political status.
A group called the People against Apartheid & Fascism hosted a protest against the repression and brutalities carried out in India on the 26 th January 2020 in Cape Town. This opposition group unlike the pro India groups consists of academics such as professors, a High Court judge and various other professionals. One of the members proclaimed their love of India but has denounced the current situation in the country via their social media.
It is unfortunate that some individuals who are pro India politically inclined has found my recent article to be one sided, I have since become the subject of name calling with a Lenasia based individual going as far as sending me the definition of a bigot. Regrettably he failed to recognise his behavioural pattern in terms of the definition he provided. Mr Haniff Manjoo, a season freedom fighter that stood shoulder to shoulder with some of the great stalwarts of democracy was not saved from these individuals which according to social
media terminology, referred to as “trolls”, people who follows pages, groups and people to challenge their views which are not in line with their own ideology by shifting focus onto other countries with atrocities based on religions.
A recourse for stability would be for authorities to identify the foreign instigators of these campaigns and if found to be guilty of incitement, the guilty parties should deported and any citizenship, residency or work permits revoke with a permanent ban from entering the Republic of South Africa. Further steps should be taken to prevent these guilty parties from pursing any sowing of division in the South Africa by any means whilst abroad.
The local Indian community should start with the process of establishing unity across religious beliefs with religious organisation taking the lead to avert any future religious division. While some have found my article to be one sided, the reality is my focus is on the foreign nationals creating incitement within our local community by means of protests to fuel their own political careers and agendas which has no place in the Republic of South Africa.
ABOUT THE WRITER: Vinesh Selvan is a South African Military veteran and social commentator. He spearheads the South African Indians United movement among other social activism projects Connect with him by clicking here
Disclaimer: The views & comments expressed in this piece are those of the writer and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of Indian Spice.