Issue No: 1005 8 August 2001
The NFP's attempt to lay the blame for Fiji's racial, economic and political problems on the shoulders of the elected
Prime Minister Mahendra Chaudhry "smacks of cheap, crude, mischievous, and gutter politics". This is the verdict of
Oxford University academic and political commentator Victor Lal.
In an hard-hitting article Lal wrote on the NFP, he argues that Fiji's racial problems, are a direct result of the NFP's
style of politics. He states:
"Fiji's racial and political problems are complex and intricate, and the blame for the racial gulf that divides the
nation lies at the doorsteps of the NFP and the Alliance Party, who had for many years been able to attract big
Indo-Fijian businessmen and Gujarati merchant votes in successive general elections. The Gujaratis, particularly the big
businessmen, flocked to the Alliance in order to protect their financial interests in the country."
Lal argues that the "ordinary Fijians have been brainwashed into believing that Indo-Fijians commercially own Fiji, and
politically have no desire to integrate and make Fiji their home. The vast majority of Indo-Fijians tried to break free
from the stereotype by voting for the FLP in the 1999 elections"
Lal called upon the NFP leaders to "sop trying to hold the Indo-Fijians and non-Fijians in the bottomless trapdoor in
which they have been past masters before and after Fiji's independence in 1970."