THE Sanatan Dharm Pratinidhi Sabha Fiji has come under fire from other Hindu organisations for its comments condemning the visarjan or immersion of Lord Ganesh's murti (statue).
Jay Dayal, president of Vishva Hindu Parishad Fiji, or World Hindu Council, called the comments "childish", saying it displayed a "sheer lack of knowledge towards the Hindu dharm".
SDPS national secretary Vijendra Prakash, in the last issue of The Sunday Times, labelled the practice "anti-religious" and "hurtful".
"The visarjan of Ganesh murti holds strong religious significance and it is sad the Sanatan Pratinidhi Sabha has made such ridiculous statements," Mr Dayal said.
"The Ganesh festival is now the largest Hindu gathering in the country and our Constitution allows us our right to religious freedom."
He said the immersion ceremony had always been practised in Fiji, and had been organised on an increasing national scale in the last 10 years.
"The immersion ceremony is not at all disrespectful, it is part of our Hindu ritual as stipulated in the scriptures and we are doing exactly that," Mr Dayal said.
However, Mr Dayal asked practising Hindus to refrain from using porcelain or plastic murti and purchase clay murti so that they can dissolve in seawater.
The visarjan ceremony takes place on the last day of the Ganesh Utsav celebration.
Swani Maharaj, who is the co-ordinator for the Ganesh Utsav celebration in Fiji, said 20,000 people participated in the festival this year.