It is with utmost sadness that we have learnt of the demise of Chit Dukhira at the age of 81 yesterday. He had not been keeping well for some time, but he leaves behind a rich and varied legacy, in the form of books and articles, drawing upon his professional engagement at the local government level as Town Clerk of Municipality of Beau Bassin-Rose Hill and as the moving spirit behind many initiatives both in the social and political fields.
Chit Dukhira was also an enthusiastic and active supporter of the Mauritius Times since its early years, and a regular contributor on local government and politics as well as on the Indian Diaspora. His 570-page ‘Indians in India, Mauritius & South Africa’ represented the crowning glory of his career, his ‘Magnum opus’, which he undertook over several years after completing a successful career as Town Clerk. It has become a valuable addition to Indian Diaspora studies and offers a panoramic view of the Indian communities in a few other countries besides Mauritius, such as South Africa, Reunion, Seychelles, Sri Lanka, Malaysia, Trinidad & Tobago.
Besides having been very knowledgeable about local government matters about which he wrote extensively – he had had earlier published two well-acclaimed books ‘Local Governance in The Global Village’ (1998) and ‘History of Mauritius: Experiments in Democracy’ (2003) – Chit Dukhira was also reputed as a social and political activist, the latter at both local and national levels, and this is reflected in his initiating several forums (e.g. Selex, ODI) and in his numerous articles and books.
He was also very active at the grassroots level and together with others toured around the island organizing debates and talks to sensitize the youth about the importance of political engagement and social harmony. He wrote extensively in favour of the independence struggle in the 1960s in the columns of Mauritius Times together with other stalwarts of that time.
He leaves behind a widow and four children, two sons, Kevin well-known in the business world while son Devesh is the CEO of the Mauritius Sugar Syndicate, and two daughters, Vidula and Madhula.
Chit Dukhira’s funeral will be held today at 1:30 pm. The funeral convoy will leave from 6, Avenue des Orchidees, Morcellement St Jean, to go to the Phoenix crematorium.
We convey our deepest sympathies to Mrs Indrani Dukhira and her family.
* Published in print edition on 21 September 2021
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