Why can’t candidates between aged 30-35 be recruited as trainee police constable and prison officers?

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There are many parents who have a dream for their children to be a government officer. There are many candidates that have been convened to do an interview for the post of policemen and prison officer, and have been disillusioned for not being selected. In addition, they have done the effort to take the interview again but were not chosen. This leaves some candidates depressed and demoralized, seeing their dream shattered.

It is true that trainee police constables should be 18-25 years of age, and prison officers 21-30. However, many candidates not in the age range of selection want to apply again for these posts, but are not able to do so because they have crossed the age limit. It may be noted that the candidates aged 26 to 35 have the same capacity to do the “physical test” as well as other interviews for the post of trainee police constable and prison officer. They are patriots, and feel highly confident to be able to perform do their duties efficiently. The post of trainee police constable has been advertised and candidates will be called for interview up to 24th March 2016. Candidates, aged 26 to 35, who have applied hope to be given another opportunity to compete for these posts.

Meera Das

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Mauritian Literature

A Widow’s Struggle for Her Family

“The Torn Silk Shawl” is written by Ramnarain Subrun. The following from the Preface serves as a fair summary: “The Torn Silk Shawl is based on the real life struggle of a bold woman who suddenly becomes a widow, having the sole responsibility of rearing two little kids. Initially she wanted to keep her baby from harm’s way but, as a consequence, she loses her husband instead. Her epic struggle starts when she decides to prevent her small family from sliding down into abject poverty.”

Survival

The story revolves around Desi’s arranged marriage to Ruttan in her early teens. She gives birth to a stillborn child. Out of desperation and fear that witchcraft might have destroyed her baby girl, they migrate to Brisée Verdière to her parents’ place. Three years later a son is born but the husband dies from a disease. Life suddenly appears grim. She takes up the challenge to fend for herself by toiling in the fields and rearing cows.

The book pays homage to women who have to survive on their own. Readers might find it interesting to discover the rural setting of a certain epoch and also the noble values it defends, like hard work and honesty in order to succeed in life, the value of education as a means of “breaking away from the strangling clutches of the vicious circle of poverty”, devotion, resilience and courage in the face of adversity, and the hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

It’s good to be reminded that hardship isn’t a fatality and that there’s no point in blaming or railing against others. What’s important is to find, from within yourself, the means to tackle it.

What mars the text

We cannot avoid feeling that the author is often interrupting the flow of the narrative by making superfluous, personal comments. Take this: “In arranged marriage two strangers are, actually, united in the sacred bond of marriage. Love between the newly married couple springs after the celebration of the wedding ceremony. Contrary to love marriages where both partners strive to put up a show of perfection for impressing their counterpart of the opposite sex during courtship, in arranged marriages love is bred, nurtured and strengthened in all openness after the wedding.”

Wordy and unnecessary interference of this sort tends to arrest the natural flow of the story. The reader wants the story, not the author’s opinions as it is unfolding. The style is repetitive. Besides, there’s ground for a debate here. Intruding upon the story whenever the author feels like it, is, to say the least, obstructive .

The use of too many adjectives to describe Desi is another minus point. “Desi was an exemplary busy bee”, “vivacious”, “relatively healthy”, “sprightly and energetic”, “super-active”, “never giving up”, “indomitable spirit”, “independent, bold and fearless”. An accumulation of adjectives ruins the style. It also prevents the reader from forming an independent idea of Desi of his own. In better hands, one adjective would have sufficed.

The author tends to be judgemental at times. Consider: after her husband’s death, “she reasoned and rightly so”, “she had perceived wisely” (italics mine).

It shouldn’t be the job of the author to judge his own protagonist. Let the reader do so. Keeping these observations in mind, the author may do a better job next time, leaving the liberty to readers to form their own opinions about situations and characters.

Suresh Ramphul

* Published in print edition on 13 March 2015

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