Readers’ Response/ Opinion
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Election Manifesto awaited with bated breath
We clarify. We are only waiting for one manifesto – that of the Alliance de l’Avenir. The only theoretically possible alternative is totally unacceptable to self-respecting citizens. The arrogance that has characterized the leaders of that alternative and the air of total cultural and intellectual superiority they flaunt together with the open contempt for our cultures that they display – all the way from 1971 — makes one sick…
Parenthetically, we are deeply relieved that our President has acknowledged the grave mistake he made in joining up with them in the early seventies. There are perhaps a few more things he should be thinking about, but those matters are not the immediate priority for us. For now, the only important matter is a resounding victory for the Alliance de l’Avenir.
As a Group, our main concern is the survival our mother-tongue Bhojpuri and its associated culture, a place of honour for our prayer language Sanskrit alongside Arabic, together with the competence of our children in English, French and an Asian language. We would also welcome their being taught to write Creole (they don’t need to be taught to speak the language) provided this is done in a manner that does not inhibit their ability to acquire the French language. Every language has its importance, but in our country it would be the height of folly to restrict a child to just one of them, particularly if the child has the misfortune of belonging to the weaker group with a high risk of failing the CPE. That will surely be the fate of the weaker children if they are taught in a script in their primary education that blocks their further progress towards French.
What the Manifesto of the Alliance de l’Avenir will say on this matter we have yet to find out. But we will work our way around whatever it is. We still hope that a committee of language teachers – not conceited technicians sitting in Réduit – is appointed to consider the best method of introducing written Creole into our classes, and that this committee is directed to seek views from the teaching community and the public at large before finalising their recommendations.
But whatever be the line proposed in the manifesto, we are not going to cut our noses to spite our faces. We look to a victory of above 50 seats for the Alliance de l’Avenir. If we have problems with any candidate, we shall find ways of addressing them without adversely affecting the overall outcome.
Genocide Watch Group
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Aman Ki Aasha
(Hope for Peace)
The title translates the most cherished aspiration of heads of households, of young men and women looking forward to setting up their own individual households and raising their own families. In English, the phrase means “the hope for peace”, the hope for peaceful elections. It also means the hope for a peaceful post-elections period, and the hope for continued economic growth that is respectful of the traditions of each and every section of the population. It means the hope for a development path that is respectful of the environment and of continued societal and national-financial stability.
Yet, as wise commentators have remarked about the Times of India/Jang (newspaper of Pakistan) joint initiative bearing the same name in promotion of a common peace-and-development purpose between India and Pakistan, peace sometimes has a stronger potential to divide than the potential to unite that the adversity of war creates. That is because of haggling over the price of peace, of attribution over the merits for achieving peace, and over negotiations regarding the allocation of the dividends of peace.
In the case of the Mauritian elections and post-elections periods referred to in the first paragraph above, there is absolutely no doubt that the Alliance de l’Avenir will emerge with a sweeping victory, and must, already now, get itself into a mindset that faces the challenges of the potential for division that peace sometimes pose to the winners.
Fortunately, the blueprint for defining the contours of that mindset and the actual process of tackling the challenges after victory has been achieved is clear. Three parameters characterize that blueprint. First, in the case of the two political formations that constituted the Alliance Sociale, the determinants for inclusion in the list of candidates for deputation are clear: they are their performances as Ministers and backbenchers and, in certain cases as Mayors and motivators of the electorate to support the governmental action plan during the past five years. The determinants for attribution of merit for achieving victory will HAVE, this time around, to reflect not only the candidate’s verifiable record in terms of percentages of votes tallied, efforts deployed, and competence demonstrated, but also sacrifices consented not only in the immediate but also longer-term past.
Second, in the case of the newcomer to the Alliance de l’Avenir, however deeply appreciated its contribution no doubt is and will be, and however considerable the opportunity-cost might be considered to be of its alignment with the Alliance de l’Avenir in view of the 30 electoral ‘tickets’ it had been reportedly been offered by the adversary of the Alliance de l’Avenir, the determinants of the attribution of merit and the allocation of dividends should factor in, at its true value, the full weight of the Labour Party and the backbenchers who have sacrificed so very, very much to make the outgoing government last five full years in power without a single significant hitch.
On its part, the newcomer should soberly and optimistically recognize that, while the initial attribution of merit and allocation of dividends might not be that reflective of the opportunity-cost of its choice of political alignment, the allocation of dividends will evolve as the performance of its representatives in the future Government improves, and its self-confidence should alert it to the fact that future rewards might outpace its actual contribution.
This is the spirit of Aman Ki Aasha.
S.M. Malleck Amode
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Jack Bizlall’s Interview
I read with great interest the interview of Jack Bizlall in last Friday’s issue of MT, and it called my attention on the points hereunder.
Except for the historical events, some of the assertions on political choices are devoid of any supporting evidence. For example:
Would he have the figures to show that (many) Mauritians of Islamic faith (the Muslim) would not vote for the MSM?
Can he substantiate with facts and figures that the supporters of the Labour Party do not have a preference for the MSM?
I am contradicting him and I am saying that he is not correct on the two above points.
Regarding the economic architecture, the MSM has during past years put forward its own vision and more particularly towards an equitable distribution of wealth. So it is obvious that the future economic policy for achieving growth and its distribution to the population will have the exquisite MSM touch.
The political parties are bound by legal provision in the matter of electoral expenses. The MSM and the PMSD are in alliance with the Labour Party. Why single out the MSM?
Reference to the Jugnauth family, the Sun Trust and the associated presumptions are baseless personal value judgements and are not supported by any political underpinnings.
The modernization of the electricity supply sector to meet demand in real time, and deliver services in capacity and quality at an affordable price to consumers, calls for a CEB which operates at a high level of efficiency according to commercial norms. This drives its relationship with the IPP.
Mr Bizlall, while calling for political actions based on classes, does not make any proposal worth discussing.
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