Letters

Readers’ Response/ Opinion

To Our Readers 

Your views are of interest to us. They help us balance the argument in the correct perspective. We welcome you to draw our attention to anything or opinion expressed in the Mauritius Times (or any national or international event of interest) with which you agree from your own angle or disagree due to a different appreciation of facts.

We will gratefully receive your communications at the email address:

mtimes@intnet.mu

We may decide to publish your comments or the relevant parts thereof if we consider that they will help our readers better understand specific contexts and maintain MT as the foremost and most balanced analytical newspaper of the country.

 

 

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Grand Bassin musings

 

I read Dr Gopee’s musings about his trip to Grand Bassin during the festival of Maha Shivratri (MT, 4 March 11). I find his observations and life experiences fascinating. Yes, going to Grand Bassin during my time in Mauritius was something I always looked forward to. My last visit to Ganga Taloa dates back to 1970. I remember vividly having gone to Grand Bassin to see Mrs Indira Gandhi and her two sons from close quarters. Soon after, in 1971, I left Mauritius for the UK. I look forward to have the opportunity to make the trip once again soon.

As for the attitude of those who throw plastic cups in public places, I must say that this is down to education and home manners. We will always get some people who do not care at all about the environment. Just a simple act of raising people’s awareness, via the media, of the need to protect our environment might work. If this message gets through, then we can look forward to a more beautiful ‘Paradise’.
Even in the UK, one can expect to see litter all over the place after some special occasions or when there are crowds in public places to celebrate some festival. In North London, many streets are stained as a result of people spitting. The council officials have tried hard to dissuade them against this bad habit, and they have had recourse to posters and radio advertisements to sensitize the people on this issue. It is beginning to have a positive effect now.
It is to be hoped that next year people who walk to Ganga Talao will be mindful not to litter the environment.

Ramesh Seewoodhary
UK

 

* * *

 

 

Pamphlet in Kreol

 

 

 

The other day my grandson of six brought home a profusely illustrated pamphlet on the value of water and proposing a variety of judicious ways to save it. The pamphlet, entitled ‘Des astuces simples pour bien utiliser l’eau’, published by the Ministry of Energy & Public Utilities in collaboration with the Central Water Authority, was distributed by the teacher in class.

It is a laudable effort to bring to the attention of children from their young age, such topics of civics that will help them to become more responsible in life as they grow up. Every parent will surely welcome pamphlets on other subjects also like cleanliness, littering, courtesy, obedience and respect, etc., — virtues that are becoming foreign to the youth of today. How often do we hear that our children are not learning values in school?

But what hurts in that pamphlet is the use of Kreol in the substance instead of French, which would have been in line with the French title. The question is: why is Kreol utilised? Don’t our children understand French? Or is it done deliberately to boost up Kreol in schools to the detriment of French by encouraging children to read the newly scripted language?

Does the over exposure of our young generation to Kreol script and language have any effect on their examination performance in French? There was a time when no student failed in this subject at School Certificate examination. Is it the same today? What do our educators have to say on this?

I personally feel that the pamphlet would be more useful to pupils (and their parents) if French language were used. The pupils would learn some new words and expressions in French and their spelling and language would not be distorted by the new Kreol script. Do we want our children to write “Kan ou lave loto, pas servi lance, servi plito ene seo dilo” in the examination?

I am not averse to the use of Kreol elsewhere. The language, which has been upgraded from “patois”, does not need any support as it has grown strong enough already and is likely to develop like weeds with each passing day. But it does not need to be thrust upon school-going kids. Let’s not keep brainwashing our student community by the extensive use of Kreol at each and every opportunity to the detriment of French. If the title of the pamphlet is in French, why is the same language not utilised all through?

 

J.A.G.

Phoenix

* * *

A nos Camarades Jack et Jooneed 

 

— Kee Chong LI KWONG WING 

 

J’accueille avec plaisir vos observations pertinentes et dépassionnées à la suite de l’appel que j’ai lancé pour la réunification de la famille militante lors de l’entretien que j’ai accordé à Mauritius Times la semaine dernière.

 

Abordons directement le point « anti-Bérenger ».

 

Il est vrai que j’ai utilisé le terme « anti-Bérenger » pour qualifier le comportement de certains anciens militants qui s’opposent au MMM. Il me faut éclaircir mon point de vue à ce propos. Il est évident que de nombreux anciens camarades du MMM ont développé une haine obsessionnelle contre Paul Bérenger jusqu’à renier tout ce qui représente ou est associé avec le MMM. Forcément, leurs démarches se résument à une opposition aveugle et systématique de tout ce que fait et dit Bérenger, et même quand il ne le dit pas. Par extension, ils condamnent les militants qui sont restés fidèles au parti à n’être que des décervelés manipulés par Bérenger.

 

Il va sans dire que cela ne peut nullement s’appliquer, implicitement ou explicitement, à notre camarade Jack, vu son engagement et son combat inlassables et cohérents au fil des décennies sur les grands enjeux de notre société. Il ne peut être associé à ces manœuvres opportunistes à caractère personnel que pratiquent certains anciens militants à longueur d’année sans être en mesure de proposer quelque alternative valable à Paul Bérenger. Ceux-là, à mon avis, ne sont motivés que par les avantages personnels ou par pur désir de règlement de compte personnel qui n’ont que pour finalité de contribuer à l’œuvre de destruction, ouvertement déclarée par Navin Ramgoolam contre le MMM. Or, pour moi, c’est un jeu dangereux et nihiliste qui ne sert qu’à gommer le rôle du MMM dans l’Histoire du pays dans une démarche obsessionnelle d’effacer un passé commun qu’ils ont mal vécu avec le parti.

 

S’il y a bien quelques anciens militants qui ont pu exorciser cette fixation anti-Bérenger maladive et auto-destructrice, c’est bien Jack Bizlall lui-même qui a su, avec lucidité, couper les ponts sans haine ni amertume avec son parti pour continuer sa lutte sur d’autres bases mais toujours avec le même engagement et, dans une posture idéologique, que nos respectons. Et cela, surtout quand il s’acharne contre les corrompus et les corrupteurs de tous bords et de toutes les couleurs, sans peur et sans reproche.

 

Quant au camarade Jooneed, dont la réputation de militant pur et dur a fait de lui un chantre de l’anti-Bérengisme, il nous a fait vivre à travers ses écrits, à ‘Lot koté Chamarel’, son cheminement personnel et idéologique au coté des activistes altermondialistes et progressistes à explorer d’autres voies alternatives pour un changement qualitatif de la vie des citoyens en mettant les valeurs, l’éthique, la transparence, l’humain, la planète et le bien commun au cœur de l’économie à travers les énergies renouvelables, la coopération sociale, l’eco-farming, etc. La nouvelle équipe Jeunesse Militante vient de se former et s’apprête déjà à initier des actions en ce sens.

 

Nous sommes donc en présence de deux approches de transformation sociale : la première, prônant un changement radical de toute l’infrastructure, allant de la législature, du système électoral, des institutions au cadre légal, ainsi qu’une transformation de la mentalité et du « mindset » de la nation, et la deuxième, favorisant l’émergence d’une nouvelle politique s’appuyant sur l’engagement de la jeunesse, des femmes, de la société civile, des coopératives, et d’autres opérateurs écologiques.

 

Je pense sincèrement que l’apport de ces courants politiques de nos camarades, Jack et Jooneed, ainsi que d’autres encore, qui de facto dépassent le cadre de l’animosité à l’égard de la personne de Bérenger, peuvent contribuer dans le dialogue et par la pratique, à donner un nouvel élan à la réunification de la famille militante et la construction d’ « une autre île Maurice », dont nous avons vécu avec ferveur les premiers balbutiements historiques en 1982. C’est tout le bien que je souhaite à nos militants et à notre pays et pour lesquels nous sommes tous appelés à œuvrer. The people of Mauritius do not deserve less. I have a dream !

 

* * *

Fairy Tales

 

I must confess to some nostalgia on reading the ‘Musings’ of your correspondent SKR on the ‘Spiritual Aspects of Fairy Tales, Myths and Legends’ in last Friday’s edition of MT. Formerly story telling was standard fare in the evenings in Bhojpuri-speaking families, complete with the songs that the characters used for conversing with one another. With the onslaught of the ‘civilisation’ that has come with the change to Creole as home language (I cannot think of anything more perverse than calling that change “civilisation”), those traditions seem to be gone for ever.

Story telling was also standard fare in schools but one wonders what the situation is today. The first books that a child read were usually fairy tales; they were very useful in introducing children to the structure of the English and French languages indirectly while their minds concentrated on the details of the stories. Poetry reciting was also practised; English poetry was particularly useful because it introduced children the rhythmic nature of English words. Kahan gaye woh din? In many respects we are progressing steadily backwards.

 

PA Ram
Quatre Bornes

 

* * *

Apropos BBC Complaints

 

I wish to compliment you on the publication in your issue of Friday 25 March of the letter addressed to “BBC Complaints” on the radio 4 “Ok Coral” broadcast on 2 and 3 March 2011, in the “Costing the Earth” series.

 

The letter from Lord Avebury and others is soberly potent – enough to warrant considerable fears about the future of Nature and of humanity, let alone the Chagos Archipelago.

 

Prof. J. Manrakhan

Rose Hill

* * *

“grossièreté habituelle”

I refer to the point made by Lex in your edition of 11 March 2011, as follows: “… I do not know what Pravind Jugnauth has said that Paul Bérenger could qualify as “grossièreté habituelle”, but Paul Bérenger should have been the last person to think so…”

I totally agree that Paul Bérenger should be the last person to give his opinion on the matter. His utterings during the last electoral campaign, as broadcast on our national television, verged on vulgarity – at times they were outright vulgar — and were condemned by one and all. However, this does not mean that whatever Pravind Jugnauth is reported to have said was acceptable. I do not know whether Pravind Jugnauth uses such a language ‘habitually’ and, to say the least, I do not really care. But for this one time I would definitely condemn whatever he said.

All the ‘grossièretés’ were taken up in the editorial of l’express-dimanche, 20 February 2011 — ‘La Politique de la fellation’. The editorial was nothing but a recollection of all the swear words politicians have been using over the last decades. And, believe me, it was gross. I was simply disgusted and could not help asking myself whether this is what responsible journalism is all about.

According to a recent survey, Radio Plus is the most popular radio in Mauritius. Whatever was said by Pravind Jugnauth was broadcast on the radio every hour or so. I find this quite alarming. The private radios will continue broadcasting such stuff and we cannot expect them to change overnight. However, our politicians can and should start acting responsibly. Pravind Jugnauth, besides being Member of Parliament, is equally a son, a husband and a father. Is it right to have recourse to such vulgarity? What will become of our future generations if other parents were to emulate such behaviour?

R. Roshni
Vacoas

 

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