Readers’ Response/ Opinion
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Beggars of today
I enjoyed the story about the difference between hypothetical vs reality w.r.t. the speculations about a Labour Party-MMM alliance. Here’s another one for the pleasure of MT’s readers:
A man walks past a beggar everyday and gives him Rs10 and that continues for a year. Then suddenly the daily donation changes to Rs 7.50.
“Well,” the beggar thinks, “it’s still better than nothing.”
A year passes in this way until the man’s daily donation suddenly becomes Rs 5.
“What’s going on now?” the beggar asks his donor.
“First you give me Rs 10 every day, then Rs 7,50 and now only Rs 5. What’s the problem?”
“Well,” the man says, “last year my eldest son went to university. It’s very expensive, so I had to cut costs. This year my eldest daughter also went to university, so I had to cut my expenses even further.”
“And how many children do you have?” the beggar asks.
“Four,” the man replies.
“Well,” says the beggar, “I hope you are not planning to educate them all at my expense…!”
What that beggar needs is a GOOD alliance with that guy… at the expense of le pep admirab!!!
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Request to the Mayor of Vacoas-Phoenix
Bridge at the end of J. Tranquille Street
Please refer to the article which appeared in the Mauritius Times of Friday 5 March having as heading ‘Request to the Mayor of Vacoas-Phoenix’. I would wish to bring to your kind attention and that of inhabitants of Vacoas-Phoenix having made such representations as follows:
(i) The Municipal Council in order to link J. Tranquille Road to La Caverne and to relieve the prevailing traffic congestion along La Caverne No. 1 road more particularly during peak hours has decided to construct a bridge.
(ii) The works are in progress and the Municipal Council has impressed upon the Contractor to complete same within the least possible delay in order to avoid inconveniences being suffered by members of the public.
Mr V. Dayal
Municipal Council of Vacoas-Phoenix
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Prof Ram Prakash and the language controversy
In a recent edition of Mauritius Times, an admirer of Prof Ram Prakash had some very nice things to say about the late Professor. He had obviously had a long association with him and his opinions on the Professor can be relied upon. In the fifties, some people had a totally different view of him, as his actions were being looked at through the prism of politics. It is useful here to explain that Urdu is one of the recognised official languages of India. It is in fact the home language of people in the Delhi area, and was thus the mother tongue of Prof Ram Prakash.
At page 194 of his book “Little India – Diaspora, Time and ethnolinguistic beonging in Hindu Mauritius” (University of California Press, 2006), anthropologist Patrick Eisenlohr relates the following story which sheds an alternative light on Professor Ram Ramprakash. In his intervention at the Legislative Council on 9 March 1954, Hon A R Mohamed complained that Ram Prakash, a Hindu from India, had been assigned the responsibility for the teaching of Urdu, and that was the reason for the discrimination against the language. There followed an argument also involving Hon Akbar Gujadhur, Hon Dr Millien, Hon Dr de Chazal, and Hon Mr Rault. Someone suggested that only one language should be taught, Hon Gujadhur agreed saying it should be Hindi, Dr Milien suggested it should be English, Dr de Chazal called that “Rubbish”, obviously meaning that it should be French. Dr Millien then explained his stand by saying that reportedly only 20,000 people wrote and spoke French. Mr Rault corrected him by saying it was only 10,000. These were references to the number of Franco-Mauritians in the country.
With the benefit of hindsight, we know that Prof Ram Prakash worked hard and very successfully for the spreading of all ancestral Asian languages as also of Hindi and Urdu, neither of which could really be described as an ancestral language of Indian immigrant workers – in actual fact the ancestral language of the people concerned was Bhojpuri.
Please notice that the Creole language was never mentioned.
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The Light Ministry
This is regarding the recent incidents at Triolet.
I was wondering how would it be if things were slightly reversed; for example how benevolent would the response of the government in a Mauritius with a non-Hindu majority be if the Light Ministry of a Hindu movement held a similar event with all the veiled agenda, etc., in a prominent non-Hindu locality? I believe there were decades in the not so far past of our country when this did happen.
Tolerance, benevolence, humility, kindness, mutual respect and generosity are sometimes wrongly interpreted as defenceless passivity.
Dr A. Gunput