Mauritius Times 60 Years Ago
3rd Year No 75 – Friday 13th January 1956
• Il n’est pas du tout question, pour moi, de célébrer et de conserver à tout prix l’impérialisme de la race blanche. – G. Duhamel
The Voice of India
If there were no people of Indian origin in Mauritius, India would not be such a target for NMU and men tarred with the same brush. It is with the set purpose of discrediting Indo-Mauritians that so much mud is thrown at India and not at Timbuctoo. But Indo-Mauritians can see the greatness of the country of their forbears and understand the motive behind the mud-slinging. No calumny can diminish their pride and no power can break their spiritual attachment with India.
NMU cannot be tutored to better ways but he is not the only snarling critic: After Tibor Mende, the Hungarian, profusely quoted in Le Cerneen for his L’Inde Devant L’Orage, their comes Mr Thibaud, the Mauritian, of twenty-year-stay-in-India fame. And the Russian visit has provoked M.G., Le Cernéen’s correspondent in Europe.
People may raise hell here or elsewhere but above the tumult the true voice of India will continue to resound as a clear cry in the stillness of twilight. The voice of Mahatma Gandhi, the voice which is no more but which will go on ringing down centuries to come. The voice of the Atma (soul) of India, the voice of Nehru. And peoples of all lands, whether in the grip of madness and frenzy or not, will listen to the voice of India for that voice will bring solace and peace.
Those who think that they can disgrace India and consequently Indo-Mauritians are labouring under a delusion, for better men than them are singing the praise of Indian and Nehru.
On the New Year’s Eve Le Cernéen was shedding tears on the fate of Anglo-Indians in India to show what a good-for-nothing government the Nehru government is. And the Apostolic Internuncio, the diplomatic representative of the Vatican in India, in a New Year message to the Indian Prime Minister was saying:
“The coming festivities provide me with a very welcome occasion to thank your Excellency most sincerely for the understanding and assistance the Catholic Church has been privileged to experience throughout the past year. Your Excellency’s recent pronouncement has affirmed our confidence in the future.
I must be allowed to wish your Excellency God’s choicest blessings for the coming year and promise to remember you in my prayers that Almighty God may strengthen and guide you in your work for the honour and welfare of India.”
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By publishing ‘The Fate of Anglo-Indians in India’, Le Cernéen has no doubt wanted to show that there is Hindu Raj in India. There is also an attempt to antagonize the local Muslims – “along with their Muslim brothers they (the Anglo-Indians) are going through the Indianisation Machine”.
But will anyone listen to Mr Thibaud or to Kind Saud of Saudi Arabia who paid a visit recently to India? Speaking on the fate of the 40 million Muslims in India the king has said:
“I desire to say to my Muslim brethren all over the world with satisfaction that the fate of Indian Muslims is in safe hands.
In my capacity as the guardian of Muslim Holy places, I desire to express my gratitude and those of my Muslim brethren, to the great Indian leader, Mr Nehru, and all those lieutenants of his, through whom he executes his policy of Indian equality and equity.”
And what is the Indian view of religious co-existence? Delivering his address as President of the All-India Oriental Conference which met at Chidambaram towards the end of December, Dr Radhakrishnan, the Vice-President of India, said:
“If the message of religions is to be articulated in relation to the problem of our age we must give up the view that any one religion contains the final, absolute and whole truth.”
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Much is being said about the Red menace in India. In his ‘Lettre d’Europe’ published on the 7th of January in Le Cernéen but written before the French elections, M.G. was wondering when would the turn of India come to fall a prey to Russia, when she would become Moscow’s satellite. The correspondent who was seeing the “paille” in the eye of India was not long in seeing the “poutre” in the eye of France. Analysing the results of the French elections he deplored that one fourth of the new Parliament will be composed “de ces serviles agents de Moscou.”
What Le Cernéen’s correspondent in Europe says about India is in sharp contrast with what the The Observer’s correspondent, Philip Deane, has to say about the Red menace. Writing from Delhi on the 19th of November, he remarked:
“In spite of the rising tide of Asianism which inclines people to look to China and even to India for their examples, and although in defending his programme against the criticism that it is of a Soviet type Mr Nehru praises Communist economic methods, I think it unlikely that his policies will lead India into becoming another Commonly satellite – the country’s fierce desire for Independence will prove too strong.”
And finally let us listen to the voice of India itself. In a speech bidding farewell to the Soviet leaders, Nehru spoke of Soviet friendship in terms that shows once again the greatness of India:
“What kind of friendship is that which envisages enmity with others? We stretch out our hands to all. For this reason, our coming closer to the great country, the Soviet Union, does not mean that we have drifted away from another country. This is not the position, nor will it be at any time. We have always wanted and we will always want co-operation among countries of the world to increase and world peace to be strengthened.”