Mauritius Times 60 Years Ago – Readers’ Forum

The Editor, M. Times

Sir,

It is a fact generally acknowledged that, until very recently, the Tamil community was not recognized as Indo-Mauritians, and their religion was not Hinduism. Incredible though it sounds, yet this notion is still prevalent.

Hence, is not surprising to find Dr Millien asserting that there is a Tamil religion. Strangely enough, Dr Millien’s allegation has been supported by a correspondent of Le Cernéen. The latter, in order to uphold his theory, has named an obscure prophet and an equally obscure “bible”. By the way, it would be worthwhile to know the name of this religion – Tamilism? How many followers has it?

Most astonishing of all is that this religion is found in Mauritius only. India is the birthplace of many religions: Budhism, Hinduism, Jainism, Sikhism, but not “Tamilism”.

Hinduism is a complex religion. It has been described as a Family of Sects. That ‘Tamil’ is a sect of Hinduism, there is no doubt, but that “Tamil” is a religion is doubtful. It is true that some rituals of “Tamil” sect do differ from other sects of Hinduism, yet they all follow the same doctrine and cherish the same Sacred Books – Ramayana. Mahabharata, B. Gita and others. Just as all Christians do not go to the same Church, so all sects of Hinduism do not go to the same Temple.

Vadivel V.

* * *

Sir,

In the issue of “Mauritius Times” of 2.09.55, your collaborator Titan wrote about Dr Radhakrishnan. The article was well-written, but I have objection for a single fact.

In the very beginning he wrote, “King Vickramaditya who ruled in the fourth century A.D. is reported to have assembled in his court the nine most brilliant men of his kingdom.” The sole sentence is the butt of my criticism. He had laboured under a slight error. Four Vickramadityas had ruled India. Some ruled in the B.C. and others in A.D. Vickramaditya, in whose reign was the famous Kalidas, ruled India in BC. He is the founder of Vickram Samvat (or Vickram Era) which began 57 years before the Christian Era.

As reader’s letter should be “as terse and short as possible” so going no further, I ultimately state that Vickramaditya, whom Titan wanted to mention, was reigning in the BC and not in the AD.

Yours faithfully

J. Beegoo

* * *

Mauritius: A French Colony under British Rule

Sir,

Will you please be kind enough to publish this letter from a group of students from Rose Hill.

The University of Cambridge recently stated that the level of English Language in British Guiana and Mauritius is very low, in comparison with other British colonies. More than 50% of the failures in the Overseas School Certificate Examinations are due to the candidates being unsuccessful in English. They are not to be blamed because they do not receive the facilities to become acquainted with the English Language.

This is a British Crown colony where English should have been the official language yet all the newspapers are published in French, with one or two articles in English. Even the news broadcasted by the MBS are mostly in French. We hear three news bulletins in French and only one in English. The latter lasts for only ten minutes and the times selected for this is 8.00 am when most people, particularly the students, are going to work or to school. Moreover these news are stale. We could have written a lot more about the MBS but we wait for the more suitable occasion to turn up. When will Government bring about a change and broadcast something which will be useful to the students?

A foreigner once remarked that Mauritius is a British possession but French Colony. We think he was true.

Yours faithfully

A Group of Students

* Published in print edition on 17 June 2016

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