Mr N.M.U. Director of Le Cernéen writes to Mauritius Times

 Mauritius Times 60 Years Ago – 1st YEAR NO. 8 – SATURDAY 2nd October 1954

Monsieur,

Je vous prie de bien vouloir publier ce qui suit dans le prochain numéro du MAURITIUS TIMES pour répondre aux imputations et attaques dont j’ai été l’object dans les numéros du MAURITIUS TIMES des 18 et 25 Septembre dernier.

Je ne m’attarderai pas à d’inutiles digressions et viens tout de suite aux faits. J’ai protesté dans LE CERNEEN contre les articles que vous avez publiés sur l’esclavage à Maurice et sur les ‘noirs marrons’ en accusant les autorités françaises et nos pères d’avoir traqué sans indulgence ces hors-la-loi qui pourtant vous n’en doutez pas – assassinaient et pillaient.

J’ai désapprouvé, dans LE CERNEEN, cette campagne retrospective apparemment inspirée par le désir d’envenimer de vielles rancunes et de diviser dans ce pays la communauté chrétienne au profit de certaines ambitions politiques.

Nous sommes tous d’accord sur l’ignominie de l’esclavage mais je vous reproche de ne vous attacher qu’à celle-ci, et de passer sous silence, puisque votre journal prend une attitude moralisatrice, les horreurs encore plus grandes et infiniment plus étendues qu’a perpétrées le communisme dans le monde depuis plus d’un tiers de siècle.

Il est un excellent moyen de démontrer à vos lecteurs votre esprit de justice et vos bonnes intentions de loyal sujet britannique : c’est de leur affirmer que vous condamnez le communisme et luttez sincèrement  contre son expansion. Pouvez-vous le faire ?

Il a été suggéré dans vos colonnes que les intentions de la Nalanda Co. Ltd. sont pures et que sa librairie n’a jamais contribué à la diffusion d’ouvrages subversifs, voire communistes. Pouvez-vous affirmer n’avoir jamais vu vendre par la Nalanda Co.Ltd. des livres de cette nature, ni à Port-Louis, ni dans sa librairie roulante.

Cela permettrait au public de penser que j’ai peut-être mal jugé vos intentions et que celles-ci sont vraiment au-dessus de tout soupçon.

Veillez agréer, Monsieur, l’expression des mes sentiments distingués.

(SG) Noel D’Unienville

Ed. Note: This is the third time that Mr N.M.U. deliberately mingles the MAURITIUS TIMES with the Nalanda Bookshop and he expressly ignores the statements issued by the Secretary of the Nalanda Co Ltd. The articles of our correspondent Mr D. Napal, B.A. (HONS) have in fact roused his wrath and since the 16th ultimo he has devoted three articles and editorial comments to our paper. At first he turned the MAURITIUS TIMES into a jest. As he is very lavish in giving certificates to others, MAURITIUS TIMES was evidently called a « FEUILLE DE CHOU ».

We don’t care whether Mr N.M.U. approves our opinions or not but when he indugles in the luxury of calling us « les ennemis de l’ordre », « les subversifs » and poses himself as an expert and starts giving advice we think it fit to put him in his right place. He almost insulted Mr Napal and he actually stigmatized all the Hindu intellectuals as rabble rousers. Finally, he stated that India « fut et reste l’un des pays les plus cruels de la terre », this because the articles of Mr Napal showed that the early French settlers treated the black slaves as beasts of burden. Now he tells us that our intentions in publishing the articles of Mr Napal were to « envenimer les vieilles rancunes et de diviser dans ce pays la communauté chrétienne »…

But what were his intentions when he wrote the following in LE CERNEEN of 23.2.53 : « Là-bas (l’Inde) séviraient encore la cruelle tyrannie des princes Indiens, les implacables discriminations de castes (d’ailleurs à peine adoucies jusqu’à présent), l’affreuse sordité d’un peuple misérable et éternellement affamé, inaccessible aux principes d’hygiène et décimé sans espoir par tous les germes léthifères qu’il recèle. »

What were his intentions when he published the prejudicial, malicious and vilifying articles of Raymond Cartier on India. During five years he has been pouring a niagara of venom on the very Hindus who have watered this country with their sweat, tears and blood.

As regards communism we think that there are authorities more competent than Mr N.M.U. to stop it. We have faith in the British Colonial Government and we can safely say that the advices and fears of Mr N.M.U. are most uncalled for. He wants us to reaffirm that we shall fight communism, but had he cared to read our first and second issues he would have seen clearly on which side of the fence we stand. We upheld the programme of the International Federation of Free Trade-Unions which is an anti-communist organisation. Besides the imaginary communist menace, which is really the hobby of Mr N.M.U. and his likes, the most dangerous calamities against which urgent fight is needed are: economic insecurity, hunger, religious and political intolerance, race and colour prejudices, illiteracy and l’esclavage moral. Will the CERNEEN fight these?

As for the excellent means that must be used in order to show to our readers our sense of justice and our loyalty to the British Crown we don’t think that we need the advice of Mr N.M.U. It is comforting and at the same time relieving to note that there are young men in the community of Mr N.M.U. who have a very broad view of life. Mr Noel Brouard who is at present in England writes in the Mauritius Student Quarterly: « The world is changing so rapidly that even such a small place as Mauritius cannot afford to mark time. The bad old days of prejudice, ignorance and injustices are being swept away and something better must be put in its place… colour and race prejudices were originally developed by the economic background of our country (Mauritius) – Apart from the obvious injustices involved which in law at least are now eradicated, it meant a great loss to people of the island who denied themselves the stimulating contacts with other cultures. (Italics are ours).

What will Mr N.M.U. say on such a fearless and frank assertion of a young man of his community ?

* * *

Can Govt. Say?

Whilst National Flour (ordinary flour) is sold in England at 89shs per bag of 280 Ibs delivered (vide last week Financial Times) – in Mauritian money and weight it is 23cs per Ib, why similar flour in Mauritius is sold by Govt. at Rs 46.93 c per bag of 136 Ibs (wholesale to retailers at approximately 35 cs per Ib) ?

* * *

MEET THE CROWD

AT

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First Sunday night show at NAAZ the leading show house Sunday night at 7.45

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* Published in print edition on 3 October 2014

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