Of Culture and Clean Governance

Hardly can we take time to appreciate the efforts made on Independence Day to present a most laudable Mauritian culture show put up by local artists, dancers and musicians, and all the patriotism and love for the country that the whole atmosphere conveys when a series of unethical and alleged corrupt practices mar the political landscape and make a mockery of good governance. Just despairing.

We hope that the Ministry of Culture will keep being committed to promote local talents in every domain of our diverse culture. There is a glaring lack of schools of music, arts and dance especially in the villages. Exhibitions on paintings, quality music and dance shows and dramas are almost non-existent. The ministry should be better advised to enlighten the public on its policy to develop culture nationwide if it has any such policy in its drawers.

Developing cultural activities is becoming a most urgent issue in this country. Any sociologist or keen observer of general behaviour and mindset that characterize society at large can lengthily explain why the level of general culture desperately needs to be boosted. It all boils down to the type of society that is desirable now and for future generations, and if the matter has been given lip service or serious attention.

* * *

Every five years, the public is taken on a long, long ride by those who promise transparent and clean governance. Honestly, is anyone surprised by the latest news on alleged malpractices and corruption? The same old political parties in alliances bearing different names playing musical chairs every five years at Government House is a thorn in the flesh of the country. It is a disease that is infecting the social fabric. Stopping the infection by voting in new faces from new parties is something the public will ultimately have to take stock of. The sooner the better.

Nowhere in the world except in authoritarian regimes do former ministers come back to hold the same office after a long lapse of time. The gullible public is made to believe that the aura of past years will create wonders once again.

In any country that values principles and ethics, a minister who is condemned by the court resigns and disappears from public view. They should not be seen participating in official ceremonies and addressing the public as if they were the hapless victims of a vile conspiracy. Wouldn’t that be exasperating?

Most weird also that a politician should feel financially responsible for the organization of religious festivals in his district. Do people expect a minister to finance religious festivals from his own pocket?

It is just incredible how some people holding high offices dig their own graves. The most comic part of our political landscape is the scenario of those who are hoping to come back to power, thinking that the bell never tolls for them.

One of the reasons why society at large needs a higher level of general culture is the benefit of more refinement which helps to live a fuller life, which is a natural aspiration for one and all, and put up with the disgust that makes us throw up every time the highest authorities fail to apply their proclaimed ethics in governance.

*  Published in print edition on 25 March 2016

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