The Big Farce

Carnet Hebdo

The public is made to believe that the new incumbents of political power have vowed to champion morality, ethics and the rule of law by rooting out corruption wherever illicit accumulation of wealth has been thriving unhindered. No one expected small fish to be targeted by the cleansing programme promised during the electoral campaign.

No one would also be foolish enough to hope that inquiries and investigations into such matters would go backwards to a longer period than the preceding nine years.

The dry cleaning of the fish-head rot everybody was claiming for was publicly and spectacularly displayed with the sudden and unexpected arrest of no small fish, but one among the biggest in the public view, the former Prime Minister himself. No matter the economy was in shambles in 2005 with qualified young graduates increasingly looking to outside Mauritius to salvage themselves, we are informed that the second economic miracle is to materialize some time soon.

In the meantime, the public is, as it were, being invited to enjoy the show of the first miracle with the police on the front stage. The latter appear to have gone through a great Metamorphosis overnight: inquisitive, hard-working, acting impartially and independently. Indeed!

A sudden surge of intelligence can create wonders. A lot of praise is now being showered on what only a few months ago adversaries in caro cane were angrily qualifying in blogs as the Police Farce for being spineless, gutless, partial and inefficient.

To top it all, baby-faced Attorney General, who was first appointed Minister at the age of 24 and who is now more than part of the core government team, came smilingly at the invitation of the police to be part of the unfolding spectacle.

No one was remote-controlled or anything, so we are made to believe! Just like the angry mob shouting in Desforges Street when the police had invested the office of the former Prime Minister.

The humiliation can happen to you, to your close relatives, neighbours and friends. It need not carry on that way. And it is high time that the public demanded a change in the existing regulations regarding arrest and detention in police cells. Whoever you are, an ordinary citizen or a top-ranking influential person, a man or a woman, who would want a policeman to touch you physically, put his arm around your shoulder and lead you, handcuffed, to the nearby police station? It is most revolting and humiliating.

Barring the present case of high scale alleged money laundering involving the former PM, what if in any other ordinary case, you refuse to follow policemen and drive to the police headquarters in your own car? Would this fail to achieve the original purpose?

Self-righteous people in the streets, in the press, on radios and social networks, voicing their anger at the show of things, are actually pelting stones at their own image in a big mirror. Self-flagellation at a national level. Generally speaking, we do harbour in our bosom, like a virus, the defects we reproach others with: cheating, lying, dodging the law, accepting or giving bribes, dreams of sudden wealth like the national lottery, easy money, glamourous lifestyles, brand clothes, luxury cars and so on.

So much the better if you get all this manna from heaven effortlessly. Generally, you are likely not to get it at all.

Bet that quite a number of our male critics dream of having it all, a wife at home, mistresses around, money flowing in, brand Rolex watches, Rolls Royce cars, first-class travelling, a mansion, parties and all the enjoyment of a lavish lifestyle.

The primitive predator instinct which lurks in a corner of our brain resurfaces occasionally and vows to tear to pieces the easy prey that has fallen on the ground. You see it within family circles, at schools, at the workplace and in society at large. An act of cowardice. It is much more difficult to apply self-discipline, sadhana to oneself, fight to constantly demand its application in all spheres of governance and demand compliance with lofty principles at the highest levels.

Even more difficult to get out of beaten tracks and past experiences, and send the right people to the the right places. What we are witnessing these days is the ultimate outcome of decades of looking away, tolerating wrongdoings, using politics as a gateway for self-enrichment, of submission to abusive authority, of silence and complicity. You do understand why the satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo had a psychoanalyst in their midst. To lay bare the individual and collective psyche.

 

* Published in print edition on 13 February  2015

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