The Age of Commissions

Mauritius Times – 60 Years Ago

By Somduth Bhuckory

Within three days we have learnt of the appointment of three commissions. Our age is surely one of commissions.

Last Saturday it was announced in the press that the Salaries Commission has been appointed with Mr Howes the Commissioner. On the same day we were informed of the appointment of a Working Party, which has been set up to review the structure, operation and system of recruitment of the Civil Service. And lastly, last Tuesday, the appointment of the Electoral Boundary Commission was published.

Here, it appears that it has become an invariable practice of entrusting various committees with the care of studying various problems. The appointment of a committee is a good way of taking the urgency off a problem and clothing it with the shawl of serious purpose. And finally, when the committee reports the whole problem is neatly set forth and considered recommendations made. What happens later? More often than not, the problem lies as snugly as a bug in a rug between the blue covers of the report. What has, in the last analysis, come out of the long and arduous work of the Population Committee?

The Working Party may be said to be just a committee to re-organize the Civil Service. It does not hold out any promise to the civil servant. Maybe it will raise some false hopes in some quarters that while the Salaries Commission is going to look after the big guns, the Working Party is going to cater for the small fry.

We are certain that the Salaries Commission will solve the problem it has before it with the utmost dispatch. It will not be so, we are sure, when an Unemployment Commission comes. Where is that Commission by the way?

The Electoral Boundary Commission too is going to produce quick results. We don’t think Sir Malcolm and his two colleagues will have to rack their brains and go through sleepless nights to produce their report.

The Boundary Commission has been given wide powers indeed. If it finds that it is not possible to demarcate single member constituencies, it will proceed to demarcate boundaries for eleven three-member constituencies. So, we are now at the mercy of the Commission. There seems to be no question of not accepting its findings.

It is of course possible to have single member constituencies. What is apparently impossible is to have the kind of single member constituencies incorporated in the London Agreement and included in the terms of reference of the Commission. But it’s too late now to discuss the terms of reference. It’s like crying over spilt milk.

We are eager now to see not only the Boundary Commission at work but also the subscribers and the supporters, of the London Agreement.

It has been officially announced with some reserve that the Secretary to the Boundary Commission will be a member of the Colonial Office. He must be surely somebody who understands the policy of Mr Lennox-Boyd in and out.

It has also been announced that Mr Ardill will act as Liaison Officer with the Commission. Although Mr Ardill left the Information Office quite long ago, he seems to be still retaining something of his old job. We hope that Mr Ardill will endeavour to establish the right contacts. We cannot wonder, however, why it has been judged right to hitch a Liaison Officer to the Commission. What an innovation! And what a Liaison Officer!

* * *

 Manilal Memorial Committee

Paying tribute to Manilal Doctor in the Mauritius Times of 27 January 1956 – ‘First Leader of Indo-Mauritians’, Jay Narain Roy concluded on this note: “I appeal to the Indian Community to put up a committee to raise funds with the idea of erecting a bust for that great public benefactor.” Mr Beekrumsing Ramlallah, the Editor, set the ball rolling, and in the MT edition of 21 September 1956, he announced the setting up of the ‘Manilal Memorial Committee’, comprising Merssrs Vanprasthi Dhurundur, M. Sangeelee, R. Chellum, M. Nathoo, P. Moutou, L. Sohun, M.I. Khadaroo, K. Tirvengadum. I. Satan, K. Bappoo, R. Lutchmaya, and H. Dave.

A meeting convened by the Manilal Memorial Committee, was held at the Trinity College on Sunday 14 July 1957 to form an organising committee in connection with the celebration on 13 Oct 57 of the 50th anniversary of the coming of the late Manilal Doctor to Mauritius.

The following are the societies which responded to the invitation and their representatives:

Cockney Hidayatool Islam Society represented by Mr S. Shiek Oomar and Mr I. Sheik Dawood
– Hindi Pracharini Sabha by Mr S Bhuckory
– Societe de Secours Mutuels Hiztullah by Mr Azize Peeroo
– Mauritius Andhra Maha Sabha by Mr S.K.R. Pydiah and Mr S.Chiniah
– Madad-ul-Islam by Mr I. Lakhi
– Arya Pratinidhi Sabha by Mr T. Callycharun
– Musilm Scouts Sports Club by I. Bawamia
– Sanathan Dharma Pracharini Sabha by A. Ramsaha
– Goolshaney Mohammady by Mr A.A. Noor Hossen and Mr A.H. Soobratty
– Ahmadia Association of Mauritius by Mr Roshunally Bhunnoo, Mr Zeedhally Bhunnoo and Mr Osman Bhunnoo
– Societe Nasrat-ul-Musleim by Mr A.Raghoonath
– Anjoumane Tophee Mohabbat Society by Mr Idiss Purabmud
– Ravi Oodaye Vidya Samaj by Mr H. Purmanund
– Kabir Dharma Maha Sabha by Mr S. Baichoo
– Anjoumane Mohabbat-ul-Islam by Mr A.R. Dawagazee and Y. Nabeebaccus
– Second Tamil Scouts by Mr H.K.Tirengadum and Mr Valaydon
– Plaine Verte Muslim Association by Mr A. Nuckchady and Mr A. Rossan.

Messrs B. Ramlallah, L. Badry and D. Napal were also in attendance.

The Organising Committee elected the following persons to form a Working Committee.

Chairman:  Vanprasthi Dhoorundur
Secretary: M. Sangeelee
Treasurer: Issac Sattan
Members: B. Ramlallah, L. Badry, S. Bhuckory, D. Napal, G. Bawamia, S.K.R. Pydiah, S. Chiniah, I. Lakhi, H.K. Tirvengadum.

* * *

The fund raising campaign was held between 1956 and 1958. In 1959, a life-size statue of the great historical figure was inaugurated in the Jardin de la Compagnie.

4th Year – No 154 — Friday 19 July 1957


* Published in print edition on 15 December 2020

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