By TP Saran
Our country is undergoing rapid change(s) on multiple fronts. But some things, attitudes, decisions or no decisions, mindsets, problems seem not to change. All these add up to a peculiar Mauritian reality. We have tried to make some projections that reflect this reality, and we offer them for the appreciation of those who seriously think about what kind of future awaits future generations of our citizens.
- That a magician or sorcerer becomes manager at the CWA. That he/she will be able to order rain to fall, instruct our underground nappes to fill up. That he will be immune to heart attack. And above all, that he will be impervious to in-house attacks.
- That the costs of producing electricity, negotiated in favour of the independent power producers by a previous dispensation, not keep being passed on to the consumers all the time. That the producers accept to revise downwards their huge profit margins, which apparently are boosted up by special compensation clauses, and have some consideration for consumers. That, if they don’t, then the government must step in to force them into seeing reason.
- That the USA will no longer need Diego Garcia. That, as a result, the Chagossians will be able to return to their homeland, create a MPA (Marine Protected Area) and derive income from it when Her Majesty’s folks come calling. Like making them pay visa fees.
- That our leaders are as sincere as Olivier Bancoult, and put in place the mechanisms for generating market-value revenue for the people from their territory, which is being yielded for estate development all over the island . And that whatever is obtained goes for improving the lives of the citizens rather than lining the already silky pockets of the haves.
- That Maurice Ile Durable does not become Maurice Ile Indesirable because of the spreading mass of beton and the non-stop encroachment of our greenery.
- That our deciders realise that we cannot eat rocks even if they are made of pure beton and that, therefore, we need a minimum of agricultural land to produce the food that we require. That they will enhance measures to encourage local food production. That they will give more incentives to vegetable growers. That they will provide free advice to those who want to grow vegetables on their roofs.
- That every house does not have a graduate who has acquired a degree from the university of Bel Air and sits at home unemployed. That, instead or in addition, every capable citizen of Mauritius is encouraged to follow a vocation. That opportunities for vocational training are expanded. That Mauritians remember that all work is noble. That they will give equal value to all work so that people are not made to feel inferior for earning their living through any honest occupation.
- That the Ministry of Culture understand that we are a country of many cultures, and that all cultures have a richness and a value. That there is no inferior or superior culture. That resources will not be skewed in favour of only one culture. That all cultures will be given equal chances to professionalize those who are struggling for living space in imparting much-needed cultural values.
- That declarations of intention are not enough – but must be followed by concrete, tangible action.
- That Mauritians become tourists in their own I-land, before it becomes Others-Land at the rate that land is being given away.
- That all shop owners return their licences, close their shops, and set themselves up permanently as marchands ambulants in front of their own shops. They will be able to keep their profits and have no taxes to pay. The politicians will be very happy because a problem that they have never been able to resolve, and which they have kept deferring, will stop to exist.
- That all doctors be interdicted or suspended or terminated by the terminator. That the Ministry of Health be dissolved, hospitals closed down, and planes chartered to send all patients overseas. That the patients be told that abroad people never die but live forever.
- That all civil servants be thanked, the PSC be closed down. That all posts be filled by nominees freely chosen. That the super Ministry of Finance run the show completely, and all crony experts be invited to keep making reports and promises. That all this figures in the accounts books as serious work.
- That Julian Assange of Wiki Leaks fame does us the honour to wikipeek and wikisneak in Mauritius, so that Mauritians come to know about what’s what and who’s who in their country. They may not be surprised, though.
Everybody is most welcome to add or amend to the above, Wikipedia style. Don’t we need an information revolution in Mauritius? A new year coming is just the right time to launch one.
Happy New Year!
* Published in print edition on 30 December 2010