Mauritius Times – 60 Years Ago
3rd Year – No 102 Friday 20th July, 1956
There is a feeling, generally fostered and fed by the disgruntled and the embittered, that there exists in our colony, a state of war between capitalism and labour. It would indeed be too suicidal for all concerned to nurse such a feeling particularly in this small colony fragmented as it is into groups and sections.
It should be the earnest endeavour of all right-thinking persons to reduce the tension to a minimum so as to pave the way for better understanding of our own problems. It is almost a pity that aloofness in our life has a strong tendency to foster misgivings about matters which a closer contact would naturally seek to dispel. It may be unfortunate that opportunities for meeting are practically non est whereby we could float our paper boats together and celebrate that complaisant camaraderie that must come about if we are to forge ahead along the highroads to progress and prosperity.
It is often proper to forgive and forget the gruelling scenes of the past as the unearthing of reproaches and counter-reproaches might bring about an interminable string of bickerings that we should genuinely be sorry about. I am unshaken in the faith that we cannot, if we really have the good of the people at heart, try and build the edifice of tomorrow on anger and bitterness and obscure our vision with a flotsam of the most undiluted venom.
The common patrimony is the constant and sweated efforts of all concerned and it would be too puerile to bandy praises or blame and generate rancour of the most malignant type when the real attempt should be to create healthy conditions for a rapprochement. Many in their blind adherence to new-fangled principles lay an extra emphasis on political matters snugly forgetting that politics or no politics the sugar industry must be assured at all cost its smooth and onward progress. There are people indeed who do not attach much significance to the skill and perseverance of those without whom the whole industrial structure of the island would crumble down like a house of cards and would thus spell dismal ruin throughout the land.
History has its dreaded corners and even a casual student will allow that we are today passing through the crucial periods in which the least faux pas can jerk us backward and stifle forever the least hopes that may be sprouting in the hearts of people who may have dreamt of a glorious and happy future. Never were toleration and understanding more desirable than at this stage when we should give them in abundant measure even if odd sacrifices were entailed in the process. This context of our hopes is the only one that can bring us out of the woods and remove spite and jealousies that appear to be brimming in the external contact that we are too loath to establish.
The most urgent problem before us all therefore is to transfer hatred into fraternal sympathy, apathy into keen understanding and airy talks into sweated studies of the many aspects of our problems. It would be calamity of the highest magnitude if we let passions sway our hearts and the desire of vainglorious publicity awaken the sleeping dog and work him into a Cerberus to bay out the silhouette of prosperity and progress.
* Published in print edition on 6 July 2018