To be or not to be - free

This series of articles kicks off with the notion of agency and concludes on why the Honourable Ramgoolam and his equally honourable comrade Paul Berenger must not be allowed into power at all. 
While situations of national crises are difficult to live through, they often announce that structures or behaviour patterns have become obsolete and they turn out to be opportunities that flood our paths with light and hope for the future.
This article is inspired by the synergy I see between some of the latest political reflections worldwide and a consciousness rising in Mauritius that we are ourselves, indeed every Mauritian citizen, the most important agents of change we will ever meet.
Frustration with conventional politics is on the rise all over the world. There are high rates of abstention at the polls, increasing popular anger, a general understanding that the dominant discourse of politicians - that only they, and only when they are in power will the world change - is a hollow one.
Our current malaise in Mauritius comes from a sense of lack of control over events. People who have invested most of their lives in two of the traditional parties cannot today comprehend the ongoing saga of unholy gesticulations between the two leaders. Parents who have worked hard and whole-heartedly poured all their savings into tertiary education for their children cannot today comprehend how their sons and daughters end up jobless, or worse in some cases, without any recognised qualification. 
There is a loss of control over a vertiginous cost of living for most people; violence in schools; confiscation of a national newspaper by a handful of people; nauseating connections between unlikely business tycoons and political power. A number of gaps in Mauritius are getting worse: the gap between what the country needs - and yes this would require long-term vision and planning with a holistic approach and in a spirit of fairness to all - and the areas in which the Government chooses to invest our resources without consultation with key stakeholders, for instance the biometric card and the light rail transit system (the metro-léger).
There is a growing group of disenchanted people who will not vote at the next elections. At Ensam we meet people who have not voted in 15 years because even if they had, so they say, their votes would have made no difference, for things stayed the same, if not worsened at an accelerated pace. The gap between their realities and those who are meant to represent them, they maintain, is too wide to ever be crossed by their vote. It’s a long list that we know only too well. We will need something beyond more promises, and certainly not electoral bribes.
Citizenship in any regime depends on the values that the regime upholds and pursues. Crony capitalism, the adage that all animals are equal but some are more equal, the transformation of the word democratisation into a historical travesty, shirking responsibilities at the highest level of government while pocketing the pay unashamedly... Admirable!
On the other hand, we meet unsung heroes, many of whom will never be decorated, coming in to bridge that gap, people who are volunteering to help one another. Suffice it to mention that policewoman in Pailles who has renounced her job to engage in social work. Another lady in Batimarais who works magic into the lives and the hearts of the poorest of the poor in her area. The gentleman who has raised a significant amount of money to educate 150 kindergarten kids from poor families in the area of Richelieu.
These social agents are game changers at grass-root level. They are effective where the rubber meets the road.
They realise that they can exert a sense of control over an undesirable situation through one simple act of love. These laudable individuals are not to be confused with ‘azan politik’ who have in fact done the opposite, having renounced their agency and conferred it upon the powers of the day, thereby reducing themselves to beggars, albeit in no few cases rich beggars.
ENSAM’s way of doing politics in Mauritius brings a change in the mindset of every individual, a shift from passivity to action and commitment.   
If there is a widespread feeling that as a nation we are à la derive, that we are mere puppets in the hands of two people who are more preoccupied with their personal gains, more concerned about feathering their own nests than with politics in the real sense of the term, namely the competent management of the country to enhance the people’s prosperity, then isn’t it high time for the people to take back full control of all matters of national interest?
Most of us started off with no control, or little control, over our lives being children of former slaves and indentured labourers. After all that we have achieved and the journey covered, through this drive to always do better, through these dreams of a better future for the next generation, through the choice of freedom in 1968, shall we today stand defeated by the dictatorial propensities of two power-hungry, selfish individuals who misuse noble terms like democracy, harmony and national welfare as a façade behind which they are concocting their personal advancement?


Commentaires

Ensam as a change agent power house? Why not. Let's have a branch in each village and each ward of the towns.