NOT THE LEAST REASON TO HOPE ANYMORE

In these columns (Forum 24/1/17), on the heels of the ‘deal papa piti’, I attempted a summary assessment of the performances of the different Prime Ministers since Independence in which I wrote, among other things, that Navin Ramgoolam must be placed in a separate category awaiting for someone else ever to do worse, and that Pravind Jugnauth be given sufficient time to prove his mettle.
    Some six months later, two things have become clear: Ramgoolam is losing his ‘trophy’, while Pravind Jugnauth had failed the initial elementary tests that disqualify him, or rather qualify him to be really a ‘premie minis linpost’, who could not have acceded to the supreme seat through the normal channel. I always make it a point to avoid being peremptory in my analyses and comments, but for once I’ll overlook that line of conduct basing myself on the pattern of voting of ‘lepep  admirab’ over the past two decades or so.
    And now we better understand why people from ‘Lepep’ never miss an opportunity to remind ‘nou pou al ziska la fin nou manda’, which is clearly now the only thing they can afford to do, if ever they can make it till then. As things have unfolded since the transfer of power earlier this year, it would have been more appropriate for them to say ‘nou pou ris rise ziska kot nou kapav ale’. After the PM’s stand on the Soodhun saga, even the man in the street can assess the worth of the oft-repeated ‘mo pou san pitie ek bann trafikan ladrog’. Without much mental effort, we can easily predict he may give his own interpretation of ‘trafikan ladrog’ when the Commission of Enquiry submits its findings and, once more, clumsily dodge an embarrassing issue.
    In a spirit of leniency, and above all out of compassion for those numerous compatriots reeling under the pinpricks of daily living, I even appealed for SAJ to stay at the helm (Forum 28/9/16), having sensed his departure could worsen an already volatile situation that contrasted with the euphoria that pervaded the country in the early days of the reign of ‘Lepep’, to add to the period of grace mentioned above. It was, in both cases, my silent hope things could change for the better. (I will feel no embarrassment should anyone consider such hope as stupid).
    But today there can be no justification to demonstrate leniency toward those whom I myself qualified the ‘potentially most dangerous group’ ever to have been at the helm when certain behaviours surfaced (Forum 15/6/17). Moreover, it cannot have escaped attention that over the past few days, from newspaper people to uncommitted observers alike, we have had such adverse comments like ‘the guy must go’, ‘le  propre d’un Premier Ministre marron’,  ‘hiding behind a weak leader’, ‘bouffon national’ – that one ‘ki pa kapav touy enn poul’ yet threatened to gun down ‘lerwa Coq’. Even affording Ramgoolam to add his pinch of salt with a spicy ‘enn minit an plis li pa ti pou reste avek mwa’. When we consider the number of diplomatic missions and international organisations based in Mauritius watching such circus, we blush, inasmuch as the foregoing comments add up.
    As regard the show now being staged by the Police in the Soodhun saga  with its  extended enquiry concerning someone who, according to many lawyers, has committed an arrestable offence, we better laugh and concur with the cartoonist of ‘Le Mauricien’ and ‘let the Police polish’. Otherwise, how on earth can one sort out the disparities between the treatment meted out to Soodhun – who has been seen by hundreds, if not thousands, on the social networks vociferating his threat against Duval, spitting mad in the process – and the recent arrests, almost ‘manu militari’, and nights in Police cells, of some who subsequently had their charges quashed by Courts of Justice. If such double standards do not stem from ‘instructions from higher quarters’, invariably maladroitly and unconvincingly rebutted by mealy-mouthed spokesmen reciting the instructions from their ‘own above’, what are they? Could it be that we are inexorably descending deeper into that mire of rot with the gangrene reaching out to other key areas?
    Moreover, we have to concede, more as a matter of fact that an apology, that what is presently causing widespread uproar is only the repeat of what we have oftentimes witnessed over the past years – bragging, opacity, nepotism, corruption, abuses, kowtowing (ils se reconnaîtront), sycophants, ’roder bout’ etc. Though, at present, there is consensus the prevailing degradation is the reflection of the illegitimacy of the regime. But same causes produce same results meaning the cleansing will take place, albeit it could (or will) only mean starting a fresh episode with the same scenarios, but with different actors. We can only take solace it could be ‘less bad’ the next time, knowingly it never is ‘much better’.
    Nevertheless, there is no cause to despair. We could now turn our attention to the Privy Council which may start the demolition work.  But the result is not guaranteed. But one thing stands for sure. ‘Lepep admirab’ will do the job neat and clean with no loose ends hanging, credible alternative or not. December 2014 was yet another example that saw the defeat of incumbents rather than the victory of challengers.* Even if it means having to endure for another while.
    Attendons!
(* ‘Lepep’, as victors, will go down in our political history as the most ‘painful deception’ of the century).