Saffiyah Edoo

Dear Aspiring Leaders,

I hope you are sitting up, observing, paying heed to what is happening and taking copious notes. By now, you must have plenty of examples of what not to do, especially if you want to bring the paradigm shift that this country sorely needs.

On the top of your list, you must have highlighted that one cannot criticize and position oneself, in good faith, unless one is absolved of any misdemeanor or free of any such charge, especially if one has not been voted in but conveniently placed. Secondly, you must have noted that placing someone in a topmost position based on religious or gender affiliation does not do anyone any good, no matter how ideal that candidate looks on paper. For ultimately, any person, irrespective of religion, gender, belonging or not to a political party, is prone to be influenced, to the extent of fallibility, due to the nature of the position itself. You may also have diligently noted that associates and companions of today might be deserters of tomorrow, despite having sat at your lunch table to discuss potential benefits to all present.

Thirdly, I hope you have paid close attention to the vicious role that many have played by using a quagmire to further their own sinister agenda. You must have noted how members of the opposition tried to confuse people with one stand one day and then changing their position on the next; or those who have brought their “wise counsels” only for their selfish needs; or those with the even worse agenda of communalising the said quagmire to try to position themselves as potential “community leaders”, without realizing the ridicule that they brought on themselves. Lastly, you may have noticed the insidious use of gender biased language and portrayal by some members of the media, social media included.

My ultimate hope, though, is that, you take extremely good note of the above and when you are in position only after having obtained an overwhelming assent of the majority of the population, you take measures that will never bring us to the backward times we are currently living in. I humbly urge you to put in place such legislation which will ensure that politicians work for the country without putting the burden of their luxuries on the layperson.

You may also want to consider looking beyond the glittery façade that some may propose to you in return for investment in the country, for you should not forget that the country’s interest will always override yours. I appeal to your Mauritianity when you will be appointing people in positions of responsibility, irrespective of hierarchy. For beyond satisfying the increasingly archaic tradition of pleasing different religious communities, competence must be the one and only quality that you should aim for.

I am sure that you are working hard towards building a better nation in your own way to have your day, or even your years, in the sun and I fervently hope that it comes sooner than later.

Impatiently awaiting your ilk.