So, the group started on Facebook did not attract the same number of people on the road that it has virtually, which was to be expected. But that is no reason to discredit it altogether. The initiative and its response has been largely appreciated and commended during the past week on almost all fronts. It has showed that young people are not lethargic and selfish. It has also allied Mauritians all over the world, regardless of all differences that would normally divide them. It has also brought a collective sense of patriotism from young and old, bringing everybody together.
Now all eyes and ears are on the next step that the instigators of the movement will take. They plan another march in a month’s time. It’s starting to look like it’s going to become an awareness group that would get people together from all over the island. It’s not such a bad thing considering the fact that people who have participated in such a demo for the first time in their lives have qualified the experience as being very uplifting. For the first time, they have felt the passion for believing in a cause that goes beyond the personal. Participants might have been disappointed by the turnout but they do reckon that the buzz was great, that the atmosphere was positively charged.
Detractors of the group have riled the fact that the few numbers demonstrate that there is a difference between virtual and real support. Sure, that is true, but it should also be noted that in Cape Town, a group of Mauritians have shown their solidarity by coming together and holding a demo of their own in support of the Mauritian march with one of their streamers reading : “Lekor Cape Town, Leker Moris”. This basically sums up supporters of the group who live abroad. A lot of supporters from abroad have been posting all morning to show their solidarity and have been tuning in to know what was happening. While the media coverage was not great, the FB page was constantly updated to let supporters know what was going on.
What next ? That is one post that has been coming in endlessly since the end of the march. It would now be nice to know from the ‘leaders’of the group themselves what they are planning to do next. Since the platform is the FB page, it should not be discarded in favour of the press. The adherers of the group are the first ones who should know about any developments, as it is thanks to their support that the movement has obtained such a momentum. The press is of course the medium by excellence to let the people at large know about what they plan to do, but their first duty should be towards their Facebook group. For expatriates especially, the link to the FB page is the first platform of information about the development and plans of the group. The organizers should probably consider that.
This group has given a lot of people hope. It now becomes their responsibility to act upon that hope : they should try to bring the change they so badly proclaim to want to bring. One of the popular reasons of joining the group cited by the adherers was that they did not want any affiliation to a political party (present or future). Therefore, considering that, the major players of the group should also consider acting like a watchdog to wrongdoings in the public sector and trying to come up with alternatives. Where concrete actions might not be possible, awareness is necessary to show political parties in power or opposition that people are not to be duped. Time will tell whether this group will be as successful in reality as it was virtually. For two weeks, it gave people hope, a means to vent their frustrations, something to believe in. Let’s hope it continues on the same track.