The Times of India website has been very busy with comments on Mauritius, Agalega, the question of black money trailing the Indo-Mauritian Route following the news of a supposedly trade-off between the islands of Agalega and the Double Taxation Avoidance Treaty. Le Mauricien has deemed it fit to publish a sample of these reactions of readers of Times of India all over the world alongside a communiqué issued by the Mauritius Ministry of Foreign Affairs on the visit of Minister Arvin Boolell in India.
Saumtally (London) : “Shocking!!! Somehow I do not believe in this story but if there is any truth in it then you A.B. should have your head tested before you cause any further damage to the economy of Mauritius. Has there been any consultation with the Mauritian public over this? I wouldn’t touch India with a barge-pole on a matter like this. Enough said”
Krishna Singh : “Now Black money can buy Blue economy.”
Anand (Delhi) : “India should not grant any extension to tax treaty. A lot of black money is getting routed through this country, which is fueling inflation in India and millions of poor people are suffering because of high inflation. Because of this treaty, this country has become the largest investor in India. In fact, even Indian companies are routing the investments in India through this country.
Gilbert D’Souza (Bangalore) : “Mauritius welcomes the thieves and robbers from India. Without Indian black money it is worse than Greece”
Kirokio : “Readers of TOI pose to be experts on every issue. Whether they know or do not know the issue, they always owe a comment. Handing over the islands of Agalaga to India are just an offer made by Minister Boolell but in reality they will never be given to India… As for India, it can be a superpower even without having Agalega Islands. India already has a few dots of its own in Indian ocean called Lakshdweep and Andaman/Nicobar and it needs to first develop them. Also, India needs to really pay attention to the 20% of its malnourished citizens before blowing trumpets and trying to become a « super power ».”
Dhirendra (Mumbai) : “Why not make Mauritius a union territory and let the corrupt politicians, officers and businessmen, not only from India but from all over the world hoard their ill gotten wealth there just like Switzerland. This way Switzerland will have competition and the Indian govt will make a lot of money from this capital, which at the moment is zero. This is called thinking out of a box”
Shishyam (Chennai) : “Though the offer reeks of bribery, India shouldn’t shrug it off so easily. From the US everybody want to have a base in that region. China is waiting for such an opportunity and they would pounce on it if they can!! If that happens then it would be detrimental to India’s interests. The reasons for the offer are obvious. They want the Indians to invest their black money in their country, which in turn would improve their economy. With the GAAR India has sent wrong signals to them and they are wary of it. India should strike a hard bargain at the same time should not let go the offer!”
Guest (India) : “Mauritius does not have any economic activity of its own. From black money it survives and wants other countries to allow black money. Now they are selling their islands to provoke countries to allow free flow of black money. Pathetic!!! Now the marine environment and other species of animals will be extinct becoz of human encroachment and excessive deforestation. World has to decide whether to destroy the nature for money or maintain our nature by controlling our greed a bit. The pristine islands must be left untouched as we have already lost lot of nature for human greed”.
Hindu Indian (India) : “See the islands in the map. It would be a nightmare for anyone to live in those  island. So far from the mainland. To get food/water/oil and supplies it’s around 300-400 km by sea and to India it might be around 1000 km. It would be very impractical to accept this offer. Its totally useless. Peanuts are offered to monkeys who are dancing. I see a lot of guys dancing in the name of GAAR, naval base, etc. Let’s cancel that treaty and get the tax for our infrastructure here.”
Ind (India) : “India must take the islands offered by Mauritius and develop a sea port there. India must not fail to take up this offer, otherwise the Chinese will grab it. India has already lost ground to Chinese in Indian Ocean region in Sri Lanka and Africa. The Indian Navy must develop a port in these islands.”
Chandan Kumar : “An open bribe to mask all the black money which flows from Mauritius to India. Still I think we should accept it to build a strategic hold in the Indian Ocean 🙂
Countryman (Mauritius) : “It a bribe to continue corruption as Indian black money has made richer Mauritius many times. Two islands for India would be peanuts. We need to save India from black money and develop tourism centers within our country. This treaty has done enough damage, it should be scrapped without wasting a single minute.”
Balwinder (Congo) : “All countries have their vested interests, Mauritius has its own and India its own. India used to remain within its own confines but times have changes we need to go out to keep up with the global economic and strategic changes.”
Sijumark (Mumbai) : “Logic is, Mauritius is home to huge number of Indians and holds billions of  Indian black money. Indian black money in Mauritius will get to India tax free through the no tax scheme. Plus the islands will go to the same black money owners for developing hotels resorts, etc. What an idea corporates.”
Jahangir (India) : “Mauritius offering bribe to India to look the other way, what a Shame!!!”
Philip (Ahmedabad) : “I think India should accept the deal. What Mauritius needs is money and what matters more for us is power. China is going around building military bases wherever they can. We should match them to some extent. The additional advantage is that if this is given us in lease/sale then we can do whatever we want there. Remember it is not like having a military base in some other country like US does and having to follow the restrictions of that country. Here we can even keep nuclear weapons. But we should be careful that it is given to us ‘legitimately’. People should not protest over there or tomorrow some other government should not come there and take it back. Otherwise we will end up with a Kashmir like situation
Blah (Pune) : “Maybe now is the time for Mauritius to join Indian republic. If in 100 years, the islands sink at least they have another homeland to be rather than being lost in the pages of history. We already protect them from pirates and other threats and give assistance when required. Moreover, whenever the islands sink, most of the Mauritians will be flocking to India anyways. Maybe they can be affiliated to India and remain autonomous like Hong Kong. They will also benefit from increased trade and tourism from India as eliminating bureaucratic hurdles will be a big boost
Sam : I am amazed at our public supporting an open bribe offer of two islands to allow flow of black money back into the economy”
Maurya (Melbourne) : “Sad to see many ill informed people commenting about this issue and trashing Mauritius. First of all-India has EXCELLENT diplomatic and cultural relationship with Maritius. This is because, Mauritius population is 70% (yes that is correct) Indian origin. The population mainly consists of immigrants from UP, Bihar etc, when they were sent there by British as labourers. Mauritius prime minister is Navinchandra Ramgoolam – a practising Hindu. Mauritians greatly value their Indian ancestry and hence trying to be close to India- diplomatically and militarily. Chinese were trying to bribe them with billion of dollars so that they could build a naval base there. Mauritius refused and asked for India’s help. India is protecting them militarily and diplomatically. India also has intelligence listening bases there and are planning a naval/air bases there. They also want a free tax agreement to India- which helps their economy. Instead of ranting against Mauritians we all must force our goverment to build very close relationship with them. After all they are our pople and follow dharmic culture.”