The modern state is a 20th century invention involving five basic concepts (i) territoriality (a defined land area with sometimes a territorial sea area with boundaries shared or coterminous or just high seas like ours ) (ii) nationality i.e a shared sense of  identity  and cultural values (iii) citizenry (iv) a political, economic, social organization and an independent judiciary (v) regular political legitimacy through popular participation in an agreed and respected electoral system. However, in Hobbes’s image of the “Leviathan”, the state is a “persona ficta” encompassing both rulers and the ruled, but belonged to neither. Nor can it be identified with any one element of society. Conceptually and practically it is an alien, unnatural, almost a fictive entity and at times an active menace to its own citizens. But the state also offers them protection. Citizens at times poses mutual or collective hazards because every citizen body is itself divided by religious, class, gender and other interests. Modern state is an imagined political community of citizens.
The Mauritius State was created after detachment of the Chagos archipelago which the British called a “distant lessor dependency”. The process of decolonisation or independence was initiated by the metropole, Britain, with the agreement of our colonial legatees. There was no struggle or fight for independance, there was no nationalist movement here, nearly half of the electorate was against independence. Though the first independence celebration created the semblance of a talismanic moment in Mauritian history, it was in fact a low-key partisan affair. Yet, for 47 years after 12th March 1968 we have freely chosen our political leaders. We are on record for having thrown out of power ALL of our Prime ministers. We will look by reference to British Archival records, the only available primary documentary source, at their performance. However, only papers up to December 1982 have been declassified. One can only speculate on published post-1983 reports. Only politicians speculate not historians.
British personality note of SSR
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was Prime minister of Independent Mauritius from March 1968 to June 1982 (just over 14 years) when he and his MLPs suffered a crushing defeat (60-0), a première in a multi-democracy, at least in Africa. But he has left his mark in Mauritian History. Prime minister SSR officially met all the British Prime ministers and all Foreign Secretaries in office and also some top ministers. He met Labour PM Harold Wilson six times during latter’s rather short  four terms of office, Conservative PM equally six times during latter’s only one term of office, Labour PM James Callagan three times and Conservative PM Margaret Thatcher equally three times. We have studied and dissected available records carefully. The last personality note on SSR attached to a steering brief dated 11th Feb 1981 submitted to Mrs Thatcher is a detailed, fair and decent description. Extracts read, “Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, a diabetic, is remarkably fit and active for his age. He needs little sleep and has surprising stamina. No gathering is to small for him to attend. A short, stocky man, with only one good eye, he can on occasions be almost inaudible… He was born of humble, but not very poor, parents. His political philosophy derives from his days as a journalist and student in England in the early 30’s. He has dominated the Mauritian political scene for 30 years and led his country to independence. A shrewd political tactician, ready to wait on events, an eminent “whealer and dealer”. Loyal – perhaps over loyal – to his old friends and perhaps out of touch with the younger generation. Exercises a tight personal control over all government business but his age and innate reluctance to take decisions have paralysing effect. Although he has repeatedly talked of stepping down, this no longer seems to be in his mind. Can be harsh with subordinates… strongly anti-communist, essentially non-violent… pro-Commonwealth and well disposed to Britain, an indefatigable traveller”.
Complete destruction of the  democratic nature of the State   
SSR over the years came to know personally top Foreign Office officials. He had many friends who were members of the British Parliament and all the main parties (Labour, Conservative and Liberals). He also had a taste of literature and he observed, read about history and politics. However he relied on the “orientalist” history the British had written and he entirely reworked them to suit his own purpose. He searched and found a cultural poise that allowed him to accept the presence of his “Britishness” as one more layer to his own inherited “Indian-Coolie” self. And this led him in a historicist nostalgia – a sense that without the carapace of imperial authority things will definiely fall apart. To SSR, colonialism was not a humiliation, if anything it was a civilizational mission.
SAJ mixing Government business with personal issues
He accepted British political paternalism. Hence his compromise on Chagos. He insisted on a Mauritius-UK Defence Agreement (on internal ad external security for Mauritius) which he signed with British High Commissioner Wooler on 12 March 1968. But SSR abused the terms of the agreement so much and so that London unilaterally decided to terminate it. The mauritian PM was shocked when later informed. As early as 1967 SSR already planned a possible coalition with PMSD as documentary evidence suggests (SSR discussed this with Mr. Rushford, of Commonwealth Office — Ministry of Lord Shepperd — in presence of Miss Terry as revealed in a Telegram dated 11 Dec 1967 to Governor Shaw-Rennie) SSR, the gentle MaCaulayan, slowly and for surely became Machiavellian. And a nasty one ! He changed the character of the Mauritian State and of democratic politics. He established the filaments of patronage, the culture of political defection and floor crossing. In just 14 years, he completely destroyed the democratic nature of our State.
Sir Anerood Jugnauth (SAJ) became Queen’s Counsel (Q.C) in 1980 and a knight (KCMG) of HM Queen Elizabeth II in July 1988 then a Privy Councillor after the death of SSR (a request for a second Privy Councilor ship for Mauritius made to Windsor Castle destined for Gaëtan Duval was refused under Whitehall’s advice. Prime minister Anerood Jugnauth had his first meeting with a British PM on Monday 11 Oct 1982. Jugnauth met Mrs Thatcher when they were both leaders of Opposition. PM Thatcher, assisted by two top officials, namely Mr Squire and Mr Cole, received PM Jugnauth and his delegation composed of his Permanent Secretary Bhinod Bacha and Acting High Commisioner Joypaul (SSR’s son-in-law) at 15.15 hrs for half an hour. Thatcher congratulated the Prime minister for his remarkable victory and pointed out that they both studied at Lincoln Inn and were called to the Bar the same year (1954). Various issues were discussed. Interestingly, Jugnauth said he “did not see the issue of Diego Garcia as interfering with the good relations Mauritius wish to maintain with the UK”.  
Extract from a personality note on Anerood Jugnauth attached to the steering brief to Margaret Thatcher and prepared her Prime minister’s Office reads, 
NCR’s arrested for driving under influence
“At first sight, a rather shy and retiring figure whose impassive exterior probably conceals an emotional and touchy character… well disposed towards Britain. The Jugnauth have an uncanny knack of mixing Government business with personal issues. On 22 nd Nov. 1982, Bhinod Bacha, PS at the Mauritian Prime minister’s Office, wrote a note to British High Commissioner in Mauritius, J.N. Allan confirming a request of Hon. Anerood Jugnauth, Prime minister, that an appropriate entry certificate and an appropriate residence permit be granted to his daughter Mrs Shalini Devi Malhotra”. The British High Commissioner wrote a letter three days after (25th Nov) to Wenban-Smith of FCO, East Africa Dept about the request. Minutes on the file suggests “Steps were taken to inform Immigration Office”.
Navin Chandra Ramgoolam, Prime minister after A. Jugnauth, made an unexpected appearance in the style of a Bollywood hero in a rather negative role in the Foreign Colonial Office records. In a note dated 24 May 1978 prepared by FCO we read “Dr Navin Ramgoolam is the 30 year old son of the PM of Mauritius… is a medical doctor… on a post-graduate course at UCL (Editor’s note University College London). He was stopped by Police at 5.00 a.m on Friday 24 March 1978 in Wardour Street W.I . Police had seen him drive through a red traffic light and complete a u-turn where this was prohibited… suspected of driving under the influence of alcohol… Police gave him a blood test… result proved positive… summoned to appear at Malborough Magistrate Court on 4 th July 1978”. Navin Ramgoolam makes another appearance but this time in the British Prime minister’s Office records. He was guest with his wife Bridgemohun-Ramgoolam at a dinner given to SSR (on a three days State visite 10 to 13th Feb 1981) on Thursday 12 Feb at 20.00 hrs at 10 Downing Street hosted by Margaret Thatcher. Extract reads “24 th March 1978, arrested for failing to provide a breath specimen. Had no entitlement to Diplomatic Immunity and was subsequently summoned for driving with excess alcohol in his blood. On his appearance at Malborough Street Magistrate Court he pleaded guilty, was fined £ 80, with £ 9.80 costs and had his license endorsed”.
Intelligent but arrogant Bérenger who often miscalculates
Paul Bérenger is the last of our four Prime ministers we will look at in the British Archival records. He was the Minister of Finance in first Jugnauth Government (1982-83). He had a meeting with the Minister for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (not the Secretary of State) on Wednesday 1st september 1982. The British Minister was assisted by Mr Onslow, Mr Wenban-Smith and Mr Campbell. Bérenger was accompanied by Mr Joypaul. It was a technical meeting with emphasis on Anglo-Mauritian economic and financial relationship / Extract from a personality note on Bérenger as prepared by the FCO reads “Bérenger is General Secretary of MMM, the dominant partner in the ruling coalition. Masterminded his party’s overwhelming electoral victory in June 1982. Highly intelligent and witty and a powerful speaker, but arrogant and dictatorial and frequently miscalculates. His real intentions are hard to define”. He indeed frequently miscalculates, doesn’t he ! Even the British could not gauge his real intentions.
Political dynasties and families in the business of politics is well established in Mauritius. A look at it tantamounts to saying the obvious. Top at three generations are (i) the Mohameds : Grandfather Sir A.R. Mohamed, son Yousouf and Shakeel (2) the Duvals : Grandfather Sir Gaëtan, father Xavier-Luc, son Adrien. and nearly a dozen father and son duo : SSR / Navin, Sir Anerood Jugnauth / Pravind, Sir Satcam Boolell / Arvin, Ramnath Jeetah / Rajesh, Cassam Uteem / Reza, Simadree Virahsawmy / Deva, Taramun Bundhun / Diwakur, Krisna Sunassee / son Muthy, Claude Obeegadoo (Mauritian High Commissioner in London) and Steeve. Should we soon have to also refer to Paul Bérenger and daughter Joanna at least to fill the gender gap ?