SIL : for “Such Is Life” – commonly tatooed on forarms of “hardcore-got-it-hard- former-military-men”. SIL : the abbreviation of despair, to many. And it seems that, to Mauritians SIM– Such Is Mauritius–might be imbued with the SIL spirit of fatalism, cynicism and tragicomic stagecraft. SIM : the story of Bérenger, Ramgoolam and Jugnauths. SIM : in 5 acts.
Act 1
1991 : MMM back to power in alliance with MSM–landslide victory with Paul Bérenger as king maker. Tha alliance was meant to re-stitch siamese and grant the country a new economic-political-social impulse.
And the 8 years of dire social hatred against Bérenger (« léra blan ») by his opponents under the leadership of SAJ were all of a sudden forgotten by Bérenger (or forgiven). Blame it on : the politician selective memory…
Act 2
December 1995 : Paul Bérenger and MMM found in Navin Ramgoolam, the new-born leadership of the Labour, the ought-to-be PM of an alliance. “The Lion” back from London’s den than constituted in Bérenger’s words “enn linite nasyonal”, “espri zenn”, “ile Maurice Moderne” ; he was to imbide the country with fresh air of modernism and, of course, a fresh victory of 60-0 was made inevitable.
But the whole enthousiam was swept away in mid-97 (after 18 months) and Bérenger was ejected from power. Deus-ex-machina…
Act 3
2000-2005 : in alliance with MSM à l’israëlienne– a winning formula, Paul Bérenger in power for the last two years– and for once, the alliance stood for 5 years.
Act 4
2005- Bérenger fails à l’israélienne. The Sun shone mellow and it seems that Bérenger missed out an axiom in his projection : the Son’s (lack of) charisma…
Act 5 (to be…)
Bérenger spearheaded the “scandale du siècle” with Medpoint, a ghost shattering the fundamentals of “good governance”. The scandal was deemed as the doing of MSM… until it turned out to be the doing of some
“Scapin”. Hopefully, the dirtbag will not be cast upon the people and the “fourberie” be made the feat of our mob, “lepep admirab”.
Hanoomanjee arrested had a spillover effect. Pravind “le petit frère” was back with Paul Bérenger and from Rose-Hill’s Ambrose, the trumpet of the remake with the MSM heralded : “a new make-up for our society”.
A tragi-comedy in 5 acts : the critical analysis
1) The fact is : Bérenger might at times be adulated “à l’israëlienne” but is hated “à la mauricienne”.
Pa vinn dir nou ki Bérenger pa konn sa ! But the leitmotiv of the consolidation of national unity is back to business. We are all lovers of our country and we wilfully bear the burden of “les sans amour
propre”.
2) Jugnauth back to business, a forecast. If the elections are held now with MSM weighing 3%, MMM-MSM will win 41-19. But if MSM achieves its “cruise rate” of 12% (which is more likely), MMM-MSM can envisage a victory of 54-6.
This stands as long as elections are held within the next quarter. But if the government resists the “quarter effect” and holds on until the lapse of the presidential mandate next year, the political
dynamics of MMM-MSM will dwindle…
The shadow variables to consider :
1) With the electoral reform, the intention of alliance between MMM and MSM might die out. Electoral reform means either MMM challenging elections on their own or MMM in alliance with Labour. But vir ki
tourn, the odds of MSM surviving the “electoral reform / shadow winning formula” are thin…
2) Ramgoolam has still to cast his dice. This is an attempt at exposing a few variables (or “cailloux dans la godasse”) intrinsic to the PM’s discernment.
So far, Ramgoolam has been put to the test on a few issues : economy (which is not doing too bad), foreign affairs, education (under Bunwaree) – the living proofs that the 2005 Ramgoolam is a sharp
contrast to Bérenger’s 95 prototype.
However, Ramgoolam’s trauma of Kaya’s episode had never been put to the test. The last few events– Maha Shivaratree, Goodlands and Cité Martial– have pointed out Ramgoolam’s slowness if not apathy to react
as a statesman. And, an intuition is reinforced : probably Ramgoolam has not healed from 1999. Our protagonist might still feel the fear.
Which calls to question : with echoes of the social fabric quaking, does Ramgoolam really want power ?
3) Further test and food for thought. Until the demise of Christian Rivalland, Ramgoolam’s strategy will be once and for all revisited.
Enter Dan Callikan…
A concluding note
Obama’s dream come true : so many of our fellow people moved by the creolisation (or rather métissage) of the American dream. And yet, the question remains : why is it that we do not want Bérenger to be PM ? Or
may be, is it Bérenger local pragmatism which prevents him from winning a seat of his own ? Paradox.
Such is Mauritius : “it’s a disease” … The crux of it all, the plot unveiled : it all comes down to the “leadership contradiction syndrome” : Bérenger too pragmatic, Ramgoolam too populist, Duval, too
friendly, Jugnauths, either too young or too old…