– « Whither goest thou? »
In the Christian tradition related in the apocryphal Acts of Peter (Vercelli Acts XXXV), Saint Peter meets Jesus as Peter is fleeing from likely crucifixion in Rome. Peter asks Jesus the question « Quo vadis?”. Jesus’s answer »Romam vado iterum crucifigi » [I am going to Rome to be crucified again] prompts Peter to gain the courage to continue his Ministry and eventually become a Martyr. In The Canonical Gospel of John 13:36, Peter also asks »Whither goest thou? ». Jesus states that he is going to where his followers ‘cannot’ come, but they ‘will’ follow later…
1,200 years later, circa 1231, Inquisitio Haereticae Pravitatis (inquiry on heretical perversity) became the waged war against heretics by several institutions within the justice system of the Roman Catholic Church. Inquisition practices were used also on offences against Canon Law other than heresy.
The Inquisition Trial of Joan of Arc in 1431 was, in the minds of learned societies, one of the most significant and moving trials ever conducted in human history. It culminated in the execution of Joan of Arc. Galileo was ordered to stand Inquisition Trial on suspicion of heresy in 1633, « for holding as true the false doctrine taught by some that the sun is the centre of the world ». Galileo was sentenced to formal imprisonment at the pleasure of the Inquisition, and this was commuted to house arrest »for Life ».
Ancient Romans’ expression « Twelve Tables » [instead of res publica] refers to their Constitution at the time of the « Republic », and the « inalterable laws installed by the divine Augustus », for their equivalent of a constitution in the era of the early Empire.
The British Parliament’s living heritage, characterised by bicameralism, stands on the pursuit of a common interest between different classes, in adequateness with the concept.
France’s doctrine of secularism, despite its theoretical criticism of the government of “one class only” (“la chose publique”), the right government is described like the government of one class only – “le peuple”. It does not recognise monarchy to be neither an ideal government nor a possible one, in spite of the British living heritage. In such conditions, the common reference to “res publica” in French and British government systems just appear to be bound by dialectic against loyalty.
While Western Philosophy traces dialectics to Ancient Greek thought of Socrates and Plato, the idea of tension between two opposing forces leading to synthesis is much older and present in Hindu Philosophy. Indian Philosophy, mostly subsumed within the Indian religions, has an ancient tradition of dialectic polemics. The two complements, « purusha » (the active cause) and the « prakriti » (the passive nature) bring everything into existence. They follow the « rta », the Dharma (Universal Law of Nature) – a divinely instituted natural order of things (rta) and justice, social harmony and human happiness require that human beings discern and live in a manner appropriate to the requirements of that order.
Quid of Mauritius?
The political jigsaw puzzle of 2012 raises fundamental interrogations pertaining to:
-the sanctity of Republican Values
-the decorum and modernity of our Institutions
-the revamping of our political establishment and public governance processes
-the sacrosanct judicial impartiality
-the modern policing practices and law enforcement paradigms
-the secularism of our Republican Ideals and Socio-Cultural shadow Government
-the credibility of Equal Opportunity Act implementation with Ombudsperson
-A Senate Body to vet and approve all Government key Appointments
-the reform of public sector culture and corporate governance issues
-the educational standards benchmarking
-the public health management and procurement process
-the public infrastructure and public utilities administration
-the pricing of public goods and the implied costs of the welfare state ideals
-the safeguard of our Exclusive Economic Zone Resources [Marine Life and Fossil Fuels]
-the privatisation of Para-public bodies and safeguarding public interest
-the international status of Mauritius in Offshore grey list
-the reputation of Mauritius on the Global Drug Scene
-the Transparency International Corruption index for Mauritius
-the Citizen Charter for MLAs to respect and deliver on electoral pledges
-the reform of industrial relations and Labour Act for worker rights
-the declaration of assets of holders of high office in Government and Civil Service
-the accountability of professionals in Law, Medicine, Finance in negligence cases
-the urgency of Green Energy and stringent environmental legislation
-the efficiency of fiscal stimulus and subsidies in Commerce and Industry
-the exchange rate/currency management strategy
-the interest rate, BOM repo rate, strategy
-the unfair trading practices legislation
-the abusive retail pricing practices and Competition Commission impacts
-the tax rebates and tax breaks to inefficient sectors
-the Joint Ventures/Strategic Partnerships with State Companies and National Security
-the artistic and cultural policy reform and modernisation strategy
-the social investments for vulnerable groups
-the child support and welfare grants reform
-the widows and single mothers support grants
-the poverty and illiteracy challenge
-the review of religious grants and socio-cultural policy bias
-the Citizen Bill of Rights
The Communication overload on Policy Intent is misplaced. Policy output and Results-oriented strategies are lacking. Sombre Moods are permeating all spheres of economic activity and the public psyche. Cabinet efficiency is questioned, and Ministerial dynamism is dubious.
Turmoil in Global Economic Prospects requires top calibre CEOs and high achievers in all spheres. Empty promises and dry words will turn patience into precipitated chaos. Awaken Mauritius in due time!
– « Whither goest thou? »