An article published on 27th June 2015 in ‘The Times of India’ entitled ‘Muslim pilot takes Hindu kids under wing’ caught my attention for various reasons.  As a brief summary, a Muslim pilot, namely Mr Mohd Shahnawaz Zaheer and his family have been awarded the guardianship of two orphaned Hindu children, following the demise of their pilot father; their mother having passed away previously.  Mr Zaheer was good friends with the children’s father and has pledged to preserve their Hindu upbringing and the trust fund, which will be used solely for their benefit.
For starters, amidst the chaos and evils being perpetuated in this world, it is a gloriously heart-warming piece of news.  One cannot help but appreciate and respect the genuineness behind such a laudable endeavour.  Stepping in to care for two orphans, bringing them to one’s home while sheltering them with an umbrella of warmth, love and compassion is certainly something from which the rest of us can draw inspiration.  It certainly gives a much needed boost to humanity; there is still hope that goodness subsists.
Moreover, as a Mauritian, I feel that we, who claim to a united people and nation, can learn a few valuable lessons from this story.  As per our national anthem, how much do we practise what we preach? What we instead find deep down here is a deeply fragmented society when the superficial illusion of nationalism is peeled off, exposing a very nasty truth buried within the core of our island. In our 21st century Mauritius, have we thought about how ridiculous it is to have openly intolerant groups which feast on blatant communalism? Do we really need a Voice of Hindu, Tamil, Telegu, Marathi, Kreol, Chinese and Muslim among others? For what purpose? To continue the systematic fragmentation of our country, as endorsed by many unscrupulous politicians who openly advocate the ‘Divide and Rule’ policy?
Worse, a vice prime minister in the present government has set up a desk within the premises of his own office, to cater for the needs of a specific community.  While there is nothing wrong in preserving ancestral traditions and cultures, I am highly sceptical about how this will contribute to strengthen the overall national fabric, which nonetheless remains highly vulnerable, despite our desire to will it otherwise.  As we have witnessed countless times, a tiny spark is more than enough to ignite the flame of communalism and there goes the flowery wishful lyrical content of our national anthem! Why can’t we have a Mauritian Desk rather and start looking at the bigger picture out there? Miscegenation is fast transforming our social paradigm and unless we open our minds, we will continue to function as void individuals, stifled in our insipid communal cells.
So, a big thank you to the Zaheer family.  They are not the only ones but they are part of those individuals who prove that human goodness has the power to transcend all barriers…a glimmer of hope for our Mauritian society, perhaps…