SURESH RAMPHUL

It’s confirmed. This time, I’m not getting my ticket for the General Elections. When they told me this, I was stunned. I felt a weakness in my legs. I could have collapsed. How could they do this to me? I’ve served the Party since so long. You can imagine how it feels when you’re evicted.

My devotion has been unflagging. I’ve been a well-regarded representative of my constituency. And  I’ve also been Minister. My contribution has been impressive, to say the least. Okay, a few things I promised couldn’t be fulfilled. But overall, it’s been a successful career. I’m frustrated. My name has been slashed from the list in favour of someone else. It hurts, I tell you.

I argued my case. In vain. They said something like new blood, new look, the need to make the Party appear progressive. It’s difficult to digest such explanations.  They make my blood pressure go up. I feel like exploding. I’m born into politics and this is where my place is.

However, my wife, who has nothing to do with politics and is always cool-minded, explained some- thing to me the other day. Don’t get worked up for nothing, she said. There’s always the possibility that they’ll place me in an important post later if the Party wins. You may become President or Vice-President… Both carry immense benefits in terms of money or prestige. You may become an Ambassador somewhere or a Chairman or Director in one of the institutions. You may be nominated as Adviser or Consultant. If other people are compelled to give up their job with much fanfare and then reinstated quietly in one capacity or another under a contractual basis, why can’t you? You can still serve the country. You can still feed your family. You can still be someone. So, what’s the problem? Not obtaining a ticket isn’t the end of the world, is it? It doesn’t make of you a loser, does it?

Why hadn’t I thought of it this way? It has always been like this in Mauritius. Why shouldn’t it be like this for me too?