In mature countries, there is a well-inscribed tradition of unauthorised unofficial biographies of politicians. The phenomenon translates freedom of the publishing, of analysis, and even of sense of humour. This is, to many, the precise illustration of maturity. But in Mauritius, standards, it seems, are different and such maturity is but rarely displayed.
But where maturity fails, imagination can still save the day ! We present a case study. Setting : contemporary Europe, modern democracy, three sons of ex-political leaders contending a presidential seat. What would have been the editorial treatment ?
1) “The cocky righty” : this much surely would have been a title to one of the biographies. The character is a nice-looking boy trying to walk the shoes of charismatic not-so-straight daddy. He likes the niceties of life but gives up a life of better-fare to unleash the country’s economic potential, and, by the same, keep the party’s fire burning. But fighting nostalgia translates ill-fate. Our metis hidalgo ends up, not only nursing fire, but running a dodo-show around, instilling new life to folklore, making daddy’s friends happy. Amazing literary potential.
2) “Sun is shining… To the rescue, here I am” : No, we are far from 70’s Bob Marley craze. But it seems that the greenish university years are not over for this yet other “son of” political contender. And the
grass does not seem greener. He is the only one still being monitored by his daddy. Remember the days of the old school-yard, daddy and mommy will chaperon you to ball. From Pink Floyd to Dean Mac Lean, we
can quote : “Hush now baby, baby don’t you cry / Mama’s gonna check out all your girlfriends for you / Mama won’t let anyone dirty get through / Mama gonna wait up until you get in / Mama will always find
out where you’ve been … Of course, Mama’s gonna help you build a wall” and “I’m bowing out, I need a second chance”. Another ill-fated. In some other life, he would have been a good teacher, accountant – just a
good everything but politician.
3) The Evening Standard’s editorial is edifying. The General Red has spoken his best sermon ever. Commenting from time to time Gheeta, Bible, Quran, he has attempted to shed a new light on Rabbinic
interpretation of Torah… It is the first time that a politician achieves this: surpass the pettiness of mob manipulation. And to beat his dead daddy at a post: first politician to rise up to the challenge of auto deification…(Of course, the editor-in-chief is all but serious here)
But, let’s get tolled back from this momentary lapse of fantasy to set foot back to reality. We are Mauritius. This is not contemporary Europe, not modern, not democracy. Not yet.