IT ALL STARTED SOME 11 YEARS AGO OR SO. How and where ? Its origin was our weekly SUNDAY VANI Port Louis Office. History tells us that the epic war against the Sale by Levy mafiosi was declared from there. And the person who aroused my interest and whipped up my concerns, apprehensions and fears was none other than Bijaye Madhou himself.
As expected of him, sometime later, he ditched me for ever greener pastures. « Il faut parfois savoir rendre à César ce qui est à César ». And that even though he helped but himself by choosing the other side of the glittering coin. Don’t blame and shame him. Condemn the new get-rich-quick today’s mentality instead ! Nonetheless, I must acknowledge his redeeming features : He was embroiled in unpaid huge debts with the imminent danger of losing all his residential and commercial properties at the Supreme Court. It was verily then and there that I started inquiring into the outdated, corrupt and repressive system of Sale by Levy. That said, even an unpleasant dark cloud has a silver lining. And then, always remember, in Pamplemousses garden the beautiful “nénuphar” flower comes from the mud beneath the pond. Anyhow, thank you Bijaye.
Oddly, “au vu et au su de tous”, the system was inflicting unimaginable suffering on the desperate and defenceless victims, especially the helpless illiterate poor people. And the villains were many in numbers and spirit. Reason : The active ones – the money-spinners – were all aided and abetted by the passive law-enforcement authorities (docile onlookers and unresisting fence-sitters). Because of a never-mind, thoughtless, heedless and cavalier attitude. Who cares for the weak and the meek ? It’s an egocentric and materialistic world in the survival-of-the-fittest jungle.
Private militia on the premises of the Supreme Court
In truth, the Supreme Court premises were turned into a suffering disaster zone every Thursday when the auction was held at the MASTER’S COURT. Some 12 properties were sold to the highest bidders (so-called). There were some ten predators then. Many were accompanied with their own bouncers. One notorious attorney had his own private militia comprising hardened criminals. Why for ? To intimidate all those who would challenge him or his clients and his interests. Who could have dared to look them straight in the eye ? That would have amounted to putting one’s hand deep in the mouth of a surging unfriendly dog.
Little wonder then that weeping, wailing and fainting were all common occurrences. Only the heartless or the stone-hearted would not have been moved (to tears) before such heartbreaking, heartrending and soul-searching scenes. Justice hid herself in the darkest drawers at the back of the Supreme Court. In lieu, injustice reigned supreme. It was the supremacy of terror outside the MASTER’S COURT. Nevertheless, hold on a minute ! It was in fact the corridor leading to justice. That was some 11 years ago. But has anything changed today ? That’s the multimillion-dollar question !
So, our first task was information gathering. We discreetly met some of the stakeholders. A few people at the services of some remote-controlled members of the Mafia provided valuable information. Do not forget : The SUNDAY VANI Office was receiving an average of 50 people every day. True, their problems were not all related to Sale by Levy. There were torrents of others. Thereafter, we attended a few MASTER’S COURT hearings and saw “de visu” the modus operandi of the system : Those applying it rigidly to the letter of the law and those who were twisting it outside the Court to best suit their own tastes, needs, pockets and purposes. Needless to point out that we were all revolted and furious. It was worse than what we had imagined or been apprised of. We knew that we would be putting our hands in the all powerful and dangerous nest of the wasps. But we decided then and there to challenge the Sale by Levy Mafia in their own den and before their own private militia.
The mongoose among the chicks
Thence, we started a nonstop, aggressive and systematic campaign in all the issues of our SUNDAY VANI newspaper. Many other sections of the media gave us a helping hand. In truth, that great weekly breathed and lived but for the rejected and unwanted – “laissés-pour-compte” – victims. It bore fruit to some extent only : We were able to alert public opinion. That was but a first little step in the long liberation march.
Notwithstanding, the then MSM/MMM Government proved blind, deaf and dumb. Who cares about the small fry ? Who has time, patience and willpower to listen to the desperate plight of the exploited and the suffering lot ? But the worst waited in store : The problem was compounded because the Jugnauths were dead against me. And that even though history testifies that they both owe their political survival thanks to me. They hurled all the deadly sins of the country on my doorstep. In addition, the usual cliché came to the fore – that I was utilizing the victims as a political tool and launching pad. To earn my bread and butter. Of course, that was “de vieux refrains”. History proves beyond doubt that they were all wrong. Because I was sincere in my beliefs and actions. Do not forget that the victims came from all religious faiths and political parties.
Eventually, in the teeth of the MSM/MMM government deep-seated apathy (relating to indifference, inertia, insensibility and emotionlessness) and coupled with “faire-foutre” ingrained culture ; we, then, put into motion our plan B. Lots of peaceful street protests, public meetings and hunger strikes in front of the Supreme Court swayed public opinion and tilted the balance in favour of our movement. Positive fallout : They led to negotiations with the then Prime minister, Paul Bérenger. All throughout, I sent a delegation to the negotiating table. Note : I have never set foot in the Government House since 1986. In 2004 or so, a Commission of Inquiry was appointed. There was irrational, though natural, exuberance. It was honey outside but acidity inside. There was a mongoose among the chicks. It was as if the MSM/MMM Cabinet had appointed Dominique Strauss Kahn as the rector of a girls’ college. No surprise, hopes faded away if not waned just as wax-candle on fire ! It was the sick who became the enemy of the doctor and not the sickness.
(To be continued)