DEV VIRAHSAWMY

50 years after independence, we are still far from genuine nationhood with a national supra-ethnic identity and a common purpose. And yet all necessary ingredients are present. But we have chosen to look elsewhere.

The years following independence saw systematic French attempts to neo-colonise us and make Mauritius “la petite France” but now France has much bigger fish to fry. Moreover, the Indian Ocean geopolitical reality has much changed. Two new world powers have emerged and according to WORLD BANK and IMF reports, as per GDP-PPP, the three world economies in order of importance are China, USA and India. The Indian Ocean is now a very important sea route for both China and India which see the continent of Africa as resource to be exploited.

For both China and India, Mauritius has re-emerged as the “Star & Key” of the Indian Ocean for it can be an important strategic platform to strengthen economic links with Africa. If both are ardent suitors, India has an edge on China for it has a new myth to support its ambition: Little India. This myth will be used systematically to reinforce emotional links in support of political and economic ambition. What are the chances of success? Plenty, for the following reasons:

  • Hindus represent 40% of the population of Mauritius;
  • The Hindu political and economic elite have no qualms about being vassals of “Mahabharat” for rewards are most promising;
  • Mauritian ‘Big Money’ of all colours and creed will be keen to establish links with Indian

Super-zillionaires as it guarantees increased wealth;

  • A high percentage of the Mauritian Hindu electorate have a lot of sympathy for the ‘Little India’ myth and non-Hindu politicians who dream of Prime Ministership will not dare denounce India’s expansionism and neoliberal appetite.

CONSEQUENCES?

  • The Maritime Republic of Mauritius will become India’s neo-colony.
  • Nation-building will suffer a hard blow.
  • Ethnic tension and conflict will be exacerbated.

WHITHER DO WE GO?

  • We must not give up the fight to build a free, progressive and independent nation on our creole islands (Mauritius, Rodrigues, Agalega etc.).
  • We must ensure that all citizens of the republic master well oracy and literacy in Mauritian, English and French.
  • We should intensify the fight against obscurantism and alienation.
  • We should be prepared to face repressive regimes here and there.

ALL PROGRESSIVES IN THE REPUBLIC SHOULD JOIN FORCES IRRESPECTIVE OF COLOUR, CASTE OR CREED.