Binaiduth (Vinai) Ramkissoon, Founder/Chairperson
Narainsamy Sanyasi, Secretary General
MANILAL MAGANLAL DOCTOR MEMORIAL FOUNDATION
« Manilal Doctor, Ta statue au Jardin de la Compagnie vient nous dire que L’Ile Maurice aujourd’hui a besoin d’hommes comme toi. » Révérend Henri Souchon.
Manilal Maganlal Doctor Memorial Foundation was set up in 1998 with the purpose of arousing awareness in the public, especially among the young generation, about the life and the mission of this great humanitarian who struggled against the monstrous exploitation of the helpless Indian immigrants, and indentured labourers who travelled to so many parts of the world.
With the devotion and blessings of a group of volunteers, we have been able to push forward the elements and ingredients to revive the memory of Manilal Maganlal Doctor which laid in the limbs of oblivion of the Archives.
Till recently many people believed that Manilal Maganlal Doctor was a professional medical practitioner. Most people ignored that Manilal Maganlal Doctor was a brilliant educated Barrister from the Middle Temple, Great Britain. Again, through ignorance of our History many streets in our villages bear the name Dr Manilal instead of Manilal Maganlal Doctor.
As Mauritians we are happy to be among those who have uncovered everything written on Manilal Maganlal Doctor which lay buried in the newspapers in the Archives since a long time. Our organization has been able to fulfill the long-felt need of bringing back the vivid pictures of the life, works and achievements of Manilal Maganlal Doctor to the general public. We have reprinted the English articles of the only two copies of the Hindusthani, actually preserved by the National Library.
Celebrating his birth anniversary in July
Since 1998 with the collaboration of the Municipality of Port Louis, the Ministry of Arts and Culture, the Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund, and support of several well wishers, eminent historians such as Mr Anand Mulloo, Satyendra Peertum, Dr Satteeanund Peerthum, Mr. Chit Dhukira, Prof. Dr. Vijaya Teelock G.O.S.K, Professor S. Jugessur G.O.S.K, Mr. Reddy of MGI & others, we have made it a tradition to commemorate the birth anniversary of this great humanitarian at Manilal Doctor Square in Jardin de la Compagnie, Port Louis on each 28th July.
Upon the initiative of the Manilal Maganlal Doctor Memorial Foundation the then Minister of Education and Human Resources agreed to our request to place a large photograph of Manilal ji on the prestigious State Secondary School at Lallmatie, District of Flacq proudly bearing the name of Manilal Maganlal Doctor. The photograph, together with a wooden board marked with milestones of good words and achievements of Manilal Maganlal Doctor was unveiled by the then Minister of Education and Human Resources.
Several cultural activities with the participation of the Rector, Staff and students of the Manilal Maganlal Doctor State Secondary School, Lallmatie and the collaboration of the Ministry of Education and Human Resources have been carried out as well as forums, workshops at the Municipality of Beau Bassin/Rose Hill, memorial lectures and Hindi Songs by Pt. S. Daiboo, Mr Gian Moheeputhlall, late Pt Bundhun of Amaury, late Pt. Seemanto of Souillac and others have been organized with a view to popularize and remember Manilal Maganlal Doctor who has left his indelible mark in the making of our beautiful and united Mauritian Society. Upon our suggestion, a stamp bearing the effigy of Manilal Maganlal Doctor was issued by the Postal Department.
Now, the seedlings of gratitude and love for Manilal Maganlal Doctor are growing. With our constant nourishment and care, the seeds of our actions have flourished and ripened. It has taken time to ripen. The fruits of the life and mission of Manilal Maganlal Doctor are once again giving a pleasant perfume in our Mauritian soil: Liberty of Individuals! Fraternity of Man!! Equality of Races!!!
At last our thoughts, actions and words have come to fruition. It gladdens the hearts of all the members, well wishers and supporters of the Manilal Maganlal Doctor Memorial Foundation that our humble efforts for the preservation of the memory of Manilal ji have borne fruits in the Republic of Mauritius. Many leading socio-cultural-religious organizations are now in the forefront to bring back the forgotten memory of Manilal Maganlal Doctor.
The ‘Manilal Doctor Memorial Committee’ of 1957
Credit goes to late Mr. Jay Narain Roy for his laudable idea, expressed in his articles in Mauritius Times, of having a statue of Manilal ji on the Mauritian soil. The ‘Manilal Doctor Memorial Committee’ with the help of late Mr. Bickramsingh Ramlallah, Mr Satcam Boolell, Dr. Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the then Municipal Councillors of the Town Council of Port Louis and others did their best to give us a life-size bronze statue of the great friend of India. The idea was pushed forward on the occasion of the 50th anniversary of the first arrival of Manilal Doctor’s in Mauritius in 1907. On 11th October 1957, the foundation stone of the pedestal was laid at the Company Garden by H.E. Major General B. Chatterjee. Two years later, on 1st February 1959, the life-size bronze statue of Manilal Doctor was unveiled on which it is inscribed: “He felt for the oppressed and served them.” (See inserts from Janata of July and October 1957).
We pay a special tribute to those dedicated pioneers and members of the Manilal Doctor Memorial Committee who decided to erect a fitting memorial in honour of Manilal Maganlal Doctor in Port Louis. They moved with difficulty around the Island, and toiled hard to raise the required fund to erect the actual life-size bronze statue proudly standing in Jardin de la Compagnie in Port Louis. Late Mr. Neil Krishna Bapoo in his car, especially motivated by late Mr Mootoocoomaren Sangeelee, at their own expenses, moved to different places for fund raising.
The names of those pioneers are written in golden letters in the chapter of the History of our Island. They are namely: Pandit Vanprasti Dhoorunder. Messrs Mootoocoomaren Sangeelee, Pitumbur Kowlessur, Hariparsad Jeshankar Dave, Ramlochun Nath Varma, Cannaya Lutchmaya, Issack Satan, Palanysamy Moutou, Mamode Issoop Khadaroo, Rengassamy Chellum, Luckeenarain Sohun and Neil Krishna Bapoo M.S.K.
In collaboration with the Ministry of Arts and Culture, the Municipality of Port Louis, the Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund, the Manilal Maganlal Doctor Memorial Foundation celebrates the birth anniversary of the eminent barrister on 28th July each year since 1998 at the monument carrying his life-size statue at Company’s Garden. Exceptionally this year, the ceremony was held on the 6th of July. The Minister of Arts and Culture, Pritivirajsingh Roopun, the Lord-Mayor, Daniel Laurent, among other personalities, participated in the garlanding ceremony.
Our deep gratitude to learned Judge S. B. Domah for his good advice and assistance, Mr Sanjeev Teeluckdharry and Mrs Poonam Sookun-Teeluckdharry, Barristers-at-Law. Our heart-felt thanks to Mr Amrutlall Hawabhay, Mrs Kavita Ramful, Pandit Satyaprakash Beegoo, Mrs Karuna Pem, Mrs Mridula Jhowry, Mrs Sanyukta Sibloll, Mr Prakash Ramnauth, Mr Satish Ramchurn of Midlands, late Mr Anand Bundhun, Mr Kewal Nayeck, Mr Adil Ramnauth, the Lord Mayor and Councillors of Port Louis, the Ministry of Arts and Culture, Mr. D.Y. Dhunny, Chairperson of Aapravasi Ghat Trust Fund, Mr. Satyendra Peerthum, friends of all organizations and socio-cultural-religious leaders, and, last but not least, Mrs A. Luchmun.
Manilal Memorial Committee
“A meeting of the ‘ ManilaI Doctor Memorial Committee’ was held on 14.7.1957 in Trinity College, Port Louis, where an Executive Committee was constituted. This committee met on 12th October to organize a huge fancy fair on the occasion of the 50th anniversary or half of a century of the arrival of late Manilal Doctor, M.A., L.L.B. in Mauritius. The Committee decided that all the children of Indian workers, forgetting their castes and creed, should be invited to join these celebrations along with their societies and institutions.
Following are the names of the people who gracefully attended this meeting : Kookani Hidayat-Ullah, Shri S. Sheikh Omar and D. Sheikh Dawood from Islam Society; Shri S. Bhuckory and C.D. Shakur from Hindi Pracharini Sabha; Shri A. Peroo ftom Secours Mutuel; Shri S.R. Pydia from Mauritius Andhra Maha Sabha; Shri Cali Churn ftom Arya Pratinidhi Sabha, Shri E. Bhaymia ftom Mauritius Sports Association; Shri Ramsaha from Sanatan Dharma Pracharini Sabha; Sh. R. Hoossan and H. Subrati Gulshan Mohammedi; Shri N. Subratee and O. Bhanu from Ahmedia Association of Mauritius; and Shri A. Raghunath from Nusrat-AI Muslim Society; Mohabat from Anjuman Society; Shri P. Bhagchand, Shri Bhagvand ftom Ravi Udai Vidya Samaj, Shri A. Baichoo from Kabir Dharma Maha Sabha; Shri A. Roshan and A. Nakchhedi from Plaine Verte Muslim Association. In addition to these representatives, there were Shri Vikram Singh Ramlallah, L. Badri and Dujendra Nepal.
The above committee was constituted through election in this way: President, V. Dhurandhar; Vice-President, V. Ramlallah; Secretary, Sangelee; Treasurer, Roshan; Members: Ram Lakhan, A. Badri, S. Bhuckory, D. Nepal, B. Bhaymia, Ram Paidia, S. Chinia, E. Lakhi and H. Tirvendgadum.”
(Courtesy : Janata, 23rd July, 1957)
Manilal Memorial Celebrations
“The celebration on the occasion of 50 years of arrival of Manilal Doctor, will be held on 13th October, 1957 at 1.00 p.m. at Gymkhana, Shan (Champ) De Mars, under the presidentship of Hon’ble Srinivasan. People are requested to kindly participate in it.
Major General Chatterjee, the Commissioner of India, the Mayor of Port Louis, and Hon’ble Dr. Ramgoolam have kindly consented to be present there.
Hon’ble Srinivasan, Hon’ble Forget, and Messers Jai Narayan Rai, Hasan Turawa, Vel Govindam, and Pt. Ram Murti will express their views on the occasion. Special arrangements will be made for ladies.
People are requested to participate in both the functions. Both the functions will be held in day time.
The first ceremony relates to the installation of the statue of late Manilal Doctor, which will be held at 12.00 noon in Company Garden, opposite Hindu Maha Sabha Office.
The second celebration is a Fancy Fair, which will be held in Tahrey Bagh, Shan De Mars, and will be held under the patronage of Hon’ble Miliene. It will be inaugurated at 12.30 p.m. by Major General Chatterjee. Fancy Fair will continue up to 11.00 in the night. Musical programme and film exhibition will begin at 8.00 p.m.”
(Courtesy: Janata, 8.10.1957)