Dev Virahsawmy

Had we time enough, we could go on with this little game of flexing muscles which are more like cotton wool. We are all pretending that we can do it without any little help from any little friend or yesterday’s opponent. We love to pretend to be what we are not and think that people are too stupid to see the truth.

But time is not on our side for TWO reasons: global warming and climate change; the very messy situation in which the country is now.

Recent reports by IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) and  US National Climate change assessment, the work of 300 scientists and 13 federal agencies, reveal the urgency of the matter. Within 10-15 years sea level may rise by at least 1 metre. What does this mean for The Maritime Republic of Mauritius? Port Louis will be under water; beach tourism will be something of the past; many small islands will disappear (Agalega, Ile aux Benitiers etc.) … It is now believed that certain staples like rice and wheat will no longer grow worldwide any more. What does that mean for us? Food security will become NUMBER ONE problem. Do we have time to contemplate leaves on trees, forgetting the forest? Is bickering over non-urgent details the way forward?

MLP is strong in rural areas but rather weak in urban areas; lacklustre MMM and PMSD, two toothless mastiffs, vie with each other for a niche in town but have little following or foothold in rural areas. The future cannot be built on a rural-urban antagonism. Besides the consequences of global warming and climate change we must address a long list of urgent issues: gender violence, gender equality, drug addiction, poor standard of literacy, management of our maritime resources, economic democracy, nation building etc.

No one party on its own will be able to unite the republic and mobilise human and material resources to face all the challenges. Willy-nilly MPL, MMM and PMSD must unite their strength and energies and learn to work together. Can’t they agree on a five-year contract after which they may decide whether to go on or to split? Or do they prefer to fight each other and give the Jugnauth clan another mandate to enrich a few and impoverish us all materially and spiritually.