One can hardly imagine there could be any adult around, sound of mind, who does not realize, even with a vague feeling, that the whole world is in some sort of turmoil heralding events of unprecedented nature, that Covid-19 brutally brought to the surface for that matter, as we plunge uninterruptedly deeper into that quagmire of uneasiness, fuelled by corruption, scandals, abuse of authority, doubts as to what lies ahead given the growing invisibility, that latent fear of something of importance to happen to further shatter our lives, already severely battered for many.
Read the local press any day, watch foreign news on TV. It is invariably an assortment of scandals, corruption, popular uprisings, human tragedies, when it is not the acts of those who hold, worldwide, our destiny in their incompetent hands. And in the unfolding of that universal drama, spread in episodes, Mauritius seems determined to be in the front row with the Pandora’s box constantly revealing its secrets with seemingly the best to come.
One local columnist recently wrote that Covid-19 ‘nous a montré nos limites’. Without the least intention to enter into a polemic, I had always thought that these limits, especially of human rulership, had long been laid bare, while it is mostly the ineptness of those at the helm that is surfacing – a Trump only now, nearly four months after the World Health Organisation declared the pandemic, agreeing to wear the mask, a Bolsonaro infected by the ‘little flu’ that has already hacked thousands of his compatriots to assure him of at least the ‘silver medal’ , but unlikely to deprive Trump of the ‘badge of honour’!
And what of here? A government that is manifestly off balance and entangled in all sorts of stinky ‘affairs’. In the running to the last general elections, I remarked that a fair number of first-timers were running and to whom no tag could be attached. Only a few months later, it is clear some neophytes have learnt the ‘trade’ fairly quickly. A probe by ICAC now underway supports that view. And ICAC is pretty active on several fronts these days. A flash in the pan? But one thing for sure, the political cauldron is boiling, with the incumbents providing the Opposition, political and press alike, with lethal ammunition. While some vultures hover above quick to pick the juicy bones. For my part, I’ll qualify the present Government the ‘strangest’ – deliberately a euphemism – we have had since Independence, while acknowledging we have had spells of bad government during that span of time. I leave it to the reader to expand on that qualifier according to one’s assessment, with our rulers only down to the routine – which includes the unavowable – incapable to charter the right road map for lasting comfort and peace of mind, constantly hiding behind fake transparency and the hollow slogan of ‘le pays avant tout’. But only eager to get back to pre-Covid normality – manifestly not in sight – that affords the appropriate environment that befits their ‘schemes’, and in the endeavour lay bare the flaws of democracy (Sir Winston Churchill dixit).
But what is my point. Not to pose as a seer and still less to be a scare-monger, at the risk of repeating myself in the eyes of the regular reader. But the woes mentioned above, even when taken separately, impact and they certainly add up to constitute the writings on the wall that should strike attention as to the urgency of ‘our times’, that we are heading for the ‘Grand Finale’.* And if the dream sellers, that our political masters are, were right, they would belie that Bible saying with which I’ll conclude:
‘Man’s way does not belong to him. It does not belong to the man who is walking even to direct his step’. (Book of Jeremiah chapter 10, verse 23).
(*To add to my oft-made commitment to be back at the right time).
P.S.: I have deliberately avoided above, so as not to mix issues, to mention Covid-19. For the local Authorities, it seems to be something to be well behind us, the least of their worries, if at all one. While in many parts of the world lockdown is being reintroduced, California, Victoria State, Australia, Health Services on the brink of collapse in Sao Paolo, Brazil, South Africa, or severe crackdown on the non-wearing of mask (India) etc, as examples of the seriousness of the situation. Here, ‘lekours large’, a decision, to say the least, that flies in the face of all reason, the clear demonstration of incompetence or insouciance.