Silence on Sanz!

If you are not with me you are definitely against me and therefore have no right to pursue a normal life under the Mauritian sun. Is this the norm that the Ramgoolam-run government has espoused? Is this how it intends to prove that Ramgoolam is the Prime Minister of the entire country? So far, alI that Ramgoolam has succeeded in doing is to show his vindictiveness, his "hargne" against those perceived as not having been on his side, or not having sung his praise and not having massaged his ego! Perceived, because it appears that even a few who had covertly and furtively lent their support to his band during the past elections have been sanctioned in one way or another . 
It has started to dawn on those who keenly observe the daily unfurling of events at Govemment House that when it comes to dealing with such matters as the fate of people who rightly or wrongly have been described, even accused, as being against the present regime, their competence, commitment and merit notwithstanding, it is nobody but nobody else who holds sway except the Supremo of the day.... Mr. Ramgoolam! His ministers appear to have been reduced to mere extras in his carefully thought out script for running the country ...his own personal blueprint to forge ahead with his agenda. 
So then, where is the professed magnanimity that was carefully introduced in his first public utterances soon after his electoral victory? Equal opportunities for everybody, meritocracy to prime over aIl other considerations, performance to be the order of the day,... whither alI these nice-sounding and lofty ideals? Where are the charm and goody-goody characteristic that he displays in public in so masterful a manner? Somebody in the weekend press rightly concluded that with Ramgoolam it is more than ever a philosophy of “do as l say and not as I do!” He, who at every available opportunity proclaims himself to be a true democrat, does not he know that one of the basic tenets of democracy, is precisely to have the right to differ and to express one's difference freely while, of course, respecting the opinions of others and not putting the national interest in jeopardy, among other conditions? It appears that for Ramgoolam, thinking differentIy and expressing such differences bar one from having a place under the sun! To say the least, it is appalling that somebody, in whom a majority of the Mauritian citizenry has placed its trust for the next five years, should behave like a petty and pitiable "chef de bande" instead of as a true national leader providing space for differences of opinion. The way he has ordered the strangulation of SUNDAY VANI and the officiaI boycott of the paper along with two others is but an indication of' his intolerance, and utter lack of confidence in his capacity to stand up to his present day political adversaries on a level playing ground. Does he realIy believe that he can shade and deflect the rays of the sun for ever? 
ls that the "sanzman" that he promised? Yet, there are some popular but not necessarily good moves that have been announced and put to practice! There is no denying the fact that these moves have had a positive impact on the population at large. Does he then need to show this kind of meanness? Many a regime has fallen precisely because of this kind of “dominère” attitude! For how long can Ramgoolam afford to spit at the sun? Does he not know that sooner than later the spittle will come hurtling back to smear his own face? 
If for nothing else, at least he should show some gratitude to the one who engineered his comeback from London to place him at the helm of an already well-oiled and functioning political party! Someone who is the natural parent(s) of the Alliance Sociale and who made of Ramgoolam its leader, someone who brought within the fold of that Alliance such disparate characters as the leaders of the MR and the MMSM. Although these are marginal groups of very localized consequence, the political fortunes of the Alliance were enhanced as these potentially divisive elements coalesced under the drive of that person. Can’t Ramgoolam at least acknowledge these facts and allow healthy debate to thrive for the larger benefit of the country? 
Or is it that the real “sanzman” reside in such below the belt blows as the stifling of SUNDAY VANI, the undermining of the Presidency, the ouster of such proven competencies as Iqbal Rajahbalee, Vijay Makhan and Jyoti Jeetun to name but a few? 
Mr. Prime Minister, DON’T SPIT AT THE SUN! 
J.D. Knight 

Guimbeau et les manœuvres politiques

Le départ d’Eric Guimbeau du MMM vient d’une certaine manière modifier les données sur l’échiquier politique et on se demande s’il ne provoquera pas d’autres développements dans le pays. On s’aperçoit que la situation politique connaît des soubresauts qu’on peut qualifier de surprenants. Et rien ne dit que les choses en resteront là dans les semaines et mois à venir.
Tout le monde a eu tendance à associer le départ du député MMM à l’exercice de débauchage annoncé il y a quelques semaines par le pouvoir afin de constituer le quorum requis au Parlement pour faire obligation au Président de la république à prendre la porte de sortie. Or, dans un premier temps on se rend compte que les choses n’évoluent pas tout à fait dans cette direction.
Dans sa déclaration à la presse, le premier député de Curepipe/Midlands dit qu’il a choisi de se joindre à un petit parti. On dit aussi que sa famille a toujours été proche de la famille bleue. Maurice Allet, leader des bleus a laissé entendre qu’il laissera au nouveau venu une place de choix au sein du PMSD. Il a aussi annoncé que les leaders des formations au sein de l’Opposition, c'est-à-dire le MMM et le MSM ont été tenus au courant de la situation.
Il est quand même assez rare de voir un député abandonner les rangs d’un parti de l’Opposition pour y demeurer. Les spéculations n’ont pas manqué à ce sujet. D’ailleurs il a déjà été dit que Maurice Allet pourrait, ensemble avec son nouveau collègue faire son entrée au gouvernement. Dès le premiers jours certains observateurs n’ont pas hésité à parler de l’unification de la grande famille des bleus. 
En vue des prochaines élections municipales le PMSD a donné le ton en réclamant 26 investitures et on sait que le MMM accepterait difficilement cette demande. Avec les derniers développements la situation change du tout au tout. Et il serait difficile de prédire l’évolution des évènements dans les prochains jours. Presqu’au même moment, l’ex-maire de Port-Louis, M.Salim Mamode annonce qu’il a réuni une foule d’activistes et aurait obtenu leur assentiment pour qu’il se joigne au PMXD, parti de Xavier Duval.
On a voulu associer de près la députée Mireille Martin à l’instabilité politique qui règne au sein des partis politiques en ce moment. Elle a réfuté les fausses rumeurs qui sont colportées dans le media. Mais le public demeure assez sceptique car d’autres développements peuvent aussi se profiler à l’horizon en cette période très fertile en évènements. Le gouvernement n’a pas choisi de rester en reste avec ce qui se passe au sein de l’opposition. Il a choisi ce moment propice pour annoncer les élections municipales et en même temps, les élections villageoises. On était au courant de la tenue des élections municipales mais, on ne savait pas qu’elles seraient accompagnées d’autant d’instabilités politiques.
Le conseil des ministres a annoncé les élections municipales pour le 2 Octobre et les villageoises pour le 11 Décembre. Ce qui démontre le fait que le pays vivra encore une fois la campagne électorale jusqu'à pratiquement la fin de l’année. L’aspect positif pour la population dans ce contexte, c’est que le gouvernement se verra dans l’obligation de maintenir les mesures populaires pendant toute cette période pour maintenir sa popularité même si le pire suivra après.
En ce moment il est souhaitable que le MMM soit flexible aux demandes du PMSD car avec l’arrivée d’Eric Guimbeau en son sein la force du parti mauve à Curepipe pourrait souffrir. Dans la région de Port-Louis la situation pour le MMM a changé et on ne souhaiterait pas que la même situation se répète à Curepipe. Les régions urbaines ne représentent plus les bastions du MMM car l’Alliance Sociale a fait élire des candidats dans plusieurs villes et naturellement elle essayera d’améliorer sa performance lors des prochaines municipales. En fait, c’est manifestement l’objectif que l’alliance gouvernementale s’est fixé pour démarrer son mandat.
Reste à voir de quelle manière les choses bougeront au cours des prochains jours et il est tout à fait clair que le poids des petits partis tels que le PMSD et le PMXD pèsera d’une manière définitive sur la balance politique. Le nouveau gouvernement jouera toutes les cartes afin de gagner la population à sa cause et cela, on peut le constater dès qu’il a pris les choses en mains après les élections. N’oublions pas qu’il tient à honorer sa promesse d’améliorer la vie de la population dans les 100 jours et les décisions annoncées visent surtout à démontrer qu’il veut la respecter.
Le conseil des ministres a pris la décision la semaine dernière, de pourvoir tous les collèges du cycle secondaire des facilités d’ADSL afin de faciliter l’accès à l’internet. Par la même occasion, on a annoncé d’autres facilités en ce qui concerne l’internet pour les autres utilisateurs et cela paraît aussi épatant aux mauriciens. On ne sait pas encore quelles nouvelles mesures seront annoncées pour fidéliser davantage sa clientèle et en même temps pour convaincre les autres.
De grandes manœuvres politiques seront probablement déclenchées d’ici quelques jours par ceux qui tiennent les rennes du pouvoir. L’Opposition peut paraître vulnérable pour quelque temps encore avant d’essayer de reprendre du poil de la bête et se refaire une santé. Bérenger a oublié les élections municipales quand il a dit que la population fera savoir sa désaffection au mois d’Octobre. En fait, les mesures difficiles ne viendront probablement qu’à partir de l’année prochaine.
Yash

Nomination of Mentors

Hindu Aided Teachers debarred from promotion to Mentor grade ?

We are a group of teachers recruited and employed by the Hindu Aided Authority. We submitted our applications for the post of mentor following the advertisement of same posts in the press and circulars sent to schools some months back. As all teachers in primary schools, we have waited for our letters with the view to be convened to the written exams scheduled for Saturday 27th of August 2005.
To our great dismay, we have not received our letters contrarily to our colleagues who are employed by government and by the 'Bureau d'Education Catholique' (BEC). This means that our right to participate in the promotion exercise has been trampled upon and this is not acceptable to us. We strongly resent the injustice and feel that such a thing is most unfair and unjust in a democratic country like ours.
On Tuesday 23rd of August 2005 we contacted the PSC as well as the Hindu Aided Authority in connection with this issue. But, our case was not sorted out as we did not receive any satisfactory answer. We were just sent from pillar to post without any plausible or satisfactory answer. We find it strange that, in spite of the fact that our applications were received by the PSC, it did not deem it fit to inform us about their rejection or the reason for which we have not received any letter. It is only through our personal contacts that we have learnt that all government teachers and those employed by the BEC have already been notified concerning the written exams due for Saturday 27th of August 2005, some ten days in advance.
We have contacted the GTU in same connection some time ago but, we were disappointed upon being informed that the union could do nothing in same connection. This is a matter of great deception for us, as we do not understand for which reason a union should dismiss the matter in such a light way. It is only after our vehement protest that it has reacted in the press giving the impression that it is dealing with the matter when in fact, it ought to have raised the contention in advance with the authorities. Our proposal to enter an injunction in the Supreme court was not considered.
As we are obviously being deprived of our fundamental right, we earnestly request that measures be taken in our interest. We are not second class citizens and we will not accept that our rights be violated. We have been informed that the authorities propose to hold a second examination for us and that we will be convened in same connection subsequently. This is unfair, unacceptable and unprecedented. 
We call upon the authorities to initiate immediate measures to ensure that there is equal treatment for all teachers and civil servants, otherwise we will feel that the expression 'banana republic' used in certain quarters may appear appropriate for our country. Hindus would then be made «quantité négligeable» by the government of Navin Ramgoolam.
Hoping that appropriate actions will be taken to safeguard our rights and at the same time the reputation of our country. No Hindu bashing please Mr Prime Minister.
A group of Hindu Aided teachers

Lutte contre le terrorisme
Nouvelle expulsion d'un islamiste vers Alger 
Khellaf Hamam, 38 ans, condamné pour avoir participé à la sélection et à la formation paramilitaire de jeunes activistes islamistes, a été renvoyé de France vendredi après-midi. Il est le quatrième à faire l'objet d'une telle mesure d'expulsion depuis juillet dernier.


Un "islamiste algérien membre d'un réseau terroriste", condamné en 2005 pour sa participation à l'entraînement de jeunes gens en vue de combattre pour le djihad, a été expulsé de France vers Alger vendredi après-midi, a annoncé le ministère de l'Intérieur. Il est parti par bateau de Marseille à 18H10. L'expulsion de Khellaf Hamam, 38 ans, est la quatrième depuis juillet dernier, et "marque la détermination du ministre de l'Intérieur à éloigner du territoire les activistes menaçant la sécurité nationale", a souligné le communiqué. 
Khellaf Hamam avait été arrêté le 6 octobre 2003 dans le cadre de l'affaire dite du "groupe des randonneurs", puis condamné deux ans plus tard par le tribunal correctionnel de Paris. "Lors de son procès, il a été établi qu'il participait à la sélection et à la formation paramilitaire de jeunes activistes de la mouvance islamiste radicale", selon le ministère de l'Intérieur.

Hindi

Hindi has been a moving force in the uplift of Mauritius. This fact may have gone unnoticed because many people who have benefited from it have already forgotten that some knowledge of the language had enabled their elders to earn respectability and prestige, apart from a job and the satisfaction of helping less fortunate ones. It is a pity that today, despite all the facilities offered by the State, with Hindi taught at primary, secondary and tertiary levels, broadcast widely on radio and used on T.V, we find that Hindi is learnt only for a certificate. How many Hindi newspapers do we have in this country? There is Jan Vani which is facing a lot of problems. There is the Aryodaye published by the Arya Samaj for over half a century. How many others do we have? We have many socio-cultural organisations fighting for political patronage. But how many of them do care for Hindi? The perception is that they care more for political patronage.
Our elders do surely remember that our forefathers were allowed to vote if they could prove their literacy. At that time, their knowledge of French and English was almost nil. Most of those who voted for the first time were those who could read and write at least Hindi. Hindi was then taught in Baitkas. The Ramayana and other scriptures were read and explained. Hindi was the vehicle of communication. Night schools were run and our youths attended them to learn and master the language. This resulted in government’s introduction of Hindi as a regular subject of the curriculum in primary schools. This was the first official, financial benefit to those who had studied Hindi at “patsalas”. They had successfully passed the Prathama, Madhyama and Uttama examinations and could get a job in Government services. 
The country saw an elevation of the status of Hindi lovers. Along with this, were also those who studied other asian languages. The urge to learn these languages became more accentuated. All baitkas were running night schools. Every year they celebrated “utsavs” and “Maha utsavs” on the occasion of certificate distribution. The Arya Samaj and Hindi Pracharini Sabha were motive forces for the propagation of the language. We had a pride in speaking the language. At such celebrations, we had the opportunity to call the representatives of the people. These representatives were usually very familiar with the common people. They would mix, meet and understand the problems of the common man. In fact, they themselves were respectful of values. Money and lust after power were not factors that would differentiate them from the rest. They would share the problems of the common man. They kept their promises. They would help the baitkas through modest donations. The people also were not greedy. They were not caste minded. The President of any social organisation would not seek personal advantages at the cost of other members. Everybody spoke the same language. That of caring after the poor. There was sincerity. There was unity. It was a matter of pride for the community. 
Unfortunately, today Hindi has lost that glory of yesteryears. Our people have learnt and mastered other languages and habits, specially western, so much that very rarely do we have the pleasure of listening to conversations in Hindi. There seems to be no pride in the language. We do not realise that we are breaking the strong bond that kept us together in difficult times. Although we were financially poor, we were emotionally strong. Apart from those few who lived in the towns, most of all Hindus, spoke and learnt Hindi. The disunion among members of the community created by some self seekers has finally weakened the community. Today, instead of strengthening the bond that has helped the community to reach the state where it is now, we note that the very vector of transmission is being neglected. Hindi has virtually lost its primary role. Fewer people read Hindi, the proof lies in the number of publications available in that language. 
With a decline of interest and practice in the language by members of the community, can we expect people outside the community to use it or familiarise themselves with it? We, Hindi lovers are not making sufficient effort to maintain and improve communication in this language. How then, can we induce others to its use and understanding? Our scriptures do not have the same fragrance when expressed in any language other than in Hindi. Thus our negligence in keeping and maintaining Hindi as a medium of expression is fast wasting all the efforts made by our elders to revive our cultural and linguistic heritage. We are killing our own culture through our idleness. At least, had we continued the use of Hindi as a vector of communication, we would have reaped some pride. Have you, who are reading this, had the pleasure of seeing a fellow passenger or colleague reading a Hindi book or newspaper in a bus or in office? What about yourself? Yet, I am sure you have seen other people reading even their religious book, apart from their newspapers, in buses and in public libraries etc.
It is understood that those who are proud of their culture will do anything to defend or maintain it. Whereas those who have none will not realise its importance until it is lost. In fact, have we not seen many of those who forgot their parents during the latter’s lifetime, paying annual visits to the cemetery after their death? Therefore, I may be wrong, but still would say that if not today, in the future, the coming generations will weep and lament on this derogatory attitude adopted by us today. It is high time that we give Hindi its due place. The community owes its current status to our elders’ use of the language and, why can’t we then do better than our elders? This is our challenge.
Amrit

LOVE

Where there is love, there can be no negativity. When a heart is filled and over-flowing with pure love, there is no room for any negative feelings. Love is all pervasive.
There are various forms or expressions of love… of a mother and child; of a father and child; of two friends and so on. But the most powerful and all-consuming expression of love is that of two lovers.
The passion to be united is as consuming as burning away in fire. Like a firefly whose love for light is so immense that it does not bother about being burnt in that light. In fact there is a sensuous joy in burning in that fire.
The love of two lovers is such that their hearts in fact ache and seem to almost break with the intensity of their feeling of love and longing for each other. They can see nothing else, hear nothing else or think of no-one else.
The term 'Making Love' is such a beautiful term used to describe this highest of all expressions of love. Not physical but spiritual lovemaking.
In devotion too, it is Meera who is most remembered for her burning passion for her Lord, in whose remembrance she even drank poison and nothing happened to her.
Similarly in spirituality when there is this meeting of Soul with Supreme Soul, there are the expressions of all forms of love. But just as in the physical, 'lovemaking' is considered to be the pinnacle of all pleasures, similarly in spiritual reality it is the 'lovemaking' between Soul and Supreme that is the pinnacle of supersensuous joy.
There is this burning desire to just become one with Him, and remain in that state. Just become One. There is also this burning desire to lose one's identity and merge in His.
In physical, one abhors being controlled by anyone else and wants freedom from all forms of control. But in this divine love, one willingly and joyously gives the puppet strings into the hands of the Supreme, inviting Him, permitting Him and in fact begging Him to take control…full control.
And in this is true liberation, the ultimate freedom.
This intense love affair between the Soul and the Supreme is so powerful that the vibrations of love emanating from this ultimate lovemaking conceives, incubates and gives birth to an entirely pure and love-filled new creation…a new world.
ARPANA