Blog: Let Dynasty die a natural Death
Pravind Jugnauth took an irrational, impulsive, autocratic decision to make ministers resign from their post at a critical stage of the evolution of the country. We are tightrope walking on the thin line of economic success and we are on the verge of a churning cauldron. Our products are meant for an elite. We have always targeted up-market consumers in textile and tourism. We have laid too much emphasis on intelligence and creativity in the productive sector. The Euro zone is suffering from the excess of a society living beyond its means and the dollar is subjective to a superpower that does not deserve to be either 'super' or 'power'.
The Medpoint case reveals a man who cannot brook relations that pose problems. He is hostile to brother-in-law, averse to uncle, but he must be having a soft underbelly which is the core of decision-making mechanism. The authority of Navin Ramgoolam is too reminiscent of the power of the disciplinarian that the biological father is. Therefore the MSM leader lives with a love-hate, compliance-rebellion approach to the Prime Minister.
The values of this man look confused but they are not so in his mind. What others call paradox and irreconcilable is straight line continuity for him. He has lived opposites throughout his life reconciling love and fear, authority and love. Many things which appear confusing to others are straightforward for him. There is a feminine force which has had a great impact on him seeking to stalemate the father's authority but not capable of eliminating it. He is capable of taking a lot of buffeting quietly, but his revolt is often radical. He is not minimalist for he can feel beyond a common man's capacity to emote behind a cold impassive face betraying no emotion.
Can such a man lead? Leadership needs a capacity to balance the rational with the emotional and very often the emotion has to be evaporated for the drily logical. The mass cannot understand paradoxes. Contradictions for the mass only reveal illogical reasoning, when in fact the seeds of truth can be found in contradictions. The need to convince the mass depends on how linear one's beliefs are. The mass cannot understand resignation from the coalition and profession of fidelity to the Prime Minister. However genuine this feeling, it is nonsensical to the mass. The leader fails by his inability to empathise with the mass. What causes the man's irritation? That the ICAC should investigate into the Medpoint scandal is not contested. That it should convene Mrs. Hanoomanjee is controversial. How can a lawyer find this objectionable? Does the man think he and his followers are above law? There are differences between Jeetah's involvement and Maya's. By the very fact that Maya was in the office during the execution of the project makes her subject to investigation. If Jeetah has to be convened, can't this be raised in appropriate circles? I feel the MSM leader relied too heavily on his dynasty to feel he and his favourite are above law. Is the resignation a sign of solidarity with Maya, against ICAC or against the Labour Party management?
That he should have obtained the prostate obedience of all his ministers illustrates their unstinted fidelity. But was it worth it? Is Pravind Jugnauth a fit leader when for illogical reasons he can command conformity with an impulsive decision? Does the MSM electorate deserve this betrayal? Bodha, Leela Dookun make a superior pair, Soodhun is an epitome of senseless obedience and fidelity. He is like the dog Mahabharat's Yudhisthir preferred to take into paradise. He has that unstinted faith in his leader. But has he been rewarded for his fidelity? The MSM cannot remain the property of Jugnauth. Why doesn't Bodha take the leadership? Should dynasty and pedigree be the appendage of prime ministership? The mass feels cheated at the hands of a complex leader who still has to grow up and become emotionally mature. His shallow nature makes his emotions transpire too easily and politics cannot preserve such a behavior. The test of this country's ability to do away with dynasty is now. No other Jugnauth than Anerood could have become Prime Minister. We have had him and he must now retire and stop fighting battles of one upmanship. His presence has, on one private radio, been treated as having nuisance value. No dying Hercules deserves to earn this title after all the labours he is known by.
Pravind Jugnauth has behaved within the coalition like a pampered overgrown child who cannot brook those eternal conflicts resident in partnerships. He has wanted to be protected from the digs of a Deerpalsing, the mockery of a Shakeel Mohamed and a thousand other little frustrations that two partners are exposed to. All relationships contain their load of concomitant heartburning and a mature member of the partnership must know how to buffet the digs, the mudslinging , the jealousies in favour of an allegiance to government. A mature leader knows how to subjugate personal enmities or intimacies to a larger national cause. One cannot afford to add up and inventory the many cuts and bruises of partnership in order to throw overboard national interests. Every individual has his pettiness and grandeur. We cannot combine fifty pettinesses and take a decision to abandon government or an alliance. There are platforms where petty differences are settled. There are strong ways of settling petty abuses. The Prime Minister is too aloof and authoritative as leader to brook petty dispute solutions. Pravind Jugnauth has no one to turn to for explanation and help. He is no babysitter or child counselor. Either you can go tough or you withdraw. MSM's leader needed an emotional motherhood symbol to provide protection. In the absence of this reference instead of seeking superior wisdom in calm and critical analysis, he became like a bull in a china shop.
Mauritian politics needs intelligence, not pedigree. A party born in power survives in power. If the party decapitates itself, it dies and the followers merge with another party. Does the party have a raison d'être beyond the welfare of the Jugnauth family? What Anerood Jugnauth has done for the country will form part of history. Unfortunately so will this irrational act of the son. Someone has to save the MSM. It cannot be Pravind Jugnauth. The MSM should in all fairness ask its appointees in parastatals and lucrative and decisive posts of responsibility to step down. Dignity and self respect will demand that in time with the resignation of the top brass the rank and file also should abandon their posts. Can I trust an ambassador who obtains his advice from the leader of the MSM while working for government? The ex-ministers should expect to be targets of raillery, sarcasm, tirades and open attack because opposing government policy will mean shooting themselves in their leg and subscribing to government policy will be seen as blatant hypocrisy. As the MSM starts explaining its rash decision to the public, it has to justify its action by attacking certain Labour MP's or ministers. Bappoo's open attack against Pravind Jugnauth, Nita Deerpalsing's digs form part of the scores that have to be settled. The MSM now can provide a meaningful opposition which adds to the scandal hunting gusto of the MMM, and reveal other sores that plague government action. There is still place for more opposition in order to make government more and more dedicated to service to the nation. Soodhun can reveal more about Betamax and other excesses without being accused of violating some pact sealed by Omerta. The press conference of the leader of MSM transpires like a litany of complaints of a school boy against a bully. In an adult world we express our remonstrances to the one in authority and settle our misunderstandings openly. We do not react by refusing to go to school in order not to suffer from the bully's tantrums. We must stand up to any form of injustice in the territory of the assailant. The MSM leader must have known that the majority of the LP members did not digest the generosity of the PM which went to the tune of 18 tickets. There was a mismatch between the MSM electorate and the number of tickets given to them. It is quite normal that the MSM MP's, ministers and thinktank will be viewed with suspicion and distance. This is simple logic of human psychology. Every MSM beneficiary of a ticket is perceived as one too many who has usurped the rights of the laborite. What should the MSM expect from Labour supporters? Respect or mockery? Let us understand that the Labour party which is in power today has its roots so deeply embedded in the consciousness of the Mauritius that Labour henchmen want all for themselves.
The culture of leadership in the LP was known to the MSM. And yet the coalition did not lead to a harmonisation of styles of leadership. Both parties kept their styles separate. The MSM seems to wish to impose its own style on the PM. His methods may be slow, calculating and chronically dilatory. It is a style that is characteristic of the PM since he has come to power. It is clear that the MSM wanted to impose its own style and vision on the PM. Conflicts should be rife in such conditions. When Pravind Jugnauth expects respect, he is talking of an emotionally protected life where there is no threat of attack against one's dignity and selfesteem. Navin Ramgoolam has ploughed through too many seas of turbulence to provide that cosy velvety confort to his government ministers.
Nowhere else is life is more like a jungle than in politics. Here even the friend indeed is absent in need. Trust and suspicion live together like twins. One cannot expect a unidimensional life, to which one has a right when one leaves the battlefield. The drawing room culture with bourgeois values based on respect, elegance, chivalry and suavity is prevalent in worlds that you make in your heart and mind - not in a political arena which is a market. Bappoo who is being accused of incompetence because of the treatment meted out to children reacts by stabbing her minister of finance. Everybody in government knows about Program Based Budgeting. In the middle of the year it would be stupid to expect money to be allocated for additional posts in the CDU. All this is done on the basis of strategic planning. If Bappoo has tried to save her skin this forms part of the battle of survival. The unjustly accused minister of finance should have found a way of responding to this attack, not by resigning from his post of responsibility but by constructive methods of communication.What type of leadership would the MSM favour? They want a referee who blows the whistle whenever there is a foul. Is it not an obtrusive fatherfigure that is required? The goaled who fell into a love-hate relationship with his gaoler now misses the tutelage of a constantly interfering hand.