Blog: Fascism - You said?
In a radio interview recently, explaining the defeat of the MMM at the last general election, Paul Berenger, leader of the MMM and the opposition made a very serious and very dangerous accusation against the MBC. He said that MBC used fascist methods against the MMM during the last general election campaign. Thus becoming the second main factor responsible for his defeat, the first being money power to buy votes.
The method consists of telling and spreading lies, repeating them until people start believing them as truth. Those who tell and spread these lies end up believing their own lies.
In the case of the MBC, there is the IBA to which complaints can be referred to. Or the matter could be brought before the court. There is also the MBC Act which governs all MBC actions.
What about the politicians? The Prime minister himself has reported a case of spreading false news against the Leader of Opposition, Paul Berenger. What has been the reaction of the Leader of Opposition? He not only refused to go to police to give his statement but for two days he told his followers that the police was going to arrest him and he was going to refuse bail and go on indefinite hunger strike. The police issued a communiqué saying that arrest was out of question at that point of time and legally it was not bound to give the full statement of the PM to the lawyers of Paul Berenger. In such circumstances only parts of the statements of the PM are communicated to the accused party verbally.
Last Monday, Paul Berenger went to the police, gave his statement and came out smiling. But this time he was accompanied by a "comité de soutien" of his followers. An authority describes fascism in the following terms:
"Fascism is a radical, authoritarian nationalist political ideology. It advocates the creation of a totalitarian single-party state that seeks the mass mobilisation of a nation through indoctrination, physical education, and family policy (such as eugenics).
"Fascists seek to purge forces, ideas, people, and systems deemed to be the cause of decadence and degeneration, and to produce their nation's rebirth based on commitment to the national community based on organic unity, in which individuals are bound together by suprapersonal connections of ancestry, culture, and blood. Fascists believe that a nation requires strong leadership, singular collective identity, and the will and ability to commit violence and wage war in order to keep the nation strong. Fascist governments forbid and suppress opposition to the state.
"Fascism is anti-anarchist, anti-communist, anti-conservative, anti-democratic, anti-individualist, anti-liberal, anti-parliamentary, anti-bourgeois and anti-proletarian. It entails a distinctive type of anti-capitalism and is typically, with a few exceptions, anti-clerical. It rejects egalitarianism, materialism, and rationalism in favour of action, discipline, hierarchy, spirit and will".
To whom and to which party the above cap fits? Who has used such methods in our history?
Paul Berenger says that he has studied the history of the Labour Party that he is an expert of Mauritian history. And MMM is the successor of the ideals of the Labour Party founded by Dr. Maurice Curé, having as leaders Anquetil, Rozemont, Seeneevassen. Does he really understand the implications of such an interpretation? He wipes out the leadership of Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and the principles and policies of the Fabian Society which the latter introduced in Mauritius bringing independence and the transformation of our society into a modern state.
I have personally admired the struggle of Paul Berenger, his sacrifices, his rise and fall, fall and rise again and again. And some of his positive impact on Mauritian politics. He has been sole leader of the MMM for 42 years, led the MMM to victory in 1982, brought MMM to power with Labour and MSM, occupied several ministerial posts and the high office of prime minister for two years.
But under his leadership the ruling MMM-MSM alliance lost power in 2005 and was again defeated in 2010.
It is of no use today attributing his defeat to money power, MBC and fascism. Paul Berenger must see and face the truth. And the truth is that the majority of the people do not trust him and the policies of the MMM. And this has nothing to do with communalism, the colour of his skin or the accident of his birth. In fact, all political leaders and politicians suffer from the same handicaps.
The basic mistake with the MMM made in 1982 when it swept the polls was its policy of "ene sel lepep, ene sel nation, ene sel langage, ene sel kiltir" and the supremacy of the party over cabinet. Paul Berenger wanted to control the government through the party structure.
Its own Prime minister, Sir Anerood Jugnauth and other ministers and its ally, PSM, did not subscribe to this policy. Sir Anerood split the party and founded the MSM. That syndrome many people feel still prevails within the MMM. When the MMM got an opportunity again, it decided to create linguistic cultural centres. That decision was interpreted as balkanization of the Hindu community. After its defeat in 2005, it threw the MSM out. The MSM took its revenge and joined the Labour Party and defeated the MMM in 2010.
The irony is that the MMM had not predicted the outcome of the Medpoint scandal. The MSM ministers resigned and the party crossed the floor to join the opposition. Paul Berenger has no alternative but to accommodate Pravind Jugnauth and the MSM against the wishes of its rank and file and senior MMM leaders.
The Medpoint scandal will be solved soon. ICAC is bound to find the culprits, but public opinion has already made up its mind. The issue is simple and the questions are:
- Who has not respected the tender specifications?
- Who called for the re-evaluation of the property, thus doubling its initial value from Rs75 million to Rs144 million?
- Who had asked the release of funds to buy the property?
- Who has approved and authorised the release of funds?
- Who had concluded the deal before 31st December, 2010 and why? Thus depriving the state of Rs29 million worth of capital gain tax.
- Who was the custodian of the finances of the country? Was it not his responsibility to exercise diligence and caution? Had he done so?
Who are they? Fascism caused tremendous harm and destruction not only to the Italians and Germans during World War II, but to the whole world. All democrats and patriots should condemn such fascist methods. Fascism should be banned. The principles and policies of the Fabian Society introduced by Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and pursued by the Labour Party which brought gradual change and transformed our society and country into a modern state are still valid.