Blog: Malicious attempt to divide the Hindu electorate in rural areas
According to MMM thinking, led by Paul Bérenger and supported by the militants in a section of the press, the MSM, led by Pravind Jugnauth with the resigning President Sir Anerood Jugnauth as a proposed eventual leader of the MSM and of an MMM-MSM alliance, the MSM would have the great advantage of offering the electorate an alleged credible alternative to the alleged unhealthy popularity of PM Dr Navin Ramgoolam and his PTr Party amongst Hindus in rural areas.
Given that Paul Bérenger himself exposed, as the « scandal of the century », the government purchase of the Jugnauth’s unused MedPoint Clinic based on an increased second evaluation of Rs145m (from an original valuation of Rs75), payment authorised by Pravind Jugnauth, then Finance Minister, in a U-turn, Bérenger later shifted the blame onto PM Ramgoolam who he accused in a press conference of ordering the second Rs145m evaluation, and onto former PTr Health Minister Rajesh Jeetah who, even though the tender was issued in his Ministry in the previous government, had nothing to do with the MedPoint « tainted » deal in this government. After the then Health Minister Maya Hanoomanjee was arrested and provisionally charged under PoCA and sensing that his son Pravind Jugnauth too would suffer the same fate, which he did, the then President Sir Anerood Jugnauth came out against ICAC by publicly saying that « l’ICAC pé fané ». PM Ramgoolam refused to be blackmailed into interfering in the ICAC investigations, which prompted the 5 MSM Ministers to resign and all the MSM MPs to cross the floor to the opposition, to the relish of Paul Bérenger, which explains his U-turn. After the MSM resigned from government, the contacts between Paul Bérenger and SAJ multiplied, and the resignation of the President was just a matter of time.
But when questioned on Bérenger’s recent declaration in a press conference on 24th march 2012 when he said that his position on the MedPoint had not changed « d’un iota », Mr Yvan Martial, former journalist, misleads the people when he said « Paul Bérenger a parfaitement raison. La position de son MMM sur l’affaire MedPoint n’a pas changé d’un iota » (Mauritius Times of 30th March 2012). He also criticises ICAC for investigating the MedPoint deal for over a year without any form or conclusion (which is not true) and agrees with the then President SAJ when the latter said : « L’ICAC a pé fané », rather than saying that SAJ himself ‘pé fané’ since, as President, he is supposed to respect the institutions and be apolitical.
A certain Lindsay Rivière, former journalist, flattered SAJ arguing that he was « un grand Premier ministre, entraînant le pays vers des sommets économiques insoupçonnés » (ref. « Une dévalorisation des institutions », l’Express 23 March 2012) when, in truth, the former MSM government benefited from « business cycles » at a time of worldwide economic expansion totally outside its control. But Mr Rivière finds absolutely nothing to say about the economic strides of the present PTr-PMSD government in surmounting the financial and economic crises that are plaguing the US and Europe with all their austerity measures provoking riots in the US, Greece, Spain and elsewhere.
For his part, Jean-Claude Antoine is of opinion that SAJ’s shameful, scandalous and politically-motivated resignation in a clear attempt to save his son from the corruption charge against him is a success story : « Sir Anerood Jugnauth sait réussir ses sorties » « avec dignité » (Le Weekend 01 April 2012). The tentacles of Bérenger’s militants in using a very tired and desperate SAJ to reach political power are all too clear. They play down the MedPoint scandal and shift the goal post. They make no mention of the Sun Trust scandal, which tower was allegedly built from ‘donations’ from MSM supporters, or of the reference of « démons » allegedly made by SAJ against the Afro-Christian community which forms the base of Bérenger’s MMM. They do not refer to the MPs caught in 1985 in Amsterdam for carrying heroin which provoked defections from the MSM to the MMM. But in the aftermath of the arrests and charging of Maya Hanoomanjee and Pravind Jugnauth, the militants’ talk is about the alleged forthcoming defections of PTr MPs to the MSM, when the defections merely relate to some frustrated and opportunistic PTr members, such as Rashid Meerun who was beaten at the last general elections.
British Queen and the alleged Mauritian Republican values
After Mauritius gained its independence from the British, Mauritius had a Governor General, who was the representative of the British Queen and who had similar powers as the Queen, such as giving assent to bills, performing symbolic functions, and so on. The country became a republic as a result of a political deal between SAJ of the MSM and Bérenger of the MMM through the replacement of the Governor General by a President not elected by the people. But Mauritius remains within the Commonwealth with the British Queen as Head of the Commonwealth. The republic was not formed on republican values, as alleged by Yvan Martial who does not seem to have read and understood our laws written in English as he misinterprets them through his French translation. Different republics have different values – Republic of Congo, Republic of Korea. To all intents and purposes, Mauritius under the Governor General is no different from Mauritius under a President as they fulfill very similar functions.
The pro-MMM/MSM propaganda to bring down the present PTr-PMSD government is all too evident, and the resigning President SAJ is being used as a ‘joker’. The MMM’s base of Afro-Christian-Mauritians make up around 25% of the population, included in Lindsay Rivière’s false claim that « Un demi-million [43%] de Mauriciens croient désespérément en Paul Bérenger » (« Une atmosphère largement modifiée », l’Express 2 April 2012). Such a sizable figure (25%) is not truly regarded as a minority, which explains their support for the abolition of the Best Loser System along the flawed proposals based on flawed analyses of and misapplication of formulae by former Finance Minister Rama Sithanen in his January 2012 Report on Electoral Reform. Since that by and large anti-independence community was running the Mauritian Civil Service, the government and the education system before independence, they are still suffering from the hangover that their representative who they find in Bérenger must lead again, like he did in the power-sharing deal (called the MedPoint deal) worked out between SAJ and Bérenger in an MMM-MSM Alliance at the 9/11 elections in 2000. What republican values is Yvan Martial talking about? Both parties have always used the Office of President to foster their politics. Karl Offman (former MSM MP) even resigned as President in 2003 just after one year to make way for SAJ so that Bérenger could become PM under the MedPoint deal. Republican values or sheer corruption?
« Malsaine polularité » de Paul Bérenger
According to Mr Martial, the return of Sir Anerood Jugnauth, former member of the Independent Forward Block (IFB) and former leader of the Mouvement Socialiste Militant (MSM), to active politics on the side of his son, Pravind Jugnauth, present leader of the MSM, has the « inestimable avantage » of offering the Mauritian electorate « une alternative credible à l’immense mais, peut-être, malsaine popularité, surtout rurale, d’un Navin Ramgoolam ». His political campaign against PM Ramgoolam is all too evident when he speaks of the latter’s alleged « malsaine popularité » in rural areas and not about the ‘choix crédible’ in the urban areas where the MMM truly has a « malsaine popularité »?
The Hindus must never allow themselves to be divided, especially not by the Jugnauth clan. They should remember his manipulations and hunger for power, how he destroyed our tea and sugar cane plantations and turned our country into a pleasure island for tourists. They should remember how he bargained our national Bhojpuri language for 50% reserved places in Catholic confessional schools financed by the taxpayers. They should remember his corrupt power-sharing deal in September 2000 with Paul Bérenger when he took a back seat in government. They should remember the Illovo Deal for the benefit of a few families and his dictatorial methods. Mauritians should never forget the MedPoint « tainted » deal which led to the arrest of his son Pravind Jugnauth, and SAJ’s subsequent resignation as President.
The MSM is an essential weapon to divide the Hindus in rural areas while pro-MMM activists and journalists go on expressing their « admiration » for India in a desperate ploy to ‘please’ the Hindus who feel close to their ancestral land. But no such « admiration » is expressed for Africa as, by and large, the 25%-strong Afro-Mauritians tend to believe they are Europeans through a language imposed by Europeans and which, in turn, the militants have been trying to impose on Indo-Mauritians, who make up around 70% of the population, through a ferocious propaganda in the press since the late 1960’s.
It is equally laughable that a Franco-Mauritian like Paul Bérenger who stigmatised the Indo-Mauritians as ‘descendants of Coolies’ and the Afro-Mauritians as ‘descendants of slaves’ does not speak of the ‘descendants of slavers’. The roles of the europeanised Martial, Rivière and Antoine therefore become clearer in their propaganda to inflate the resigning Hindu President SAJ at the age of 82 in an attempt to use him to help Paul Bérenger to power by creating divisions amongst the Hindus in rural areas.