WHAT IS TO BE DONE

If the government means business and is not using delaying tactics to hoodwink people, this is what can be done. Work can start today.

1. An amendment of the constitution must be prepared for the next sitting of the Legislative Assembly. Mauritian Creole and Rodriguan Creole must be made the National Languages – not to confuse with our Official language, English and our Semi-Official language, French – of the Republic to be henceforth known as Mauritian and Rodriguan.

2. A committee of the House should be set up chaired by the Speaker to train staff and amend the Standing Orders of the Legislative Assembly to allow for the use of Mauritian. Members must be briefed on the phonology, syntax and lexis of our National Language.

3. The Mauritius Institute of Education must set up a committee of trained creolists who are conversant with the subtleties and intricacies of Mauritian and/or Rodriguan and English to produce manuals in BILINGUAL LITERACY (B.L) for grade 1 to 9 (nine-year schooling). This special subject will make all children literate in Mauritian and English. It should be compulsory but NON-EXAMINABLE. It could be introduced in all schools in January 2020.

4. The Mauritius Examinations Syndicate should urgently prepare the syllabus of B.L for forms 4, 5 and 6 as an optional subject and negotiations with CES (Cambridge Examinations Syndicate) should start NOW and B.L introduced in form 4 in January 2020. Students may take B.L at S.C (O-level) in 2021 and H.S.C (subsidiary) in 2023. Eventually, we could plan and introduce A-level/Main B.L.

5. Teacher Training and Textbook Writing in B.L, if work starts now, can be completed before the beginning of 2020.

6. In all villages and urban quarters evening classes in B.L will allow people to master reading and writing in Mauritian and English. NGO volunteers will be trained for the job.

Let us not waste precious time in committees and sub-committees which specialise in talk-talk-talk and no walk. LET US WALK THE TALK!

The Maritime Republic of Mauritius will benefit from this.

• Economically, we will have a literate labour force able to adapt to technological and  other changes;

• Politically, we will have a literate citizenry who will not need symbols to vote and this will make democracy more vibrant at grassroots and parliamentary levels;

• Culturally, we will be able to develop a supra-ethnic culture and become a true RAINBOW NATION.

English (a Creole Language) has developed from a pidgin into a WORLD LINGUAFRANCA without an Academy to control or promote its growth. Let us adopt a more democratic approach and trust our universities, our pedagogical institutions and above all our writers and thinkers.

25.05.19

The RSS, A Menace to India

BOOK REVIEW

The RSS, A Menace to India

BY A.G. Noorani

(A. G. Noorani is a lawyer, historian and author. He has practised as an advocate in the Supreme Court of India and in the Bombay High Court. He is one of the few remaining experts on the Constitution of India from his generation.)

India is battling for its very soul.

The Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) is the most powerful organisation in India today; complete with a private army of its own, unquestionably obeying its leader who functions on fascist lines on the Fuehrer principle. Two of its pracharaks (active preachers) have gone on to become prime ministers of India. In 1951 it set up a political front, the Bharatiya Jana Sangh, which merged into the Janata Party in 1977 only to walk out of it in 1980. In issue was its superior loyalty to its parent and mentor, the RSS; not the Janata Party. Within months of its defection, the Jana Sangh reemerged; not with the name under which it had functioned for nearly three decades, but as the Bharatiya Janata Party, deceptively to claim a respectable lineage.

The RSS is at war with India’s past. It belittles three of the greatest builders of the Indian State – Ashoka, the Buddhist; Akbar, the Muslim; and Nehru, a civilised Enlightened Hindu. It would wipe out centuries of achievement for which the world has acclaimed India and replace that with its own narrow, divisive ideology.

This book is a magisterial study of the RSS, from its formation in 1925 to the present day. With scrupulous and voluminous evidence, one of India’s leading constitutional experts and political analysts, A.G. Noorani, builds a watertight case to show how the RSS is much more than a threat to communal amity. It poses a wider challenge. It is a threat to democratic governance and, even worse, a menace to India. It threatens the very soul of India.

And yet, despite its reach and seemingly overwhelming political influence, the author shows that the RSS can be defeated. The soul of India can be rescued.