1980’s: WHY I DID IT

1980’S: WHY I DID IT!

You may call me traitor or ‘vander lalit’, my pet name in most MMM households (if there are any left!). Being quite ill with Post-Polio Syndrome, I will soon have to leave you but before I go, let me share with you the way I see things and I will understand if you think that the MMM or MSM version is the truth.
The 1982 general ‘balye-karo-60-zero’ elections brought to power Aneerood Jugnauth as Prime Minister, Harish Boodhoo as Deputy Prime Minister, and Paul Raymond Berenger as Finance Minister. One evening I saw on TV the finance minister PRB snatch the microphone from PM AJ’s hand while the latter was addressing journalists in an official press conference. The ‘kolom-lapropriyete’ (kolom=steward; lapropriyete=estate) mentality was raising its ugly head again. I, a co-founder of the MMM, left the party because the kolom-lapropriyete PRB cannot accept people who do not think like him and thinks that MMM is his estate. Is this not the main cause of the downfall of a party which in the early 70’s became the symbol of hope and progressive change, and which now has become only a pale shadow of its former self? N’en déplaise à Bhagwan et consort! The microphone snatching incident was revelatory. 6o Zero government was in shambles and soon split with AJ and HB on one side and PRB on the other. My mind was made. The ‘kolom’ must be taught that Mauritius is not his ‘lapropriyete’.
New general elections were to be expected and the new MSM took the defunct MMMSP symbol (the sun). I had a serious conversation with the then PM on the importance of Morisien, the national language of Mauritius and the need to fight communalism by developing a supra-ethnic culture on which nationhood could be built. He told me that he agreed with me, and I joined him in the fight against kolom-lapropriyete. The MSM won and I was appointed Culture Adviser, attached to the Ministry of Education and for 3-4 years, I devoted myself to the organisation of major events such as independence celebrations, theatre and music festivals, literary competitions and The International Sea Festival which gave a tremendous boost to creativity and tourism.
During those 3-4 years I also made many enemies besides MMM hatred. Harish Boodhoo and his socio-cultural acolytes saw in my work a threat to their Indianness and to counter my work on Mauritian they rode their Bhojpuri hobbyhorse. The Prime Minister finally sided with them and completely reneged on our agreement to build a national language.
It was a blessing in disguise. After almost 20 years in the political field, I decided to concentrate my energy on building a national literature in the de-facto national language (thousands of poems, dozens of plays, hundreds of papers, and numerous pieces of literary prose). My work can be freely accessed on:  https://boukiebanane.com
I’ve had a good life.
Mersi Bondie!
Mersi Loga!


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