(Muhje maaf kar do, Eddie Cochran)
Some opportunists, who have the habit of putting the cart before the horse (MET SARET DIVAN BEF), are vociferously claiming the use of Mauritian (Mauritian Creole), the de-facto national language of Mauritius, in the Legislative Assembly (L.A). Most of them do not speak the language properly, cannot read or write the quasi-standard orthography and do not want to learn either for they think it is broken French for oral use only. Since 1967, I have been militating for the use of Mauritian and have almost completed all basic preparation works. Dear readers, please remember the following facts: When a group of people speaking DIFFERENT languages live, work and play in ONE specific place, they create a new ‘speech’ to enable interlanguage communication. In its initial stage, it is very basic phonologically, syntactically and lexically. That stage is called ‘PIDGIN’. With time, children of parents speaking two different languages will use this speech as their mother tongue, their L1. As a consequence, the language becomes better structured and its vocabulary expands. It is no longer a pidgin and has become a CREOLE. There are over 100 creole languages in the world. Sango, a creole language, is the national and official language of the Central African Republic; Afrikaans, another creole language, is one of the national languages of the Republic of South Africa; English, the quasi-universal language, is also a creole language. Yes, it is! As a creole is a stage in the development of certain languages, it is reasonable to give it the name of the people speaking it when it has reached a high level of development and is the mother tongue of most people. In the Maritime Republic of Mauritius, THREE creole languages are spoken: English, Mauritian and Rodriguan. Prior to the introduction of Mauritian in our parliament, some preliminaries are necessary.
• The constitution must be amended to raise Mauritian and Rodriguan to the status of national languages while English remains the official language;
• Mauritian and Rodriguan should become media of instruction, not to be confused with optional languages;
• BILINGUAL LITERACY in Mauritian and English in Mauritius and Rodriguan and English in Rodrigues must become a core subject;
• The constitution, standing order and other fundamental laws must be translated into Mauritian and Rodriguan;
• Ministers, MPs and L.A head and personnel must be given a crash course;
• The orthography of Mauritian and Rodriguan must be updated;
• The state must sponsor the compilation of a bilingual English-Mauritian dictionary;
• The Hansard must be made trilingual (English, Mauritian and French).
Mauritian in Parliament will thus become a fundamental step in true nation building.
WE NEED LEADERS AND TEACHERS, NOT AVENGERS
What is an avenger? It is a person who does harm to or punishes someone who has done something bad, especially to the person’s family and friends (https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/avenger). Avengers take the law in their own hands and believe in the policy of ‘an eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth (la loi du talion). When Jesus, an avatar of Vishnu, has taught us the importance of love and mercy, these self-appointed sheriffs prefer to exacerbate the beast instinct in people.
No sir, we need genuine leaders and teachers, not blood-thirsty avengers.
TOUT CE QUI BOUGE EST ROUGE?
We now have a new generation of so-called politicians and bouncers turned leaders, who trust in short-term activism without a long-term project. Let us remind them that a few vulgar slogans like ‘bour li deor’ will never help us to build a better world. Changes do not take place by magic or at the click of fingers. They are not the fruits of spontaneous activism but the result of a clear vision, long-term strategic planning, systematic work at tactical level. Independence in the 60’s, the victory of workers against austerity and wage freeze, the introduction of free secondary education in the 70’s are all the work of dedicated and hardworking leaders who went the whole hog to meet their objectives. They are not the achievement of a few hot-head loonies.
The three steps to heaven are NOT 1. demagogy and shallow slogans, 2. revenge and messy thinking and 3. spontaneous and aimless activism BUT 1. clear and lucid thinking, 2. love and mercy and 3. planned and organised development.