In 1973, a group of minority militants, feeling that the party was drifting to the right, decided to organise themselves as a left-wing group within the party to try to get the party back to its socialist and progressive track. Those who did not like this, started a vicious campaign of mud-slinging and lies to denigrate them and argued that the left-wing militants had created a new party to destroy the ‘true’ MMM and called it MMMSP. The majority of MMM old and new members and supporters rallied behind the ‘genuine’ and ‘historic’ leaders to curse the ‘traitors’.
A set of circumstances led to the development of the MMMSP which had a three-prong line of action: 1. Political education of people; 2. Organisation of workers (FTU); 3. Creation of a supra-ethnic culture with Mauritian Creole (Mauritian) playing a vital role in educating people and in providing healthy entertainment through theatre and protest songs (Group Kiltirel Soley Rouz).
FTU (Federation des Travailleurs Unis) which saw the day thanks to the hard work of Peter Craig, Alain Laridon and Shawkatally Soodhun, is still active. Political satire on stage was the fruit of the devotion to a cause by Rajoo Ramanah, Gaston Valaydon and others though they were never members or supporters of MMMSP. People still remember Li, Zeneral Makbef, Dokter Nipat and Toufann. Young artists of Group Kiltirel Soley Rouz produced several audio-cassettes which were very popular. People still remember Diego by Bam Cuttayen or Mo Mama Esklav Enn Esklav by the Joganah Brothers.
Today, I remember with great emotions all those artists who believed that a New Mauritius was possible and I say to them wherever they are, “Mersi Boukou”.
When I think of the heyday of committed theatre and protest somgs, I get emotional and nostalgic. Please forgive me!
Allow me, dear readers, to offer you my favourite song, loaded with strong emotions, once very popular, in the original and English versions. The idea of this song cropped up while I was walking behind Fareed Muttur’s coffin; the full text flowed out while I was in prison because I had challenged the ban on public meetings; my sister-in-law Micheline composed the music and sang it; later my friend, Gilbert Pounia of ZISKAKAN, translated it into Reunionese, composed a new tune and recorded it.

Sime la li bien-bien long
Sime la li bien-bien dir
Komie finn pas lor la avan mwa
Zegwi dife dan lesiel
Lapousier dan mo labous
Mo lagorz pe amar-amare
Lasours la li ankor lwen
Bien-bien fre, bien-bien kler
Lasours kot nou tou pou al bwar

Simitier ranpli ar fler
Kot bann frer finn depoz zarm
Sime la li pas kot simitier
Mo lavi kouma lapousier
Pou fini dan simitier
Mo lespwar zame li pa pou tengn
Pou sak flanbo ki pou tengn
Ena mil pou alime
Ziska ki sime tous lasours
Marenwar pe rod nway mwa
Marekaz pe rod bwar mwa
Ena kamrad ferm koste ar mwa
Me dime komie pou ena
Ler soley manz marenwar
Komie ki pa ankor vinn fler
Seki yer swar ti ar mwa
Zordi nek enn souvenir
Souvenir ki lour dan mo leker
Nou bizen met sime kler
Nou bizen konstrir bann pon
Pous par pous, pa par pa ziska lasours
Mem si nou nou pa gagn sans
Nou zanfan va profite
Lapousier pou vinn lalimier
Lasours la li ankor lwen
Bien-bien fre, bien-bien kler
Lasours kot nou tou pou al bwar

This hard road is mighty long
This long road is mighty hard
How many are they who’ve trodden its dust
Fiery darts are in the sky
Choking dust is in my mouth
And my throat narrows down to a gasp
The fresh fountain’s miles ahead
All so clear, all so cool
That’s where we’ll all drink our joy

Graveyard’s full of pretty flowers
Where pals lay down their arms
The road goes by the burial ground
My life’s just a speck of dust
Which seeks sleep in a graveyard
But hope will not blow out its light
For each light which does go out
Thousands will kindle new hope
Showing the way to the fountain
Darkness tries to gobble me
The swamp tries to swallow me
Some pals and I are huddling through
But tomorrow who’ll be there
When the sun sucks in the swamp
Who’s not buried in petals
Some are gone who once were here
Now only a memory
Memory that’s heavy on my heart
We must all clear out a path
We must all build out bridges
Step by step towards the fresh fountain
Even if we don’t get there
Our children surely will
For dust will turn into light
The fresh fountain’s miles ahead
All so clear, all so cool
That’s where we’ll all drink our joy


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