Recently, I listened to 2 well-known neoliberals discussing the present political situation. Since perception is determined by outlook, it is normal that their views may not correspond with those having a Marxist or Green leaning. It must be agreed that their reading of reality was honest and true to their own selves and it could not be otherwise. But is there a different way of looking at things? In my humble submission, there is. I see things differently because of my Marxist and Green outlook.
Mauritius is a neoliberal economy and we must not forget that neoliberalism is economic fascism. The main political parties are all neoliberal, i.e., all of them share a common vision. What then is the political conflict, rivalry or strife about? Simply, “Ote-toi de la, que je m’y mette (Get out of the way, so I can take your place).” While in opposition, they spew out ‘democratic’ slogans and pose as Mr. or Ms. Clean vociferating against corruption and in power they do exactly the same as their rivals. Economic fascism is the progenitor and vector of all forms of corruption.
Remember that when the base is right wing, the superstructure will follow suit. Consequently, economic fascism engenders political, social and cultural fascism and cultural fascism means, above all, communal fascism. There are at present two rival forms of racism which are gathering momentum: Hindutva and Anti-Indianness. Hindutva wants Mauritius to become Little India; the Anti-Indianness group wants to resuscitate the hatred and demagogy which dominated the sixties and ruined the lives of many people.
MAURITIUS AND THE WORLD
To study the Mauritian scene in isolation would be a mistake. Since neoliberalism is a world phenomenon, we will certainly get a better picture if we take cognizance of forces dominating the planet. Indian Ocean, zone of peace, is a dead duck. Indo-Chinese rivalry now is a force to be reckoned with. Both powers want to control the resources of Africa and both need Mauritius as a strategic springboard. It seems that India has an edge over China because people of Indian origin (Hindus and Muslims) represent over 65% of the population and about 50% practise some form of Hinduism. Economic, political and communal expressions of fascism are at work, constantly stoked by BJP, Hindutva and their local allies.
It is in this context that the comic and grotesque gesticulations, flight of fancy and wild wanderings of Nuvin Ramgoolam, Paul Raymond Berenger, Xavier Duval and the new clown, Nando Bodha, can best be understood.
Don’t look at the dangling-dancing puppets. Look at the hands holding the strings. The star of Indian imperialism, Mr. N. Modi, has all the cards in his hand – in fact, he bought them – and has the docile Praveen J. under his charm and control. His next move is to get Nuvin, who is keen to chant “Jai Hind!”, and his ‘son’ Praveen to share power in a way no ego is hurt. As for the eternal political orphan, Berenger, who has a profound love for dhotis and pagris, he will find solace on the 56-inch chest of his new-found love. Probably, he will be forced to join the Gregoire cohort. And the poor Xavier? He may join the Bruno Laurettes of this world to put more fuel on the racist fire. Fortunately for us, he doesn’t have the clout and charisma of his late father.
A POSSIBLE WAY OUT OF THIS MESS?
Not piecemeal but radical thinking is what we need. We must turn our backs on neoliberalism and globalisation and opt for localisation and some form of regionalisation based on equality, solidarity and sharing. A Green, Anti-racist and Anti-fascist Platform composed of Hindu, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist and free-thinking progressives is what we need to save the planet and the human race.
The Creole Island Mauritius, by becoming a rainbow nation, can show the way.
HINDU, MUSLIM, SIKH, ISAI, SAB KO MERA SALAM!