Touria Prayag's Blog

L’express Weekly, 20 August 2010

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on August 23, 2010

Click here to read L’express Weekly

All the world’s a stage

They were at loggerheads yesterday. All is well today,
thank you. Gaston Valayden, Jameel Peerally and
minister Choonee have buried the hatchet and are
now the best of friends. Good on them. Good for
the country.
So, what was all this about? A storm in a teacup or drama at its
best? Wasn’t Shakespeare spot-on when he said, “All the world’s a
stage, and all the men and women merely players?”
■ Act One: Jameel Peerally and the the “Paradi An Dey” saga.
Yes, we were all supportive of Mr. Peerally: we are fully aware of the
drug situation in this country so any action is better than no action.
But for what reason on earth would someone think that they are so
much above the law that they can bypass the systems and procedures
in place. Shouldn’t Mr. Peerally’s fi rst stop have been the Film Classifi
cation Board (FCB)? He eventually realized it was and got the
permission he wanted to screen his fi lm. Much fuss. A happy ending.
A martyr in the making.
■ Act 2: Gaston Valayden threw a fi t about not having received
the Rs. 250 000 required as sponsorship to participate in the San
Francisco Fringe Festival. Of course, the reason given by minister
Choonee is preposterous. I wish the Americans cared enough for
the play to trigger the “diplomatic incident” he feared. Do they even
know where Mauritius is, let alone Diego Garcia? Do they ever give
two hoots about how anyone feels once they have satisfi ed their own
expansive territorial ambitions? The last thing on their minds is our
feelings about what they and the British have done or are still doing
in Diego Garcia.
The climax of the play occurs when Gaston Valayden hotfoots
his way to the State House to return his medal. Pity the State House
staff did not have time to organise an offi cial ceremony with the Prime
minister and President of the Republic for the purpose of receiving
the rejected medal back.
Anti-climax: Mr. Choonee apologizes, on behalf of his staff (how
magnanimous!) for the misunderstanding (I do sympathize!). But that
is not enough. We are talking about principles here. Why else would
one give a medal back to the country which has honoured them?
And principles have no price. Except perhaps the promise of a similar
sponsorship to go somewhere sometime for some reason paid for by
the taxpayer! A happy ending indeed! Another martyr.
■ Act 3: some supervisor in a textile factory who, while offi cially
on sick leave, is seen on television desperately seeking to steal the limelight
from elected members and trying very hard to appear as a
hero defending the Dubreuil squatters. The climax is reached when
because, like anyone caught lying to his employer, he loses his job.
Another martyr who now claims that his dismissal is due to political
persecution (lying about his illness has nothing to do with it and the
Prime minister may have felt that he was a serious challenger to him!)
and the fact that they want to stop him from doing, hold your breath,
“social work”!
Isn’t it time we walked out of the theatre into real life where people
respect the law, defend their rights without overdramatizing and, if
they really want to do “sosyal”, work and help the poor discreetly and
away from the television cameras. That kind of social work nobody is
interested in any more. It is too anonymous!


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