Touria Prayag's Blog

L’express Weekly 20 January 2012

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on February 28, 2012

The morality brigade marches on

It is difficult to understand the fuss around the Best Loser System ( BLS).

We fail to see which section of the Mauritian nation is reassured by a Michael Sik Yuen representing the interests of the population générale.

As to arguing that we owe our social and political stability to this archaic system, it is simply preposterous and demeaning. The outcome of doing away with it should not be overestimated either. Those who think it will change our mindsets just need to take a walk into one of our tertiary education institutions and rub shoulders with the intelligentsia of this country to realize that we will continue to soak in the murk of racism and communalism for generations to come. The latest eruption following Konrad Morgan’s resignation has brought all the reactionary, racist vermin out of the woodwork. And the Proportional Representation suggested to replace the BLS will do little to change this state of affairs: ethnic calculators will be working full blast when it comes to the selection of candidates on each party list. If you thought that competence would override other considerations, think again.

The symbolism of doing away with the BLS is, however, important as it will put an end to institutionalized communalism. Why the MMM is clinging to this system as if its life depended on it is not hard to understand. Pandering to a conservative reactionary electorate seems to have become its main business.

If you look at some of the knee- jerk reactions adopted throughout last year, you cannot help but think that it has been playing the role of the morality brigade on most of the social issues raised.

When government proposed to bring amendments to the domestic laws which discriminate against homosexuals, the reaction of the leader of the opposition was rather intriguing: “ Given the sensitivity of this issue, I think any future policy should be determined after extensive and wide consultations have been held.” In other words, never.

The MMM’s inclination to maintain the existing traditional order carried on with the same blitzkrieg when a proposal came up to throw off some of the social restrictions of the Victorian era by decriminalizing abortion. Harking back to the Middle Ages, the party has adopted a stand which betrays an ideology denoting a preference for practices which have evolved historically.

And the moral brigading has continued with the repeated parliamentary questions on massage parlours and sites like molamour. mu with a petulance which would suggest to the unwary observer that these are the biggest problems our society is facing.

We have reached a point in history where we need sweeping changes and there’s no half- way house. The abolition of the BLS is a tiny symbolic step towards that change. The role of the opposition is to take the lead. It should write out our dreams for the future for us and prevent us from limiting ourselves to what seems easy and comfortable or even possible. It should help our youth to articulate what they want from society and listen to their voices. By pandering to a few votes of the old dying generation, the MMM is missing out on opportunities to respond to the aspirations of the youth by celebrating and embracing change. Conservatism is corralling and gelding its policy. The virulence with which it is defending the BLS is proof that it is not ready to strike out of that trap and start looking forward. The “ remake” of 2000 is not going to get us there either.

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