Touria Prayag's Blog

The day after Par Touria Prayag 16 Mars 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

“ If we had to see things the way they are, ‘Mauritianism’ as it is today is a gift ,a burden, and an obligation – All at the same time.”

The image which President Pranab Mukherjee takes home with him is one of a flawless united Mauritius which takes great pride in its history, culture and independence. The besieged stadium to which thousands of Mauritians of all communities and religions fl ocked and filled beyond capacity is proof enough of how proud we are of our country and how we feel about our independence.For one day, we were all Mauritian irrespective of our origins. For one day, we looked at our neighbour’s heart rather than the colour of his skin. For one day, we became what we really should have always been: real Mauritians.

The State House and Clarisse House spoke the same language of unity, the opposition played its role and their efforts won the day. It is not clear how much damage was caused by a group of limelight-seeking individuals whose sense of judgment did not allow them to see that there is a time and a place for everything and that all our other problems, including those related to our choice of energy, had to take a backseat to allow the nation to live this great moment.

Once this one-day-in-the-year is over and the guest of honour is gone and our emotions have subsided, we can go back to our business as usual and try to take stock of what we have achieved during our greying independence. However, as the dust settles, certain pertinent questions beg to be answered. Are we really any closer to that Mauritianism we keep talking about or does it actually only hit us once a year? Are we proud of our country every day of our lives?

If we had to see things the way they are, Mauritianism as it is today is a gift, a burden, and an obligation – all at the same time. Isn’t it a gift that between the time a Mauritian child is born and the time he is tucked away in his cot, between the doctor, nurses and helpers, s/he has brushed with all of the five continents? That before s/he is of school age, s/he has been made familiar with the cultures of most parts of the world? That s/he learns instinctively how to greet, socialize with and entertain every member of each culture? Isn’t it a burden that each of us is dragging religious, cultural and
historical baggage we do not always know how to handle? Isn’t it an obligation to inculcate in our children the notion of real Mauritianism and nation building? After the great show in the stadium and after the departure of the Indian president, how much progress have we really made on the ground? When our flag flies high and swirls in the tropical
breeze for one day symbolizing the rainbow nation we dream to be, how much prejudice does every single colour of this rainbow still hide? While politicians stand side by side and make the most pious of declarations, how many lobbies are they going to kowtow to later?

The answers are not pretty but no matter. Days like these give the future generations reason to hope.

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We are the children Par Touria Prayag 22 Mars 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

“The opposition should be busy talking about the main issues the country is grappling with – Unemployment, education, governance, the use of State resources, Law and Order – and offering alternatives.”

 

“A sad and sorry state,” was the leader of the opposition’s reaction to the kids who were locked up in Brown Sequard mental hospital. A bunch of the republic’s kids whom the authorities could not or were not trained to cope with, were left to their own devices and forgotten about in a place least suitable for them. Some well-meaning or limelight-seeking individuals – it is difficult to make the difference these days –with no known training, started demanding daily visits to these kids as if they were a tourist attraction.

Perhaps the bright light in this very sorry state indeed is the fact that, for the fi rst time in a long time, we have heard a member of the opposition trying to suggest a solution. The suggestion of mid-way accommodation is no rocket science, of course. After all, mid-way houses have existed for a long time and have done a lot of good by channelling the energy of children whose parents could not cope with into some training. We have, in some cases, seen some success stories of children coming away with professional skills which gave them a leg up in life. But the fact that Alan Ganoo did not seek to gain political mileage out of the misery of the least vulnerable of our society and instead focused on how to deal with the problem is highly commendable.

What happens to these kids, and others like them, will not only refl ect the way we are as a society but will also determine what we become in the future. The children we nurture today, depending on the quality of care we invest in them, can either elevate our society or come back to bite us. Whether we nurture responsible citizens or criminals depends largely on those who take the longest holidays in the world and sit in our national assembly once a week.

The minister of gender equality, child development and family welfare, Mireille Martin, has to get her priorities right. So far, she has not shone for her competence. She has entered history as the minister who has used the media the most to bargain her way onto a ministerial seat. There has since been some chest beating and blowing of one’s own trumpet and, as soon as problems cropped up, she was nowhere to be seen. Perhaps members of our national assembly forget at times that with responsibility comes accountability! When the chickens come home to roost, silence radio!

But who is to hold our honourable members to account? The opposition has turned into a weekly expression of the most tendentious and spurious argumentation by the leader of the remake, some of which seem, at best, to drive the opposition members themselves to sleep, at worst, embarrass them. Maybe our eminent politicians and lawyers need to be told that the role of the opposition is not to denounce alleged scandals at the rate of one a week, keeping some for the next show and promising more. Irregularities should be denounced to the police to allow our courts to deal with them because we deserve the truth. The opposition should be busy talking about the main issues the country is grappling with – unemployment, education, governance, the use of state resources, law and order – offering alternatives and working on a plausible programme for the people of this country to gather around. That has not happened. So, if every country gets the government it deserves, it also gets the opposition it deserves. “A sad and sorry state”. That applies to us as a country too.

weekly@lasentinelle.mu

Get the point Par Touria Prayag 28 Mars 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

Road safety is something we refuse to be complacent about. So, we have, from the start, supported the introduction of the Penalty Point System (PPS). We still do. We do not think that the claims made by the front commun des transports to the effect that by losing their licence, they lose their livelihood, can be legitimately entertained. Trucks and buses are the biggest danger we face on our roads every day and turkeys do not vote for Christmas. If bus and truck drivers want to continue to make a living, they just have to respect the Highway Code.

However, it is one thing to crack the whip to encourage safe driving and reduce casualties on our roads. It is quite another to dig deep into the citizens’ thread-bare pockets and make road offenders out of them. Now that most drivers have collected their Driving Licence Counterpart (DLC) and we are set for a system meant to restore some normality in the jungles that our roads are, it is perhaps opportune for the police and the relevant authorities to really think very carefully about how this new system is likely to work in reality. Before the cops start fining and adding points to our DLC, I would like to invite some reflection on whether the aims they have set out to achieve are realistic. And it takes someone who has never driven on our roads to really think that they are.

Motorists will already have noticed the number of speed cameras which have recently been installed on our roads. While there is nothing wrong with controlling speeding, the placement of these cameras looks dubious. Some have been placed in such a way that it is difficult to slow down from the previous 110 km/hour suddenly to the required 80 in such a short span of time. Besides, some 80km/ hour road signs with cameras have been placed just before 110/km speed limits, almost trying to tempt motorists to break the law!

 

Add to that the speed limits in certain parts of the country which are so ridiculously low that one wonders about the rationale behind them. On some stretches of the dual carriageway, if you drive at 41km/hour, you have already lost 4 points out of 15! If you go up to 66 – a perfectly safe speed – you are left with 9 points on your DLC! You are driving every day. Do the math. Now, if you have forgotten to check your lights – which you must do every single day before you leave your home – you have lost another 6 points.

 

At this rate, the police will be hard put to find motorists who are not technical violators. As soon as it has been applied, the PPS will make violators out of reasonable motorists driving at safe speeds and responsible citizens will find themselves facing disqualification. In every country, there is a large proportion of law-abiding citizens who behave in a reasonable way on the roads as they do in their daily activities. Reasonable regulations which reflect the behaviour of this majority meet with success. Laws that arbitrarily restrict the majority automatically lack public support, encourage wholesale violations and usually fail to bring about desirable changes. Every system works on encouraging voluntary compliance and targeting a small perverse minority. The PPS makes it difficult for responsible citizens to be law-abiding. It is unlikely to result in improved driver behaviour. As it stands today, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

Get the point Par Touria Prayag 28 Mars 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

Road safety is something we refuse to be complacent about. So, we have, from the start, supported the introduction of the Penalty Point System (PPS). We still do. We do not think that the claims made by the front commun des transports to the effect that by losing their licence, they lose their livelihood, can be legitimately entertained. Trucks and buses are the biggest danger we face on our roads every day and turkeys do not vote for Christmas. If bus and truck drivers want to continue to make a living, they just have to respect the Highway Code.

However, it is one thing to crack the whip to encourage safe driving and reduce casualties on our roads. It is quite another to dig deep into the citizens’ thread-bare pockets and make road offenders out of them. Now that most drivers have collected their Driving Licence Counterpart (DLC) and we are set for a system meant to restore some normality in the jungles that our roads are, it is perhaps opportune for the police and the relevant authorities to really think very carefully about how this new system is likely to work in reality. Before the cops start fining and adding points to our DLC, I would like to invite some reflection on whether the aims they have set out to achieve are realistic. And it takes someone who has never driven on our roads to really think that they are.

Motorists will already have noticed the number of speed cameras which have recently been installed on our roads. While there is nothing wrong with controlling speeding, the placement of these cameras looks dubious. Some have been placed in such a way that it is difficult to slow down from the previous 110 km/hour suddenly to the required 80 in such a short span of time. Besides, some 80km/ hour road signs with cameras have been placed just before 110/km speed limits, almost trying to tempt motorists to break the law!

 

Add to that the speed limits in certain parts of the country which are so ridiculously low that one wonders about the rationale behind them. On some stretches of the dual carriageway, if you drive at 41km/hour, you have already lost 4 points out of 15! If you go up to 66 – a perfectly safe speed – you are left with 9 points on your DLC! You are driving every day. Do the math. Now, if you have forgotten to check your lights – which you must do every single day before you leave your home – you have lost another 6 points.

 

At this rate, the police will be hard put to find motorists who are not technical violators. As soon as it has been applied, the PPS will make violators out of reasonable motorists driving at safe speeds and responsible citizens will find themselves facing disqualification. In every country, there is a large proportion of law-abiding citizens who behave in a reasonable way on the roads as they do in their daily activities. Reasonable regulations which reflect the behaviour of this majority meet with success. Laws that arbitrarily restrict the majority automatically lack public support, encourage wholesale violations and usually fail to bring about desirable changes. Every system works on encouraging voluntary compliance and targeting a small perverse minority. The PPS makes it difficult for responsible citizens to be law-abiding. It is unlikely to result in improved driver behaviour. As it stands today, it is a disaster waiting to happen.

One tragedy, one nation Par Touria Prayag 5 Avril 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

The country buried 11 of its dead this week, some of whom were still in the prime of their youth. Families were decimated. The bitter taste of the two kids who ran to rescue their aunt – who was selling sundries in the Caudan tunnel and never came back to tell the tale – is still in our mouths. Pangs of sadness creep in deep down to the pit of our stomachs when we hear the echoes of those screaming voices being swept away by the deadly current. And the funerals. One after another.

 

A traumatised nation, plunged into deep sorrow, is licking its wounds, some of which will never ever heal. In an élan of solidarity, the whole country came together to help those affected by the murderous floods. Mauritians turned up in large numbers, irrespective of their race, creed, colour or political affiliation. They stood as one, united their efforts and managed to bring some relief to those who badly needed it.

 

The lives of those who are gone cannot, sadly, be brought back. But the country used the opportunity to show to what extent we can really be one nation when we want. To what extent we can shut ourselves off from the calculated, interested and opportunistic – verging on the indecent – talk of politicians. On the one hand, the government puts the blame squarely on Mother Nature without taking any of the responsibility. On the other, some vociferous members of the opposition are trying to be wise after the event with the rehashed hollow comments about how great things were when they were in power. Such vitriol on both sides is unfair and even insulting to a population going through the worst possible days in its recent history. When emotions are high, politicians should put their political survival and ambitions behind people’s feelings. For a change.

 

The tragic events gave us the opportunity to find out what we are as a people. Sadly, not everything we found out about ourselves is flattering. When the opportunity calls for it and the country is in grief, we rise to the challenge and forget about our differences. Giving becomes a way for us to reach catharsis. However, our help and generosity are not always disinterested. And, unfortunately, many of us made a big show of our acts and used all the means available to make sure we were seen giving. Others, who were not struck by the flash flood in any way, opportunistically did everything they could to get help they did not deserve.

 

And, just like no politician took responsibility for what happened. Just as government ministers did what they do best – pass the buck – and opposition members jumped on people’s grief to thump their chest about a past which was no better. Just as they did not question themselves about their responsibility in the tragic events, neither did we. None of us managed to ask ourselves about our share of the responsibility in what happened. Yet, we all have one. Whether we are conscious of it or not.

Rusting in peace Par Touria Prayag 11 Avril 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

The unions, the working classes and many Britons did not shed any tears over Margaret Thatcher’s demise this week. Some even went to the extent of erupting in ‘Thatcher death parties’ on the streets of the British capital.

 

As for Ireland, the graffiti which adorns a wall in Belfast says it all: “Iron Lady, rust in peace”.

 

As it happens, if the working classes are not weeping for Maggie, neither perhaps should the middle classes. These are now victims of her free-market policies; the very policies that Margaret Thatcher promoted and which benefited them then. Her winner-takes-all financial model, now a failure, still haunts the world today.

 

And, when it comes to shedding tears, sadly, neither should women. Feminists the world over looked to her quick and unexpected ascension to power as an opportunity for women of all social classes to break through the glass ceiling. They looked up to her as a role model and looked forward to the birth of women-friendly policies which would liberate them from the shackles of years of oppression. Hopes were high that Britain’s most steadfast post-war prime minister would introduce the necessary framework which would allow women to pursue demanding professional careers and reduce the gender-based discrimination.

 

Sadly, few men have worked harder than Mrs. Thatcher to undermine the position of women. She was against single mothers, working mothers and women in general. She froze child benefits, castigated women for working and leaving their children in the “chaos of workplace crèches” and earned herself the moniker “Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher” by taking away free milk from school children. We all recall, in this respect, French singer Renaud’s famous song in which he paid tribute to all women of the world, “sauf peut être Madame Thatcher” (except perhaps Mrs. Thatcher).

 

Her contribution to the expanding of horizons of other women in politics can be reflected in this simple fact: throughout the time she spent at the helm of the country, only one woman made it, briefly, as a senior minister. Her cabinet was, otherwise, entirely male. As soon as she climbed up, she pulled the ladder up behind her.

 

Some might perhaps want to talk about how, as a woman, she promoted peace. Very well: she almost singlehandedly waged the Falklands War, a war which no one understood the reason for, let alone wanted.

 

These are the cornerstones of Mrs. Thatcher’s governance and her contribution to the lives and image of women in Britain. Her stance when it comes to women can be summarised by Patricia Hewitt, a Labour minister, in the following statement to the BBC, “Margaret Thatcher damaged women’s place in the workplace, undermined families and communities and did nothing for women in public life. It was a wasted opportunity on a gargantuan scale.”

 

Before she became prime minister, Mrs. Thatcher had said in a television interview that she thought there would never be a woman prime minister in her lifetime. During her reign, the answer of hordes of women was, “there still isn’t”.

 

Margaret Thatcher, however, remains an icon forever etched in the history of Britain and that of the world. So may her soul rest in peace. And may her ideology stay right here, within the mortal dimension, to allow for a better world order in the after-life. Death would be easier for us to face if we had that assurance.

Rusting in peace Par Touria Prayag 11 Avril 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

The unions, the working classes and many Britons did not shed any tears over Margaret Thatcher’s demise this week. Some even went to the extent of erupting in ‘Thatcher death parties’ on the streets of the British capital.

 

As for Ireland, the graffiti which adorns a wall in Belfast says it all: “Iron Lady, rust in peace”.

 

As it happens, if the working classes are not weeping for Maggie, neither perhaps should the middle classes. These are now victims of her free-market policies; the very policies that Margaret Thatcher promoted and which benefited them then. Her winner-takes-all financial model, now a failure, still haunts the world today.

 

And, when it comes to shedding tears, sadly, neither should women. Feminists the world over looked to her quick and unexpected ascension to power as an opportunity for women of all social classes to break through the glass ceiling. They looked up to her as a role model and looked forward to the birth of women-friendly policies which would liberate them from the shackles of years of oppression. Hopes were high that Britain’s most steadfast post-war prime minister would introduce the necessary framework which would allow women to pursue demanding professional careers and reduce the gender-based discrimination.

 

Sadly, few men have worked harder than Mrs. Thatcher to undermine the position of women. She was against single mothers, working mothers and women in general. She froze child benefits, castigated women for working and leaving their children in the “chaos of workplace crèches” and earned herself the moniker “Maggie Thatcher, milk snatcher” by taking away free milk from school children. We all recall, in this respect, French singer Renaud’s famous song in which he paid tribute to all women of the world, “sauf peut être Madame Thatcher” (except perhaps Mrs. Thatcher).

 

Her contribution to the expanding of horizons of other women in politics can be reflected in this simple fact: throughout the time she spent at the helm of the country, only one woman made it, briefly, as a senior minister. Her cabinet was, otherwise, entirely male. As soon as she climbed up, she pulled the ladder up behind her.

 

Some might perhaps want to talk about how, as a woman, she promoted peace. Very well: she almost singlehandedly waged the Falklands War, a war which no one understood the reason for, let alone wanted.

 

These are the cornerstones of Mrs. Thatcher’s governance and her contribution to the lives and image of women in Britain. Her stance when it comes to women can be summarised by Patricia Hewitt, a Labour minister, in the following statement to the BBC, “Margaret Thatcher damaged women’s place in the workplace, undermined families and communities and did nothing for women in public life. It was a wasted opportunity on a gargantuan scale.”

 

Before she became prime minister, Mrs. Thatcher had said in a television interview that she thought there would never be a woman prime minister in her lifetime. During her reign, the answer of hordes of women was, “there still isn’t”.

 

Margaret Thatcher, however, remains an icon forever etched in the history of Britain and that of the world. So may her soul rest in peace. And may her ideology stay right here, within the mortal dimension, to allow for a better world order in the after-life. Death would be easier for us to face if we had that assurance.

What’s in it for me? Par Touria Prayag 18 Avril 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

t is not known whether the expression “to have your cake and eat it” was invented specifically to describe the ‘social work’ situation in this country but it certainly does fit the bill. We are tempted to add: “and be thanked for it too” for good measure.

 

Because we do thank these good people working in the cause of goodness…for having a cushy, well-paid job where they care for the vulnerable…at someone else’s expense. That someone is you and me – the taxpayers.

 

There are as of today – hold your breath– 9,429 Non Government a lOrganisations (NGO) in Mauritius.To put things inperspective ,in the whole of the UK, there are 4,500 NGOs for 62m people. The number of NGOs here has increased byover1,200 since 2011. The economic crisis may have had something to do with it but the CSR may also have pushed a lot of people to become more‘caring’. With the number of the sector employs, social work has to be one of the fastest growing sectors of the Mauritian workforce today.Yet,hardly any control is exercised.

 

The appalling case of Foyer Namasté, where there are allegations of heinous practices against the most vulnerable children of our society should pushus to pause and revisit the way this whole sector operates. Mireille Martin,who looked us straight in the eye,telling us that the person in charge of Foyer Namasté is so genuinely good hearted that he takes children to his own house “so that they see things other than the confines of the shelter”, should have known better and therefore has a lot to answer for.

 

And let’s not be myopic enough to think that Foyer Namasté is anisolated case. Similar allegations were made about another institution where disabled children were all egedly being taken to bungalows for weekends. We don’t know whether there was an inquiry after these allegations but it would seem that some people are so committed to ‘serving’ these vulnerable children that they have been hanging on to their seats for decades,at times in defiance of the rules regulating the NGOs. As we speak,the board is in involved in a serious dispute – once more– over elections.

 

Add to this the élan of solidarity which came after lack Saturday and the amounts of money collected with no questions asked and you will understand the extent to which self seeking can bewrapped in concern with the bonus of even having something to share on your Facebook page.

 

Isn’t it time for better regulation and some order to be established in the social work jungle to sift the professional and hard-working social workers from the self serving globetrotters and abusers? Isn’t it

 

time everyone was submitted to a scrutiny of performance in the same way the rest of us are? After all, workers inmost industries are ultimately subject to the needs and desires of consumers and their job sare,therefore,never secure. Make the wrong product or provide the wrong service and your job could disappear.In‘social work’,nobody dares ask the workers and globetrotters for the output of the money invested. It is time someone did – for the sake of those they are serving.

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

“Victims paying debts for assets they will arguably never acquire are licking their wounds”

 

The A&A Marketing property scam that Weekly blew the lid off three weeks ago and which has made the headlines this week, is straight out of the “How to Crook and Get Away With It” handbook. It has all the ingredients to allow the scam to last long enough for the alleged crook to salt enough money away to be safe for generations to come: coldblooded planning, patience, intimidation, playing one against another and of course a large dose of despicable deceit. Add to this an apathetic CCID and some institutions headed by inept political nominees and you have the right mix.

 

Something about A&A Marketing resonates at a different level from the other scams being unravelled. Those who fell for it are not necessarily gullible or opportunistic people looking for an easy way for their investments to double in 90 days. Far from it. They are professionals, civil servants, private sector employees, some MPs and apparently even a minister. How did such people get conned? Here’s the story.

 

Before the swindling went full swing, A&A Marketing did indeed build some bungalows which they actually delivered to their clients on time. This was their well-crafted ploy to establish their credibility and project themselves as reliable property developers. They then started advertising frantically and launched similar projects across the island. The pricing was just right: affordable enough to attract buyers but not too cheap to allow anyone to smell a rat. So, hundreds of people bought into the scam and the slaughtering began. That was back in 2008.

 

When the bungalow delivery dates became long overdue, the promoter, Gyan Kessewnath, launched phase two: intimidation and a blame game. He received his clients individually and told them more or less the same story: some people were the cause of the delay in the work because they had not paid – enough for many buyers to start looking at each other with suspicion. Then, he allegedly found a way to bring the Voice of Hindu into the picture. That was enough to shut many of the big mouths up. To this day, victims are too scared to talk on record.

 

For the investors who were abroad, the story is absolutely ingenious: he sent them photos of finished bungalows which naturally were not theirs and got them to pay more money.

 

The few who had the courage to go to the police – as early as 2010, think how many more buyers could have been saved – met with the apathy of the CCID who simply made an entry and sent the complainants home with the assurance that they’d investigate. If they did, the guy must have told them the same cock-and-bull story he told our colleague, Abdoollah Earally in l’express.mu: that the fi nancing of the construction is met only 60% by the buyers with the balance being met 20% by the promoters themselves and 20% by investors in his Ponzi funds! –An ‘innovative’ financing scheme which was never mentioned before and which displays amazing altruistic generosity! Then came the “administrative complications, delays in obtaining permits, etc,” an explicit admission that he has been operating in complete defiance of the law with total impunity!

 

Naturally, the FSC took years to realise that Nirvi Management, which A&A buyers were unknowingly financing, was involved in “serious breaches of the law”!

 

In the meantime, Kessewnath, bloated with money he didn’t work for, is roaming the island unbothered while his victims, paying debts for assets they will arguably never acquire, are licking their wounds. Who says dishonesty doesn’t pay?

Workers Vs Briani eaters Par Touria Prayag 3 Mai 2013

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on September 15, 2013

There was something missing in the air on Wednesday (1st of May 2013). The aroma of the traditional May Day Briani. The caterers probably had no motivation to use that extra pinch of saffron as there was no competition from any adversaries. The Labour party decided not to hold any rally this year – a historic and oh how welcome move. For years, we have been seeing the same folklore of millions of rupees thrown equally at those who work, those who have never worked and those who are past working age, luring the masses of Briani-eaters out for the free booze and grub to later picnic on the beaches dressed in free tee shirts provided by the party which has won their loyalty for the day. For years, the crowd estimates have triggered emotional and, at times, even violent reactions. And, instead of standing for elections once every five years as is the case in most democracies, our politicians keep running for elections through May Day popularity contests. So, you won’t see us cry over what is hopefully the beginning of the end of that tradition.

 

But perhaps Labour Day, previously usurped by politicians, now at least partially given back to the workers, should invite deeper reflection than just moving away from the Briani eating and crowd battles. Perhaps in these hard times, it should be the celebration of something new. The fact of having a job – and staying in it – in the first place. Instead of trading punches across the table, workers and employers should perhaps be on the same page. Employers should recognise the contribution of the workforce to society and the economy and the workers need to realise that the

claims they make should move beyond having more on their plates to rather sustaining what is on these plates. Overwork – inhumane as it is – is no longer our worst enemy. Nor are the investors, job creators and employers on whose economic survival our jobs depend. Unemployment is the real enemy. We always sort of knew this; now we know to what extent.

 

A reflection is in order about the thousands of Mauritians who did not enjoy a break from their jobs on Wednesday because they don’t have any jobs. More and more, the job market is turning into a brutal game of musical chairs. And the one who might wriggle his way to our chair tomorrow is not necessarily our next-door neighbour but rather someone from a country we did not suspect yesterday. One who is more sensitive to the music, faster to get to the chair, skilled enough to sit on it and hard-working enough to get back to it when the music stops again. And every time the music stops, lives are being shredded.

 

As the people who are bloated from the Briani and drunk on cheap rum sober up, as those who did not leave their homes on May Day go back to their jobs if they have them and once the unions are done with their petty squabbles and are back from their ego trip, they perhaps need to model a new May Day for the years to come. One where unions are united and speak the same language. The language of creating and sustaining jobs. May Day should be about the dignity of the worker. Something he can have only if his job can be sustained.