Touria Prayag's Blog

Wedding belles 1 May 2014

Posted in Uncategorized by touriaprayag on January 23, 2015

We did say that the leader of the
opposition’s dilly-dallying was not his
fi nest hour and we stand by that. We do
not, however, condone the abuse he is
being subjected to. Politics is a ruthless
game where backstabbing, backpedalling
and U-turns are legendary.
And promises are only kept by those
who have no better options.
Those who are lashing out at Paul
Bérenger because he has ‘betrayed’ Sir
Anerood Jugnauth (SAJ) might perhaps
benefi t by remembering how the latter
– with Navin Ramgoolam’s help – got
Bérenger out of the game at the eleventh
hour in 2010 and how SAJ had publicly
stated that it was “better to be in karo
canne than work with Bérenger”! So
let’s please not pretend that the political
arena is some sort of place of worship
where protagonists have some sense of
ethics. We all know it is a question of
balance of power and you are only as
faithful as your options. We therefore
refuse to gloat at the sight of a Bérenger
being crucifi ed by his own people while
an assorted supporting cast are cheering
from the sidelines the way people in the
middle ages used to cheer those who
were being guillotined. As a people, we
are better than that.
And because we are better, we deserve a
better system than we have today. We
deserve reforms which do not bring parties
together to gang up and generously bestow
even more powers on themselves, add more
– unelected – members of parliament to an
already disproportionately long list of – in
some cases – arrogant wasters paid from
public funds. The reforms we want should
go deep enough to eradicate the worst
scourges of our system – namely the opacity
of political party fi nancing and pre-electoral
alliances, which skew the whole system,
reduce the opposition to the role of wishful
thinkers, result in fl oor crossing and create
instability – the worst enemy of investment
and economic growth.
The people of this country will feel that
they are choosing their representatives
only when each party faces the electorate
on its own strength rather than lean on
ethnic crutches and cynical calculations.
Those who are encouraging pre-election
alliances, which are systematically based
on ethnicity – what else? – really have
no moral leg to stand on in the fi ght
against communalism because their
very existence is based on ethnic/racial/
caste considerations.
Parties going it alone can still have their
post-electoral wedding but we will have
chosen the grooms and decided on the
dowry. The opposition will then play its
role without fear or favour and turncoats
will have to face the electorate anew
instead of shamelessly bargaining their
way into ministerial positions. That is
stability. That is democracy. Those are
the reforms the country is interested in
discussing in a cool-headed way.
The terms being whispered in the
background on which the MMM is
negotiating another alliance with the
MSM as a junior partner sound like a
groom telling his prospective partner,
“Since I don’t love you and I don’t trust
you and I have publicly said so, I
suggest we still get married but, instead
of having two children, we will have
only one.” Sad if the belle agreed.
Sadder still if we gave our blessings to
their union!


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