L'Express (Port Louis)

4 January 2013

Mauritius: Public Apathy Has Created so Many Monsters ...

opinion

IT'S a tale of contradictions, ironies and double standard at Line Barracks. That perception has unfortunately picked up steam after the unusual arrest of the MSM leader, lawyer and MLA, Pravind Jugnauth.

In case you happen to think that the Police force is 100% independent, coherent in its actions, and systematic and unbiased in its methods, I fear that you may be wrong. Think again.

Have as back all Police actions when they concern politicians from both sides of the political divide. Which all regrettably prove that the law- enforcement authority is under the direct infl uence of the all- powerful decisionmakers of the Government House. It goes without saying that many other law- implementing bodies have also fallen prey to the whims and caprices of the moguls of seat power.

History testifies that when a country or society reaches such a critical stage, there is something rotten in the kingdom. Danger looms on the horizon. And it does not augur at all well for democracy.

Think of the 1970s state of emergency and the autocratic leadership style. Look into the rearview mirror of Anerood Jugnauth's authoritarian and brutal regime. In both cases, history tells us that it all started with only small and unusual steps.

Do not forget that small consistent s of water fill a big reservoir like Mare- aux- Vacoas. And public apathy has created so many monsters who have inflicted untold sufferings on mankind. Remember that Adolf Hitler, Ferdinand Marcos, Silvio Berlusconi and so many other dictators were all initially elected through democratic means.

History warns us that very often, tyrants with psychopathic tendencies first test the will of the public. By petty things! Small repressive steps, more often than not, lead to oppression of Nazi proportions. You are forewarned! That's world history and its stark reminders.

Back to our country now: I am pouring out my deep feelings as an independent citizen and that, too, on a sheer question of principle. Also, because I have been at the helm of power: I perfectly know what it is, and how and when it is - at times - wrongly utilized to suit political purposes. Especially those of drowning and dying politicians who feel threatened! And I am ideally placed to throw new light on the origins of arbitrary Police decisions and arrests.

Which, of course does not mean that I sympathize with the Jugnauths for all they stand for. Sorry Paul! You can condemn me if I'll tell you that in between the lesser of the two evils, I choose the necessary one, Navin Ramgoolam. Obviously minus his abuses, excesses and turncoats. And subtract deep- seated hero worship - Kim Il Sung culture! Certainly, that does not prevent me from condemning the arbitrary arrest of Pravind Jugnauth.

I sincerely hope that the PM will read these few lines of mine and stop for a moment to think over the lessons of history. If not, he should bear in mind that the good cook takes all the safety precautions before immersing the chicken in hot boiling water. For sure, it fi ghts best once it senses danger of extinction.

And last, he should also remember that Lucifer had no pity for mentally disturbed or tired and desperate minds! History is replete with downfalls of leaders who could not think calmly and clearly. And who could not rise above the mêlée to look beyond the horizon. Many have bounced back to success once they have realized their own mistakes or abuses and excesses of their people all around.

No tutoring of course! It's not that late to save the situation. And nobody should follow the Jugnauths' herd! That said, lots of questions are fl ashing through my mind: Why did ICAC issue a communiqué after the written statement of Cehl Meeah? Was it not political? Did they ever have recourse to one in the past?

Why did the Police call the Leader of the Opposition at the seat of the CCID for a frivolous accusation from a political agent of the Labour Party ( LP)? Will Nita Deerpalsingh suffer the same fate as Paul Bérenger and Pravind Jugnauth, after the written complaint of Anerood Jugnauth? If not, why not? Why and when did ICAC stop the inquiry on Sunil Dwarkasing? Whose blue- eyed boy is he now? Why hasn't the DPP opened an inquiry on the Curepipe Road " macaroni affair"? Why haven't the law- enforcement authorities dealt with the cases of corruption levelled at the Government and the Ministers? Double Standard?

Why haven't the Police opened an inquiry on all cases of fraud and corruption which have been splashed across in the press and in public meetings? And then, why haven't the Opposition members denounced all corruption cases to the Police? Why on earth has so much attention been focused on the 10 th December Vacoas incident involving a lady LP agent?

Why hasn't the Opposition initiated a private prosecution against the lady? Who transferred the Police officers? Why the Police did not arrest the Opposition leaders when they were levelling serious accusations against the Government on the Gro Derek drug affair? After all, where is the inquiry on the 1 st March fire at my house? Are the Police that powerless and helpless to catch the criminals? All said, let's stop the never- ending list here.

What a twist of strange and tragic irony! Anerood Jugnauth is pointing the accusing finger of dictatorship at Navin Ramgoolam. He forgets that three of his own fi ngers are staring menacingly at him. History records that he wanted to imprison SSR. He did not. Later, the old man saved him!

Anerood wanted to hang Paul Bérenger and plotted against him in 1993. Once again, Paul rescued him because Anerood could not hang him. Come June 1989. Anerood had Gaëtan Duval arrested for a murder case 19 years old. Had I not intervened, Gaëtan would have been referred to the Assizes.

Nicol François is a witness. It was all political! But the worst suffering was inflicted on me.

Anerood Jugnauth had his Police arrest me more than eight times. He took away the golden period of my life. All said, only Paul Bérenger can bring his son and him back to power!

En passant, I've helped and saved the MMM leader quite a few times. But he has never shown the same interest and enthusiasm as he did for Pravind when I was in diffi culty. It's politics... All said and done, it's time for the Prime Minister to behave and act like a real statesman. He should stop all abuses and excesses. If he's sincere, he'll ask the Police to inquire into the ill- gotten wealth of all the politicians across the political spectrum. Wake up before it is too late!

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