In a bid to keep Sir Anerood Jugnauth's (SAJ) legacy alive, the Indian Prime Minister, Shri Narendra Modi, affirmed that India would continue to work closely with the Mauritian Government so as to advance SAJ's vision and ideals. He further highlighted how proud the people of India were of having earned a friend such as Sir Anerood Jugnauth, who had immense love for India and how saddened they are to have lost him.
Prime Minister Modi conveyed his condolences to the Prime Minister of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, during a telephone call on 04 June 2021, following the demise of Sir Anerood Jugnauth on 03 June 2021. It is recalled that India announced a State mourning on 05 June 2021 across the country as a mark of respect to SAJ.
Shri Modi conveyed his condolences to Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth, Lady Sarojini Jugnauth, and the entire Jugnauth family for their bereavement. He noted that, with Sir Anerood Jugnauth's passing away, Mauritius had lost a father figure; India had lost a very close and trusted friend; and the world had lost a very far-sighted and visionary statesman.
Prime Minister Modi said that he was honoured to have had a deep personal connection with Sir Anerood Jugnauth, spanning over 30 years. He recalled their long conversations during several past meetings and said that he was always deeply impressed by Sir Anerood Jugnauth's experience and wisdom. He lauded SAJ's commitment to the development of Mauritius as well as his deep faith in the India-Mauritius relationship.
Furthermore, Prime Minister Modi recalled that SAJ not only had a bold vision, but also the capability and the drive to turn it into a reality. He credited Sir Anerood Jugnauth with having been the architect of the "Mauritian economic miracle" that catapulted Mauritius into a High Income Country in less than 50 years, a commendable accomplishment that is now an inspiring example and role model for the rest of Africa and the entire world.
He added that SAJ had left an indelible mark on the special friendship between India and Mauritius and said that the contours of the wide-ranging strategic, socio-economic and developmental partnership between India and Mauritius today were greatly inspired by Sir Anerood Jugnauth. Prime Minister Modi also dwelt on how SAJ was a proud 'Pravasi Bhartiya' who valued the importance of the shared cultural heritage between the two countries. He pointed out that SAJ had made many friends among the Indian political leadership during his long political career, garnering deep respect across party lines in India.
In addition, Prime Minister Modi expressed satisfaction over the fact that during the tenure of Prime Minister Atal Behari Vajpayee, Sir Anerood Jugnauth was invited as the Chief Guest of India's very first Pravasi Bharatiya Divas in 2003 and became the first Pravasi Bharatiya Samman Awardee. He expressed happiness that India recognised SAJ's significant contribution to the India-Mauritius relationship, by honouring him with the prestigious Padma Vibhushan Award last year.
Moreover, Prime Minister Modi reiterated that Sir Anerood Jugnauth had laid a strong foundation of friendship and cooperation between India and Mauritius and expressed happiness that there was continuous progress in the friendly relations under the leadership of Prime Minister Pravind Kumar Jugnauth.
For his part, Prime Minister Jugnauth thanked Prime Minister Modi for his call, as well as for expression of sympathies and consideration for him and his family. He agreed that Mauritius had indeed lost a father figure for the country and a great architect of the India-Mauritius relationship. Prime Minister Jugnauth shared how, until his last days, Sir Anerood Jugnauth continued to closely follow developments in India and highly valued Mauritius' relationship with India. He assured Prime Minister Modi of his continued support for strengthening the India-Mauritius ties.
Likewise, Prime Minister Jugnauth expressed sympathy and solidarity with India during this challenging time when India is facing the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic as well as cyclones and floods. He further wished Prime Minister Modi strength in overcoming them.