After 50 years of struggle, Berenger and the MMM are ready for an even greater impact and they can save the country from the abyss
Many Mauritians do not know or do not care about how deep-rooted is the political struggle of generations of Mauritians to build our nation.
During colonial rule, people voted as early as 1886. I call it a historic element that we can claim as our history because it happened on our land.
From the 1940s we heard the echoes of the political struggle of the early campaigners for the country’s independence from British rule.
They came from the Labour Party, a party that I associated myself with from the very early age of 8, in 1967.
The Labour Party was founded by Dr Maurice Cure in a ‘kiosque’ at the Champ-de-Mars. This is a historic place now, and this is where the political struggle in Mauritius really started.
It brought the country to the elections that would decide our fate in 1967.
The choice was between the Labour Party for the independence of our country or the PMSD for the continuation of colonial rule. I was for our independence.
Whoever remembers the humble beginnings of the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation will also remember the days when the government explained why it is creating the Export Processing Zone in the 1970s.
And the construction of the ‘route nationale’ together with the criticism from the PMSD that it will be a waste of taxpayers money.
Both became a success story and are still part of the backbone of the country.
But then came Paul Berenger and the MMM. A group of youngsters who were very confident in their political ideologies and wanted to change the country.
They were revolutionaries and brought a stronger spirit of socialism with them, challenging the Labour Party which also believed in a socialist agenda.
ENE SEL LE PEP…
It is definite that the Labour Party was veering into the right, associating itself with the PMSD of Gaetan Duval. This was not good for the country.
But I thought the MMM was too leftist and Mauritius will never be ready to accept a leftist movement in power.
I did not believe in the ‘communalist’ struggles of some parties and some politicians, I am a Mauritian and I believed in my people, my country as one.
And this is where the MMM made an impact on the country. They too believed in a Mauritius where the people are treated like one!
“Ene Sel Le Pep, Ene Sel Nation” became a success for the MMM.
This is the impact Berenger had on the entire society. He breached the communalist beliefs, instilled the notion of Mauritianism in the minds and thoughts of the people.
And as much as 1982s 60-0 was inevitable, so was the breaking of the MMM-PSM government. Berenger could not work with people who do not want to work for their country.
But the betrayal of the MMM in 1983, treated lengthily enough on WFTV in past articles, sent the country into the resurgence of communalist politics.
And this is still impacting the country today, with the MSM-ML incapable of getting rid of communalism in politics, in the civil service and elsewhere in the country.
The MSM perpetuated the division of the country on religious grounds with the attacks against Muslims and Creoles and closing an eye on the real culprits in the defacing of religious shrines across the country.
From its inception, the MMM took barely ten to 15 years to become a formidable political force in Mauritius.
The timid Berenger who carried a banner against the war in Vietnam became the source of great expectations and hope for the nation.
The MMM chose the symbol of the ‘heart’ for its political struggles, and the party, along the years, conquered the hearts of the country.
The young, the elderly, the Muslims, the Hindus, the Christians were all looking for salvation for the country, which was then failing under the Labour-PMSD tandem.
There were no townships or city squares and sometimes, village squares where the MMM and Berenger’s name were not written.
MMM ‘graffiti’ was always around in such places.
They were the work of militants and the public, showing support for a party that is, 50 years on, still fighting for the betterment of the nation.
Shot at, beaten and jailed. That is the early history of Berenger and many of the early MMM leaders.
I used to tell the people that as a writer/journalist; it was a privilege to witness the rise of the MMM and the start of a new era in Mauritius.
It was horrible to witness the killing of activists and seeing the perpetrators get away with such crimes.
But I remained a Labour supporter because I believe in the sanctity of the membership to a party.
Berenger believes in the same sanctity. He is MMM from the start and will always be MMM.
But as a Mauritian and knowing the trouble that which the country is facing in this modern age, I believe we have very little choice now.
LOVE LABOUR LOST
I have said it frequently. The Labour Party has lost its soul and is not fighting for the same causes. This is why the MMM exists.
I am impressed that 50 years on, and after so many betrayals and breakups and letups, the MMM is still on the streets drawing crowds of supporters.
Berenger has indeed, instilled this ‘no fear’ factor in the hearts of the people and they will continue to follow their leader. They will vote for the MMM in these elections.
We cannot deny it. Our tiny nation republic is struggling to maintain its good economic run amid distortions and abuse of our democratic institutions lately.
The scandals are many under the MSM and this should open the eyes of the public in general.
These elections are not about which party you belong to. To me, it is about which party and who can really salvage the nation from the brink of an economic and social abyss.
it is imperative that we look back and decide which of the Labour Party or the MSM, the PMSD or the MMM can rebuild our nation.
I do not think we can entrust the Labour Party, in its current state, with this mighty challenge.
I know the MSM-ML will not bring the country to better shores, as they are the ones steering us into the abyss. And certainly not the Reform Party an offshoot of the MSM, despite its populist promises.
Thus, I believe the MMM is the party that can help Mauritius get back on its footing.
Like Berenger has said it himself, let us vote the MMM for the ‘real change’.
Signed: Un Mauricien