The people of Mauritius used to be united, colour blind to racism and religious factors, where race did not really matter though there was a dose of communalism.
There are accounts from local Mauritians that narrates the time when they grew up, how they were friends with everybody in school – though some were rather anti-unity.
A Mauritian Muslim of Middle Eastern descent said that growing up in Port Louis in the 60s-70’s saw no racial issues like there was in the western world – this despite the 1968 racial riots.
He would have spend time with kids from all walks of life, play football with the others, sit and learn in class together with the Hindu, Creole kids as well as White and mulato’s.
Even among the Muslims there were unity, though one might be White and the other might be of Indian descent, and sure, there are still those who thinks they are superior.
However today, Mauritius is in a situation in which the political power – which has been strictly for the Hindu population in terms of the Prime Ministership – is shifting.
But the growing racism is not a healthy thing for such a small country. The government is allegedly fuelling such racial division, pinning a minority to cause them to be in disarray while trying to please another minority (among the Hindus) to try and stay in power.
These have put Mauritius’s political stability at stake and might divert foreign investors which are usually from the India and Europe.
Such instability may bring the racial issues and political issues to clash and the country may suffer. What has caused this situation to rot? The answer is surely in the breaking down of the existing social contract that has been there and kept the Island in peace and unity for decades.
The recent difficulties born on the Muslims in particular during the Eid el Adha festivals – regarding their need to purchase cows and bulls for slaughter – rigs of the anti-cow slaughter squad in India. It is apparent that some people in the current MSM-ML government is playing with fire only to try to prove to New Delhi that they are doing what India is doing.
But that is wrong. The Indian government does certainly not want the Mauritius government to follow such a path.
But the desperate regime in power seems to believe that this is how it will get New Delhi to accede to its demands to continue to rule, without considering the damages it is doing to nation.