Mauritius 1968: The wrong timing to relive the racial events?

A local newspaper L’Express decided to publish a series of articles on the deadly events that shook Mauritius in 1968. To be fair, no one can complain if a newspaper carry stories of historic events.

But the newspaper has failed in its mission. The mission of a newspaper is to tell the true story of the events, that is how the events started and why it all started.

It has even failed to properly honour all the dead, in particular the heroes who wanted to put an end to the fighting but who were killed in the process.

Nevertheless, it is probably too hurtful to go down that lane, one in which many families fell victims of racial violence. The writer almost fell victim of these events too, but that is another story to tell on another day.

Then why did L’Express carry all the comments and stories that opened the wounds while minimising the role played by Abu Soobratty and his close friend Abbas Peerbhoy.

The more so when we know that the real perpetrators were never caught, and the real reason for this strife between the Muslims and the Christians were never officially or historically explained!

The Mauritian Young Brotherhood – a group of Mauritian youth who are concerned with the social stability in the country – ticked us on what the local media is up in the tiny Island republic.

The group’s concern is whether the local daily L’Express is playing a dangerous racial game with its publication of the series of articles said to have been extracted from official and historical records.

However, the newspaper has also included comments from surviving victims or families of victims of the bloody tragedy that occurred in January 1968, or fifty years down the road.

See this version of facts: 

While most of the families (mostly the Muslims) said they do not discuss the events of 1968 among themselves or make it a point to mark the date with family events, some of the Christian families are saying they never forget to narrate the events to the youth of their communities.

After reading through the L’Express articles we (WFTV) get feeling the entire report is one sided.

The actions of the true patriotic figures of 1968 are dismissed as insolent events in the L’Express articles.

Their mission to end the fighting is mentioned casually, and the events that lead to the killing of Abu Soobratty should have been given the proper coverage. But L’Express chose not to.

Why?

Because in the midst of the violence, there were a few good men who set themselves on a perilous journey to end a conflict that they themselves could not comprehend.

They had no idea why it started and among their circles there were persistent rumours that the a particular political organisation was fuelling the fight for their own political gains.

Some said, at that time, the political organisation and its leaders where not doing anything to end the conflict, as they were trying to gain political mileage by pushing the independence date further.

Were they trying to throw the Independence movement in jeopardy?

These elements escaped the L’Express newspaper.

Mauritius is currently facing an acute economic situation and some has found it necessary to remind people of a racial war that most of the population would want to bury in history.

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