… except if politicians make me regret being Mauritian!!!
Here is an extract from a small booklet that was distributed to every Mauritian kid and adult during the Independence Day celebrations in March:
I don’t want to sound condescending but many things happened in my country between 1968 and 1992 and I find it disturbing that some people are manipulating Mauritian history for their own gains. Mauritians should know the history of the country they are living in… It is tough to imagine a young French child not being told of Mitterand or an american child not been told about Clinton… but the equivalent is being done here.
I was born in 1973 and my childhood was during the 70’s and the 80’s. Of course, I was too young to understand everything but I do know that:
- 1968: On 12 March, Mauritius officially becomes an independent state and Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam becomes its first Prime Minister.
- 1971: Promulgation of the Public Order Act which bans many forms of political activity (Mauritius was under a state of emergency when I was born and this lasted until 1976 when I was three!)
- 1976: General elections held which the MMM wins. The Labour Party forms a coalition government with PMSD and remains in power.
- 1979: Devaluation of the Mauritian Rupee (I distinctly remember the Minister of Finance of that day making his speech on TV. I was six…)
- 1982: The first ever 60-0 during the General Elections. The MMM-PSM alliance led by Sir Aneerood Jugnauth, Paul Bérenger and Harish Boodhoo wins all the 60 seats of the General Assembly.
- 1983: Collapse of PSM-MMM alliance. Newly formed alliance between the MSM-Labour Party-PMSD led by Sir Aneerood Jugnauth, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam and Gaetan Duval wins general elections. This is the start of the economic boom of Mauritius which will last for years…
- 1985: Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam dies at the age of 85. National funeral for the former Prime Minister.
- 1991: MSM-MMM alliance led by Sir Aneerood Jugnauth and Paul Bérenger wins in General Elections.
- 1992: Mauritius becomes a Republic but stays member of the Commonwealth.
Of course, many things happened after 1992 but I will leave this part to real historians.
5 January 2007: an update
Thanks to Baboo, I’ve corrected a slight mistake on the duration of a state of emergency in Mauritius.
Another thing that has been bothering me lately is why don’t Mauritians learn the contemporary history of Mauritius at school? I remember, from my college days, that I learnt a lot about Mohenjodaro and the Indus Valley (etc) but nothing about modern Mauritius… Is this done on purpose?