Around 20,000 young people marked history in Mauritius through a revolt to fight the poor education system and rising rate of unemployment. That was in May 1975. Forty-one years later, the spirit remains undying. A group of concerned citizens, under the banner of “La Voix Nationale” are embarking on a journey to bring about a political revolution in Mauritius. This is May 2016.
La Voix Nationale is seeing its existence because of a lack of citizen engagement in bringing about modern politics and new blood in the country’s political arena.
By modern politics, I refer to a value-based political leadership, when a bunch of leaders are elected not through a give-and-take campaign but through their values and vision to serve the country; away from personal benefits, corruption and favouritism. What I propose through La Voix Nationale is a transformative political leadership instead of the traditional practice of transactional leadership. The world today is adopting transformative leadership because of its sustainability, virtue and righteousness. Then why are we still stuck to the old, unfashionable and traditional ways of doing politics in Mauritius?
The answer is maybe as simple as the famous idiom puts it, “You can’t teach an old dog new tricks.” Existing Mauritian politicians are moulded and absorbed so much in the old school thought that adaption to modern politics is today a clear rejection. As such, I firmly believe that there exists an urgency to bring new blood to replace the “old dogs” and their “old tricks”. By saying new blood, I don’t mean the youth. New blood here refers to those people who aspire to serve the country from the Parliament but have always been rejected for their modern techniques of operation. When I say modern, I mean modern in both thoughts and actions, away from creed, personal benefit, caste system and prejudice.
For the last two decades, the people of Mauritius have been putting their trust in all sorts of political alliances and political figures who can produce a Mauritius that reflects the dreams of common men, young people, businessmen and entrepreneurs. But where do we stand today? We stand nowhere.
The decision for me to enter active politics was radical, yet swift. It’s an undeniable fact – if I understand the deep down feeling of people of Mauritius – that today the country needs a complete revolution in its political arena. Yet, I’ve observed few people converting this feeling into thought, and then conclude it through an action. Staying in comfort zones, individualism and tolerance have somehow made the layman a slave. I come from a modest, middle-class family, but my inner-self isn’t that weak and frail for me to tolerate the devastation of my country, my family, my friends and love ones through people who are bad decision makers, corrupt and incompetent at the highest level of the country.
The journey I’ve started, I’m aware, isn’t an easy one. All sorts of attacks – personal, physical, emotional – are possible and unavoidable. But there is one thing that a common man like me won’t lose: the will and courage to protect his country, family, friends and loved ones.
I pray, as I’m on the verge of launching La Voix Nationale along with dedicated team members, that we succeed in this mission. If we fail, we would contemplate with the fact that we opted for a daring, useful and worthy life when our motherland asked for our help, than being just passive citizens who allowed themselves to be manipulated and used by others.