Inequality and governance failures feed on each other, making the model highly problematic, carrying the seeds of its own instability

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Inequality and governance failures feed on each other, making the model highly problematic, carrying the seeds of its own instability
Inequality and governance failures feed on each other, making the model highly problematic, carrying the seeds of its own instability

Africa-Press – Mauritius. We are in murky waters. Gambling, siphoned funds and illegal drug trafficking thrive in our porous frontiers and financial accounts…’ * ‘From business facilitation by the state, we have the capture of the state itself by private interests’

* ‘Those who have been on the left, while accusing the West of hypocritical double standards are guilty of the same double standards by absolutely refusing to see that Putin’s Russia is just as imperial’

Nalini Burn, Economist & International Consultant, shares her views on the changes that have taken place after independence, which despite appearances to the contrary are not as rosy as they seem to be.

She is concerned about the rapid erosion of the welfare state model by state capture forces that are as one with overt and covert networks of drugs, big money, corruption and shady businesses.

Mauritius Times: It does not seem the celebration of Mauritius’ independence anniversary, to be celebrated symbolically tomorrow, evokes the same feelings and passion that it did 54 years ago.

While we could put it down to a few obvious explanations, does it seem to you that we have understood that what independence should mean for us is not just having a President and a Prime Minister, a flag and a national anthem?

Nalini Burn: Over the last years, the official commemoration of Independence Day, has been muted. Yes, it is the only National Day we have. Just a protocolar raising of the flag, perhaps a Covid-compliant state banquet this year and some Rs 30 per school child for the school event.

But I do not think feelings and passions about independence have gone away. Far from it. Its meaning is contested and interpreted in different ways. More of concern: these tensions have just been pushed to the margins to fester and amplify.

If one observes the exchanges on many platforms, there is resentment about the state of our politics and who gets to raise the flag as President and Prime Minister. The recurrent theme is about how dynastic the “alternance” has been over half a century. Behind that are many troubling, divisive themes.

About what causes this state of affairs, whether it is the electoral system, the entrenched voting along nepotist, communal lines, the continually controversial question of election finances, the “money politics” that never goes away…I think people do care, even as they resign themselves to vent frustration.

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