Saturday, December 6, 2014

Elections and Political Faultlines in Mauritius

First of all I thank Allah (swt) who has given me the opportunity to continue the subject of the sermon which I addressed you last Friday. Like you all know, there remain only a few days for the General Elections in Mauritius, Rodrigues and Agalega – Wednesday 10 December 2014.

For all people of Mauritius, this General Election to be held on 10 December 2014 is a prospect to make Mauritius a second republic and whereby the ex-leader of the opposition shall become the Prime Minister of the island for 5 years, Insha-Allah, after having struggle really hard for the goodwill of all Mauritians. He is verily a man who deserves that position, with the intelligence, competence, and capacity as state leader. He is a honest man with great visions for the country. He spent 47 years in politics, struggling for all Mauritians, and he even escaped death (when there was an attempt to kill him when he was a young man) and ever since his young days, he plunged into politics and struggled for the rights of workers so that they may get their dignity and he protected them from being crushed by their employers. He gave a lot of himself for the people of Mauritius, but the Mauritians did not (or refuse to) recognise his value, competence and capacity. Very often the politicians and people from different religions who do not have any real competence, along with the socio-cultural groups have crushed this able man, honest, whereby nobody can say that he is power-thirst or that he stole something, or even was involved in fraud and corruption. He did not also protect male and female allies. That honest man is Paul Raymond Berenger, the historical leader. It is the fanatics who have all the time tried to create all sorts of communal problems to bar him from becoming Prime Minister. This shows to you that the sincere, honest and devoted people have all the time great enemies and adversaries who try to create all sorts of problems and spread communal talks for them. Such is the case also for Paul Raymond Berenger who had to face all these people who do not want him to become the Prime Minister of Mauritius.

Behind the Labour Party's Tactical Alliance  

I can tell you that the Labour Party with its 10 years in power has led Mauritius to ruin and all kinds of corruptions, thefts, rapes, crimes, gambling, high cost of living where poor people suffer all the more whereas those protected by the Labour Party are those who enjoy plentifully and get state lands. If a common man raises his voice against such situations, then it is him/you who shall be crushed and persecuted. So it was high time a clean sweeping is given to the politics of the Labour party which act for a handful of people only, and this is precisely the aim of the leader Paul Raymond Berenger; to put everything in its rightful place, to do a good clean-up in the managerial system of our country and to remove all those who are incompetent, or to reform them correctly. 

Therefore, it is a fact that had the actual Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam not taken refuge in an alliance with the leader of the Mauritian Militant Movement Paul Raymond Berenger for the coming elections, then he would have gone in the dustbin (of history). The Prime Minister has pondered a lot upon this and used his strategy to make this alliance with the Mauritian Militant Movement and its leader Paul Raymond Berenger and gave him the post of Prime Minister for 5 years. As for him, he shall become President and enable the electoral reform and make Mauritius become a second republic where the president gets much more power than the (future) Prime Minister Paul Raymond Berenger. With this consensus between both parties, the agreement was signed.

After confirming their alliance, according to them, the PTR-MMM alliance will be a much more inclusive government. The leaders of the PTR/MMM said: “We have set up a committee who are preparing a rich program. This requires in-depth work. We have a complete program that reflects the unity and modernity that places the values of young people at the centre of development. As the days go by people understand our message of unity and modernity during the meetings we hold; it also involves having discussions and exchanges. People ask pertinent questions and we answer. Access to information is a right, not a privilege.”

Now, what you see, there are many hypocrites who are supposedly against the second republic but are in fact they are not happy that Paul Berenger becomes Prime Minister. Lessons of the past do not seem to have been drawn ... therefore the slightest spark could cause irreparable damage. Have you seen how the socio-cultural groups are doing field political works? They are not mastering religion; their worry is that Paul Berenger becomes Prime Minister and therefore, their plans shall be foiled. The Voice of Hindu are appealing their Hindu community to vote only candidates like themselves. The leader of the PTR, for crass electoral reasons, continues to caress the hair of the socio-religious groups who should, simply, be excluded from political debate. 

This reminds me of a dream which I saw in September 2014, after the agreement to form a Labour Party/Mauritian Militant Movement alliance. The date of election had not at that time been fixed. I dreamt that Navin Ramgoolam was saying to Paul Berenger: “My Labour Party has won many more candidates than yours, Paul. Therefore, I have the majority (and superior to) than you.” The face of Paul Berenger changed and a mark of regret showed on his face, whereby he regretted having done the alliance with the Labour Party, and he did not become Prime Minister. And in the dream, I was saying: “This is the campaign that the Labour Party is doing: “Vote us, We are from the majority”; that is, vote only Hindu candidates, be them in the Labour Party of the Militant Socialist Movement etc.  This is a dream. Let us wait after the elections to see what shall happen.

Majoritarian Communalism in Mauritius 

Therefore, the members of the community of the majority do not fear the prospective second republic and that Navin Ramgoolam becomes president and thus detains more power than the future Prime Minister Paul Raymond Berenger. Their target is verily the Honourable Paul Raymond Berenger. If this Labour Party/ Mauritian Militant Movement triumphs in the forthcoming elections, this shall be to the detriment of the wishes of the members of the community of the majority. Verily, this white man, Paul Raymond Berenger deserves to become Prime Minister for five years. 

But unfortunately the Hindus, the Voice of Hindu, and Sanatan Dharma Temples’ Federation (with its president Somduth Dulthumun) are issuing orders (concerning the people to vote). They are not doing the works of religion, but they are foremost in issuing orders whom to vote for the elections, especially the Hindus in the Labour Party and the candidates of the Militant Socialist Movement. They are doing door-to-door visits in this endeavour. It is most unfortunate to see such communalism and if precaution is not taken – we must pray Allah a lot so that this does not happen – then there can be a racial brawl, riots. Here in Mauritius, a lot of Mauritians listen to my sermons in Creole, and I am sure that there are some who shall be against me (on that subject), but as a Messenger of Allah, I do not fear to tell the truth about what is happening. 

The Voice of Hindu and the Sanatan Dharma are openly telling the Hindus to vote Hindu candidates only. They are making a communal campaign at field work. Shall this not provoke a communal tension? Mauritius as a whole is seeing that these people are playing with fire. The fact that our social fabric is very weak, therefore we must avoid such kinds of campaigns. What is unfortunate, these people get occult protection from the state. In other words, they get the absolute freedom from the authorities to do whatever they want to do. But who is responsible for the security of our country? There is no doubt that this responsibility falls upon the actual Prime Minister. Why does he let those people from the community of the majority to do whatever they want? A question: if tomorrow the Muslims raise their voice and say that Mauritius does not belong to Hindus only, but to all communities who live here, and if moreover the Christians also revolt, then what shall happen to this country? If a Prime Minister tolerates these kinds of socio-cultural groups in their quest to do what they want to do, shall the minority then feel themselves secure?

Are the actual Prime Minister and his Labour Party government not using a strategy, using Paul Raymond Berenger and the Mauritian Militant Movement as crutch to win the elections? And after having succeeded in their plan (and the Mauritian Militant Movement becomes in minority), drop all agreements to an alliance and continue with their communal works, abandoning the alliance and drive the Mauritian Militant Movement to the opposition? Therefore, does this kind of government deserve to come to power? We must pray a lot for if there is that kind of sickness in their hearts, then for the goodwill of the Mauritian population, may Allah (swt) destroy these kinds of people, Insha-Allah.

Huge expenditure, limited usage

If we analyze the situation, the parliamentary session has cost five times more than usual, therefore more expensive. The august assembly of the Republic of Mauritius office is held for six months during a year with an average of 35 sessions. This year it was held only for 2 months (8 sessions). So a session in 2014 will cost taxpayers Rs. 25 million against Rs. 5 million during normal times. They have been paid from public funds to twiddle their thumbs for four months. Usually, the parliament seats for six months – from March to July and October to December. This year it sat only two months, April and July. Given that the state spent some Rs. 175 million a year with the parliamentary system, a session costs about Rs 5 millions in normal times. But in 2014, this cost has ballooned to Rs 25 million, given a budget of over Rs. 200 million and 8 sessions during the year. Some 60% of this amount is swallowed up by the salaries of the Speaker, and parliamentarians except cabinet members and 50 officials assigned to the Assembly.

The People’s Alliance welcomes the campaign to win the election with its leader Sir Anerood Jugnauth. According to the statement of The People’s Alliance, the challenge is to provide a first real boost to the electoral campaign. They claim to be clear in their goal to rally all social strata of the country. And they say that everything is going well (concerning their affinity) with the population and that they are currently receiving much encouragement from the people. They also said: “We have identified the main areas of their programs and compared to the PTR/MMM Alliance which is primarily there to satisfy some, we place the Mauritian, male and female as well as the youths at the centre of our program.”

Now the people of Mauritius are asking many questions about the projects of the second republic. This will change the democratic nature of the country. Article 47 of the Constitution is clear. Prior to amending Article 1 of the Constitution, a referendum is required in which 75% of voters are pronounced to be in favour of a change. Then, a bill must be presented and get complete unanimity in the National Assembly. Section 1 discusses the sovereignty of Mauritius and involves the fundamental rights of Mauritians.

Our democracy is based on the Westminster System, as in England and India. This system gives absolute power to the Prime Minister and the National Assembly. When we adopt a semi-presidential system that has granted certain powers to an elected President, this brings a change in our democratic state. Currently we elect members of Parliament to govern us. If tomorrow a president wants to dissolve Parliament after six months, what will happen? Does that not imply a profound change in the nature of our democracy?

It is the nature of the political system that should be changed, not the democratic nature. It’s not the same thing. We are in a Westminster System, modelled on the British system; which means a parliamentary democracy! The proposal is to move towards a semi-presidential system. We are not inventing the wheel. This system exists in a lot of countries and there are different formulas. Then you need the right formula to make this project succeed smoothly and without any dispute.

After listening to what the law of man says, let us listen to what the law of Allah says.

Islamic law stands for the integration of society and reforms it by way of persuasion rather than coercion; so it remains content with prescribing such punishments only as are most needed to check heinous crimes and create thereby an ordered society. It is for this reason that exemplary punishments are prescribed for crimes like murder, physical injury, fornication, adultery, theft, highway robbery, false accusation against chastity and drinking of wine etc., while usury, gambling and the like are left to be dealt with in the Hereafter because of their bearing upon transaction rather than upon the establishment of peace and order. Reform by persuasion and exhortation being the principal aim of Islam, it allows time for penitence and to make amendments in one’s life.

Islamic law has a twofold object, spiritual benefit and social good. Its policy is, therefore, to encourage obedience by offer of reward, and to discourage disobedience by imposition of penalties. Penalties may be imposed in this world or in the world hereafter or in both, but reward (thawab) is given only in the life after death (which is eternal and everlasting). The assessment of all human actions and transaction according to its own precepts of good and evil is the chief characteristic of Islamic law which guarantees its unity and the uniformity of society. 

Social and political interests of the Muslims of Mauritius

Now, let’s make some mathematical calculations. There are 137,616 Muslims who shall vote in the coming general elections. If now we divide the Hindu community in sub-sects (different creeds), then there are the Vaish, Ravived, Tamil, Rajput, Maraz, Telegu and Marathi etc. Now the general population is in majority with 260,406 voters, followed by the Vaish community with 199,688 voters and then comes the Muslims. Mathematically speaking, if the general population (Creole) and the Muslims come together, then the Hindus become minority. But nevertheless, look who are enjoying the major part of the cake of this country!

Therefore, the Muslim Community with 137,616 voters in this country does not have its own party. It must wait for others to decide for the Muslim Community and impose their own candidates upon us. It is them who choose for the 137,616 Muslim voters. It is a shame for this community. For how long will the Muslim Community continue to bear the humiliation and dictatorship of others upon it? It is because of this that we can never claim for our rights. We do not have our own voice. The voice which is not ours shall never become ours. Since when in Parliament our voice was heard?

The Muslims today have been granted only a couple of free time every Friday for Jummah, and only one Holiday a year, that is, the Eid-ul-Fitr. There is no holiday for Eid-ul-Adha, and look at what they did with the MPL (Muslim Personal Law)! Therefore, ponder over this, for how long shall we let others usurp our voice for the benefit of the voices of others? Has the time not come that we, Muslims forget our divergences, our differences and we unite like true brothers and sisters of the Ummah of Hazrat Muhammad (peace be upon him), and we stand up on our feet and revive the laws of Allah, the divine laws like I explained last week and also that which  I have just mentioned to you?

If the Muslims listen to my advice, then Insha-Allah, Muslims in Mauritius and around the world shall take their destiny into their hands sooner or later. May the men of good faith in the Ummah put heads together to prevent the Muslim Community from undergoing humiliation upon humiliation.

My Friday Sermon is becoming too long. I can say that the only Jamaat – recognised by all and which cannot be manipulated by either the Prime Minister and his government is verily the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam. We do not sell our community (Ummah) and we do not take any subsidy with the government. And moreover, either at Jamaat level, and individual level we refuse to take any bank interest. We do not need any subsidy despite that we are few here in Mauritius. Nevertheless our members sacrifice money – their sweat – from their salaries, not only here in Mauritius but also the other countries of the world, where my disciples, members of the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam are found. Despite their poor financial condition, yet they make sacrifice with love and pleasure in the path of Allah, and by the grace of Allah, Allah put much blessings in their money. We are (by the grace of Allah) a Jamaat which is not after grandeur, subsidy (with creatures) or we are among those who fall at the feet of politicians and who take them as idols. Therefore, we (the Jamaat Ul Sahih Al Islam) do not seek false gods. It is only the unique God whom we seek and also His almighty help.

Therefore, honour and provisions (food, drink, etc.) are found in the hand of Allah. Therefore, Oh brothers and sisters, let us not waste time. Let us unite for unity is strength by the grace of Allah, and Allah (swt) shall definitely held us in the good causes and so that His divine laws triumph in the four corners of the world, Insha-Allah; not man’s law.

By the grace of Allah, we have faith in the laws of Allah, our treasure. Then, let us be one so that all creatures of Allah can live according to the divine laws. Insha-Allah.

-Friday Sermon of December 05, 2014 ~(12 Safar 1436 Hijri) delivered by the Khalifatullah Hadhrat Munir Ahmad Azim Sahib (atba) of Mauritius.