INDIA AND MAURITIUS: Goodbye Mr. Ganapathi
Article paru dans Le Mauricien | 26 juillet, 2011 – 17:30 | Par DAWOOD AULEEAR
In mid-August, H.E. the High Commissioner of India will be completing his term of service in Mauritius and farewell parties are being thrown to wish him well in his new assignment, whatever and wherever that will be. As a seasoned Diplomat, he will fit in any situation.
Our expectations of India are very ambitious: many Mauritians feel they belong also to India where they have studied or have traced back their roots or have graduated in various fields of expertise. India has a soft corner for us for historical and cultural reasons.
Alif Society had the honour of welcoming Mr. and Mrs. Ganapathi to Mauritius over a dinner in a beach hotel and has since developed a privileged relationship with this Chief of the Indian mission here. Exchanges have permitted us to assess the dedication of Mr. Ganapathi to the cause of strengthening the relationship between India and Mauritius.
The great moments that have marked his tenure must be highlighted to appreciate his work: he has been the single most important actor to bring H. E the Indian President to Mauritius. Visits by Heads of States are more than symbolic and the activities and the functions in which Mrs. Patil took part indicate the importance that the Indian First Lady attaches to shape our bilateral relations.
The visit has reinforced our stand on the problem of piracy in the Indian Ocean though we do not have the material resources and military strength to punch above our weight. The Mauritius-India joint patrol in the Indian Ocean has guaranteed a constant flow of our imports and the capture of a Thai fishing boat involved in illegal fishing in our national waters. It will be unworthy of a sovereign state if it cannot guard its own territories.
Progress toward this smooth friendly relationship is however threatened by the irritation of some jealous souls in the quest of political mileage who repeatedly bring to the fore the “so-called” disadvantages to India of the non-double taxation agreement with Mauritius and the nefarious role that our Financial Sector is supposed to be playing in harbouring dirty money from India. We believe that the effort of the hostile group trying to test the resolve of both India and Mauritius for a brotherly relationship is bound to fail in the end and will not diminish in the least our feeling of gratitude towards Mr. Ganapathi for his sincere desire to see Mauritius-India friendship grow from strength to strength.
In the pages of History yet to be written, Mr. Ganapathi will stand as one Diplomat who never neglected a single opportunity to stress that India and Mauritius should not live in the present only but should save our historical, political and cultural heritage for the survival of both our democracies.
Goodbye great friend. It is through the goodness of men like you that nations will live together in peace. Best wishes.
Rombo Nandri and Poitu Varen.
26 July 200
MESSAGE FROM ALIF SOCIETY ON THE VISIT OF H.E. N. MODI.
The visit of Maha Mahim Narendra Modi, Prime Minister of India to Mauritius.
One of the predecessors of our distinguished visitor had remarked that India is a country with as many problems as the headcount of its population – to say how daunting a task it is to lead the biggest democracy of the world.
To face the challenges posed by the needs for development, Narendra Modi has taken a very courageous step in announcing “sabh ka sath, sab ka vikas”, an inclusive development program to rein in the division inspired lunatic fringe of his society by announcing in a church “My government will not allow any religious group, belonging to the majority or the minority, to incite hatred against others, overtly or covertly”. This declaration has won him the congratulations of the leaders of Kashmir and perhaps triggered the sharing of power by the governing party of India and a regional political force. Obama’s speech to fight terrorism is not very different to his. How can anyone think of a different stand from the PM of India, a land which has been a source of inspiration for stalwarts like Albert Luthuli, Desmond Tutu, Father Daniel Berrigan and Martin Luther King. Modi’s magnanimity shone when he invited the leader of AAM ADMI PARTY to have tea with him after he suffered a crushing defeat from his hands and when he wished good luck to the Pakistani team against India in the Cricket duel.
Modi has an ambitious travel plan with his Minister of Foreign affairs; his itinerary is on the drawing board. His Government would like to revive the Project Mausam to reconnect India more intimately with the Indian Ocean. His administration stresses ad inifitum the civilisational ties with India’s neighbours.
China is busy tracing silk roads, silk railroads and silk sea routes to connect with Asia, Africa and Europe. The net result looks like the centre of the world would very soon be Asia. We in Mauritius should be pleased to note that our country lies on both the Mausam and the silk roads.
No need to say then that we are impatient to welcome Narendra Modi as the Chief Guest at our National Day celebrations. The excitement is visible among the friends of India and Modi’s numerous admirers. And since the BRICS and not Britannia are going to rule the waves, our expectations are equally high as India, part of BRICS, wishes to use the BRICS bank to invest in non-BRICS countries. Raising the bond of civilisational ties and common History are good for the galleries and will not suffice to cater for the day to day preoccupation of the ordinary mortals.
The turn of events will surely play in our favour. With the visit of Narendra Modi now and the previous visits by Chinese high officials, it is sobering to feel that the two Asian giants can have beneficial relations with their maritime neighbours. We have faith that the gloomy winter of the uni-polar world may be leading to a spring of a multi-polar universe with the generosity of Asian and BRICS players.
WELCOMING INDIA’S NEW DHC OVER EID DINNER
It really is a privilege for me to welcome you here tonight, to celebrate this event on the occasion of Eid. This gathering of ALIF, their families and friends, is a chance to renew old acquaintances, and to make new friends. This would be a wasted opportunity, if I did not share some thoughts with you all, while you are enjoying the congenial company and the goodies on the table.
There’s a desperate need for knowledge, understanding and wisdom to make this place a rainbow nation. We are the inheritors of that collective wisdom and experience of 5 generations of settlers from Africa, Europe, India and China. So let the loss of our ancestral land be a gain for Mauritius. Let the wonderful seeds from those continents flower and develop into the talented and vibrant community we form today.
We can use this forum to get to know each other, share ideas, improve our knowledge of each other and commit our resources and expertise to promote friendship. Let’s enrich ourselves with togetherness, rather than impoverish ourselves with loneliness. Let me end by quoting one of England’s national treasures: “Men at sometimes are masters of their fates: The fault, dear Brutus, is not in our stars, But in ourselves, that we are underlings.”
62 years after Nehruji’s speech Tryst with destiny, we are welcoming a new Deputy High Commissioner of India into our midst. And what a destiny! This global economic power is being celebrated in Russia with a concert called Sahasra Patra, a prediction by Forbes that Mumbai, Bangalore and Hyderabad may become global capitals on par with New York and Tokyo and an assertion that India is the country with the largest number of nationals in the Forbes list of the world’s ten richest people, with four billionaires whose combined assets, once valued at $180 billion, exceed those of the majority of the member states of the United Nations.
It is indeed a privilege to welcome Mr. to “India Abroad”.
In Nehru’s memorable words, his country’s dreams are also for the world. According to India’s First PM, Peace, Freedom and Prosperity are indivisible and they do not need passports to cross frontiers. In recalling the spirit of these words, we are touched that India is still deeply conscious of its international obligations and its High Commission here has already taken our vibrant bilateral relationship to new heights.
The stand of India on Nuclear Programme and its dealing with its neighbours are commendable. And we as Mauritians are ever thankful for the special treatment reserved for us by our ancestral land.
In our view foreign policy is too important an issue to be left to the Ministry of External Affairs alone. Our society cares enough about our place in the world. We would be extremely happy if the difference that crops up on and off regarding the transit via Mauritius of the earnings of India’s diaspora could be resolved for good. As a tiny economy, we look forward to be treated by India or spoilt if you prefer, as we are by Europe which has imported our sugar for long years though it is a net sugar exporter. Mr. dep HC, you have our fullest support. Happy stay and all our best wishes.
AFTER DINNER SPEECH IN HONOUR OF H. E. MR. GANAPATHI
Y. E Mr. President and Lady Jugnauth, Hon Etienne, Hon Francoise, Excellency Former Vice President and Madame, Excellency, Ambassador of Egypt and Madame, Excellency HC Commissioner of South Africa, Excellency visiting Ambassador Nivin Ashmawi of Egypt, Ladies and Gentlemen,
I would like to extend to you the warm greetings of Alif Society this evening and to tell you how comforting it is to be surrounded by friends who share your vision of a progressive and Rainbow Mauritius. It is also delighting to have the blessings of our patron, Ali Parker and the special help and precious advice of Baby Chattur. We are welcoming H.E the new Indian HC and Mrs. Ganapathi to our land, honouring Mr. Abdool Rashid Hossen, the new President of the Permanent Arbitration Tribunal and Mr. Thierry Montocchio, the new Laureate of the Tecoma Award.
Allow me to start by congratulating Sir Aneerood on his re-election as President of our country. His wisdom and vision have guided this land during its glorious years and the President Elect of the USA has floated to victory on a popular wave by adopting his 1982 motto of CHANGE.
Allow me to start by saying: Congratulations and best wishes to our Patron on the opening of his Jewel, Mr. Price at les Halles.
Hi to M. et Mme. Israel, a special guest from France.
Hi to Mr. Manou Bheenick, the Governor of the Bank of Mauritius and our Financial Secretary Mr. Ali Mansour and thank them because my bank is still honoring my cheque and there are no layouts,
The Directors of 4 Important Hotels who have left full house to be with us and to whom I would like to wish, in your names, the best of luck,
Mr. Chistophe Plantier of Belle Mare Plage Hotel,
Mr. Jacques Sylvan of Royal Palm,
Mr. Marc Hausser of Le Paradis and
Mr. Vincent Bergman of Prince Maurice
And Hi to Mrs. Nivin Ashmawi, visiting Ambassador of Egypt: Saada As Safira, Anti Ataiti Min Baladin Allazi Nuhibbuhu Wa Nawaddu An Nurahhiba biki.
ALIF would like to welcome the new HC of India and Mrs. Ganapathi to Mauritius. Alif does not want to replace the state, nor can we, but we want to address our own welcome as friends of India.
Swagatam Excellency from the land of Tata, Birla, Reddy, Mittals, Azim Premji and Dhirubhai Ambani and congratulations on your successful launching of a lunar module built by Indian technology. Excellency, you hail from the biggest working democracy at a time when tiny states are at the end of their wits to maintain a semblance of civilized living, a country predominantly inhabited by Hindus where the King maker is a Catholic of Italian origin, a Prime Minister who is a Pakistani born Sikh, a President until lately a Muslim and a newspaper called HINDU whose anti Hindu stand on principles of justice cannot be beaten.
Thomas Malthus will turn in his grave if he learns that an overpopulated country like India, bound to be a failed state in his prediction, is a leading world economy and has become an agent of Easternisation of world cultures in fine arts, literature, [ I am thinking of Arundathi Roy Amrit Sen], food, with the proliferation of Tanduri outlets in the West, fashion, Bollywood and Yoga. Thank you for proving Fukuyama and the Neo-Cons wrong by overturning a clash of cultures into a fusion of cultures.
Excellency, India’s record on preventing global warming and the proliferation of offensive nuclear technology is to be applauded with both hands. Led ably by Mr. Shyam Saran your former High commissioner and a friend of Alif, the Indian delegation at Kyoto provided a view of the world status on pollution that has been appreciated as an eye opener.
The moral high ground you have chosen to pitch your tent and the ethical compass you use to navigate has cost you dearly because morality is not bankable commodity. India has, in its philosophy of not trading her conscience for a piece of bread, preferred to stand by Palestine and the NAM, and turned down the lucrative offers of the enemies of Pakistan to attack the nuclear installations of your neighbour. You have chosen to play an international role on Universal principles of fairness despite the threat to the economic well being of your own people in line with the advice of Abdul Kalam that those who aim high have to learn to walk alone. And loneliness has not bothered you.
Excellency, the meteoric rise of India and its contribution to world history is undeniable, you have chosen to make history rather than submit to it. To paraphrase Francois Mitterand, the torch of history seems to be passing from the West to the East and at a time when there are growth and hope in the East, debts and fears in the West, your country is well equipped in different ways to face today’s crisis. You are an important player in BRICS and CHINDIA. Our leaders have bound us into a tie of friendship that no misunderstanding has been able to shake the foundations. Let’s work together, as we have always done in the past for the happiness of our two people. And as your friend, Mauritius would like to be invited to cruise on board your boat of success.