Benaam R.A.J.’s cowardly attacks against Cassam Uteem

Discussion dans 'Actualités de l'Ile Maurice' créé par Rafic Soormally, 5 Mai 2008.

  1. « Only a fool subjected to paralysis of thought brought about by naked racism would subscribe to that poisonous view », says one benaam (nameless person), writing under the initials R.A.J., about Cassam Uteem, ex-President of the Republic of Maurtius.

    In an interview given by Mr Cassam Uteem, ex-President of Mauritius, and published in le Weekend of 27th April 2008, Mr Uteem addresses issues ranging from electoral reform and representation of women in Parliament to the struggle against poverty and whether Paul Bérenger, the leader of the opposition, should put himself forward as Prime Minister at the next general elections. In the latter case, Mr Uteem asserts that, among all the important matters affecting the country, « le débat est centré sur une seule question : qui sera présenté au poste de Premier ministre aux prochaines elections », clearly referring to the leader of the opposition, Mr Paul Bérenger, since this problem does not apply to the Parti Travailliste under PM Navinchandra Ramgoolam. He argues that Paul Bérenger should have the courage to follow the example of Sonia Gandhi. After winning the 2004 elections, Mrs Gandhi, a European-Indian, had declined the leadership of the Congress Parliamentary Party in the Lok Sabha, and rejected the post of Prime Minister.

    Mr Uteem justifies his stance by stating in no uncertain terms that if Paul Bérenger were to announce to a Mauritian nation still in « construction » that he would not present himself as Prime Minister at the next general elections, « il met fin automatiquement à la polarisation malsaine qui bloque le débat à Maurice depuis des années », but he makes it quite clear that he is not saying « que Paul Bérenger ne mérite pas d'être Premier Ministre ».

    The background
    Paul Bérenger happens to be a European-Mauritian belonging to a community which is less than 1% of the population. Around 70% of the population is of Hindustani origin, and around 25% is of African origin. The principle that any one can aspire to become Prime Minister irrespective of gender, colour or creed, is not a democratic principle because, under a democracy, it is not unlawful for voters to choose a leader on the basis of his or her colour, creed or other qualities, however objectionable this might be. This is why Europeans do not elect a Black African or an Arab or a Chinese to lead them even though they are born in Europe and/or have European nationality.

    In Mauritius, 99% of the population is non-white, and Paul Bérenger is a white man, perversely described as a ‘non-Hindu’, hence the big heated debate which has been and still is poisoning Mauritian politics. It is for this very reason that Bérenger did not put himself forward as PM at the 2000 general elections. Instead, he perverted democratic elections by entering into a corrupt deal with his alliance partner, Sir Anerood Jugnauth who agreed to be PM up to 2003 when he would allow Bérenger to occupy the post of PM for the remaining two years [2003-05] while he is made President by pre-arrangement with President Karl Offman who resigned after only 19 months in office. This is how the conspirators manipulated politics to make Bérenger PM through the backdoor and to keep power amongst themselves. But, the people rejected this trickery in 2005 when they voted to power the Social Alliance with Dr Navin Ramgoolam as PM. As the present government is losing popularity because people feel that their lives are not improving, the unhealthy debate about whether Bérenger should present himself as future PM rears its ugly head once more, hence distracting people from the real problems facing the country.

    1. On the Défi Media Group website, Mr Parvez Dookhy, a Barrister (Doctor of Laws), launches an attack on Mr Uteem alleging that he called upon Bérenger not to stand as PM « en raison de son origine ethnique ». Mr Dookhy also severely criticises Mr Uteem saying that his « comparison de Paul Bérenger avec Sonia Gandhi est maladroite sinon inappropriée » because the European-Indian Sonia Gandhi is « d’origine étrangère » (meaning born in Italy) while the European-Mauritian Paul Bérenger is « fils du pays » (meaning born in Mauritius). In fact, the Indian Constitution does not differentiate between ‘natural’ and ‘registered’ citizens, and Bérenger’s ethnic origin holds true whether he is born in or out of the country.

    2.1 In a contribution which agrees « completely » with Mr Dookhy’s criticism of Mr Uteem, one benaam(nameless person) writing under the initials R.A.J., joins in the attack and regards Mr Uteem’s statement on Bérenger as « an absolute perversion of democracy ». He makes out that Mr Uteem had claimed that Bérenger « cannot aspire to the leadership of this country [Mauritius] » because of his ethnic background. R.A.J. refers Mr Uteem to the speech of an African-American civil rights leader Martin Luther King in which the latter had said that people should be judged « on the ‘contents of their character’ rather than on the colour of their skin ». R.A.J. refers to Paul Bérenger as « our first non-Hindu Prime Minister » in 2003, and questions whether Mr Uteem’s stance on Bérenger amounts to the latter’s disqualification « from even applying for the top job again ». Under the cover of his anonymity, this benaam author goes on to insult and make a vicious attempt to demean Mr Uteem by contemptuously stating that « Only a fool subjected to paralysis of thought brought about by naked racism would subscribe to that poisonous view », meaning Mr Uteem’s view that, in the public interest, Mr Bérenger should not present himself as future PM at the next general elections.

    2.2 Firstly, R.A.J is confusing his own perversion with the democratic freedom of a person to choose a candidate for any reason whatsoever. Clearly, he does not view the corrupt power-sharing deal between Jugnauth and Bérenger in 2000 as a perversion of democracy. His understanding of democracy not only leaves a lot to be desired, but he is also unable to discern the inherent and entirely personal reasons of voters in their democratic selection of candidates.

    2.3 R.A.J. is wrong in believing that Martin Luther King can give Mr Uteem any lessons on the content of the character of Paul Bérenger. The racism Mr King was fighting against was one of Whites against Blacks and not vice versa. R.A.J. believes that, because Mr Uteem is of opinion that Mr Bérenger should not apply for the top job again, this makes him « a fool subjected to paralysis of thought brought about by naked racism ». In so doing, R.A.J. poses as a psychiatrist who has identified in Mr Uteem a « paralysis of thought » which is a form of dementia.

    2.4 To all intents and purposes, R.A.J.’s description of Paul Bérenger as a « non-Hindu » is nauseating. Why does he not describe Paul Bérenger as a Catholic of European descent ?

    2.5 The fact that, with the support of a certain media, R.A.J. continuously writes long-winded and convoluted drivel against governing and tax-paying politicians’ lawful rights to their benefits, missions and per diem, clearly demonstrates his own envy and ambition. It is quite possible that it is the design of R.A.J. and his colluding media to incite the masses against tax-paying government Ministers, their benefits and missions, in an attempt to provoke an uprising. Whatever criticisms R.A.J. may make against Paul Bérenger, he regards Bérenger as having done a ‘good job’ in 2003-2005, and asks himself whether Bérenger would do a « better job » if (or when) he becomes PM again. On a separate note, he is also of opinion that the ex-MMM Minister for Education Steve Obeegadoo was a Minister of « true distinction » in the last Bérenger-led brief and scandalous government. R.A.J. must have plucked this opinion from his own hidden shadows. Steve Obeegadoo was a disastrous and despicable Minister for Education taking, with the complicity of Paul Bérenger, his orders from the Catholic Church and perpetrating racial and religious discrimination in the selection of children in our schools, which R.A.J. appears to endorse through his flattery. And, in a total display of foolishness, and prejudice against Mr Uteem, he has the audacity to accuse Mr Uteem of being a « fool » and of « naked racism » while cowardly hiding behind anonymity when he is effectively sucking up to Paul Bérenger and his cohorts.

    Mr Cassam Uteem’s intellect, maturity, bravery, independence of thought and depth of the mind are perhaps beyond the appreciation of certain people. The wild and twisted reactions, allegations and accusations of Parvez Dookhy and benaam R.A.J. have proven Mr Uteem right about Paul Bérenger. Cassam Uteem is neither a fool nor has he shown any form of prejudice and racism against Paul Bérenger, or anybody else for that matter. He has always been praised as a man of great integrity and as a perfect gentleman. Mr Uteem faithfully served for many years under Bérenger in the Mouvement Militant Mauricien in which his own son is a present member. He has merely fearlessly given, in the public interest, an appropriate and brilliant analysis of Mauritian politics. Mr Uteem is right in saying that, along the lines of Sonia Gandhi, Paul Bérenger should make it clear to the people that he would not put himself forward as Prime Minister at the next general elections. This would unify rather than divide the Mauritian people, make the political atmosphere healthier and avoid a repetition of corrupt political deals reminiscent of 2000.

    M Rafic Soormally
    01 May 2008
  2. Giorgio B Hills

    Giorgio B Hills Nouveau Membre

    “Mr Uteem is right in saying that, along the lines of Sonia Gandhi, Paul Bérenger should make it clear to the people that he would not put himself forward as Prime Minister at the next general elections. This would unify rather than divide the Mauritian people, make the political atmosphere healthier and avoid a repetition of corrupt political deals reminiscent of 2000.”

    Shouldn’t Berenger rather be judged just by his performance and skills as potential PM regardless the color of his skin?

    Shouldn’t political polls just reflect people’s choices?

    Why do we always have to go back to such archaic debates?
  3. melloman

    melloman Membre du personnel

    M Soormally .
    Any soul communicating his/her thought is encourage to have a pseudonym.
    Pen name - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
    please see historical fact.

    Please remove the ( noname/benaam) word from your post as an act of respect vis-a-vis ethics.

    You can bash his opinion. You can bash his thoughts. But you wont bash his personality or his non willingness to exposure. At least not here.

    Furthermore , your post hasnt been altered :)

    We promote free speech provided you play cool :)

    Have a good day.
  4. melloman

    melloman Membre du personnel

    Yep , Vox Populis :D
  5. Giorgio B Hills

    Giorgio B Hills Nouveau Membre

    Ou plutôt « Vox Conneries » :D

    Enfin que l'on doit toujours entendre ce genre des choses anno 2008..
  6. Dear Sir / Madam

    Thank you for your comments. I accept that people can use a pen name, and I debate with them all the time. Can the initials R.A.J. be considered as a 'pen name' like Mark Twain, for example? If I write under the letter X, can this be regarded as a 'pen name'? I accept that a person has the absolute right to use a pen name, initials (which is not a name) or a single letter (which is also not a name), but I also object to the fact that anyone should hide behind anonymity to stain the character of others, especially in the case of that person's attack against Uteem. If a person is un-named, then this is merely a statement of fact, and not a stain on the character of that person. If I use the name CHRISTINE, no one can say that I am nameless.

    Have a nice day too.

    Best regards

    Rafic Soormally
  7. bblankfein

    bblankfein Nouveau Membre

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