"Culture is one thing, politics another"

10 years, 9 months ago - April 05, 2011
Dr Ramgoolam also urged Mauritians to see to it that cultural centres around the country do not become “political tools”

“Culture is one thing, politics another”. That was Prime Minister Navin Ramgoolam’s unequivocal message at the Indira Gandhi Cultural Centre on the occasion of the Ugaadi, the Telugu New Year.

Dr Ramgoolam also urged Mauritians to see to it that cultural centres around the country do not become “political tools”. While acknowledging the importance of cultural centres to spread traditional values, he also stressed the importance of national unity.

Leader of the Opposition Paul Berenger also spoke about the importance of strengthening national solidarity. Other ministers and the Indian High Commissionner, Madhududan Ganapathi, were also present at yesterday’s celebrations.

“Do not fall prey to communalism,” warned Dr Ramgoolam. The Mauritian population comes from different parts of the world, he said, but “we are all on the same ship now.”

He cited India as an example. There are many cultures but the people consider themselves Indians. “Even here we have to realise that we are all Mauritians.”

According to the PM, the setting up of the Speaking Unions and the introduction of six new channels on the Mauritius Broadcasting Corporation are all conducive towards reaching the objective of promoting national harmony.

He referred to the Pacchadi, a traditional Telugu cake made up of six ingredients. “Life is like the Pacchadi. It is made up of sour and sweet things, it has its share of happiness and sorrow.”

There are the uncertainties of life and everyone has to put up with them. “No one owes us a living. We must not be dependent on others. There are some who think they can get everything easily,” he said.

Mr Berenger told the gathering: “I wish that all the communities would put their efforts together for the betterment of everyone, adding that, to start with, there needed to be coordination between the Mauritius Andhra Maha Sabha and the Telugu Speaking Union.

He appealed to the prime minister to revive the Mauritius Cultural Centre. “Unity also means the Mauritius Cultural Centre.

“It was created in the past but it is not operating now. It will bring together the cultural richness of our nation,” said the leader of the opposition.

There is no community which is smaller than another in Mauritius, he said. “Each one has its history, tradition and cultural values. Each one is a flower in the garden of Mauritius.”

Text by NewsNow.mu

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