GIS - 12 September, 2013: The way we look at our past can determine in a significant way, our approach to the future, the Prime Minister, Dr Navin Ramgoolam, said yesterday evening at Institut Français de Maurice, Rose Hill, at the launching ceremony of a book entitled “Pages d’histoire d’ici et d’ailleurs” written by historian Benjamin Moutou.
In his address, the Prime Minister recalled that a population which ignores its history, is denied of reference and direction adding that we must know our history even if it is made up of some painful periods so as to be able to build our future.
The Prime Minister underscored the importance of honouring our history, the past of our ancestors and remembering the struggles lead by our parents and grandparents. However, he deplored that for long, the history of Mauritius has been told from a colonial perspective, showing no respect to those men and women who have broken their backs so that the economy of the country could take off and flourish.
Dr. Ramgoolam emphasised on the importance of building a nation in which people work together for the betterment of the country. On that score, he exhorted the youngsters to learn about the history of Mauritius. He further commended the efforts and research of Mr. Moutou, whose book, he said, provides a glimpse of the rich history of the country, its patrimony and multicultural heritage.
According to the Prime Minister, the book bears the influence of Mr. Moutou as one the members of Truth and Justice Commission. The Truth and Justice Commission was set up to delve into the history of slavery and indentured labour and their consequences. Nineteen recommendations of the Commission are in the process of implementation at the level of different ministries. Since February 2013, a team has been constituted to carry out follow up actions with regard to the implementation of measures and recommendations of the Truth and Justice Commission. Its main objective is to pave the way to reconciliation, social justice and national unity through the process of re-establishing the historical truth.
All those engaged in research work on our history contribute to the construction of a national conscience, Dr. Ramgoolam said, adding that the history of our country must be objective and scientifically documented. We have no right to leave our history distorted and misleading, he added.
“ We all share a common heritage, a common history, we are a population of immigrants, our ancestors come from different countries but I would like to remind everyone that we are a Republic with citizens who have common interests, and are moving towards a common future”, Dr Ramgoolam said.
“As the Prime Minister of all Mauritians, I have taken several measures to create a society where equal opportunities prevail for one and all, “ he said in his concluding remarks.