Aug 26, 2011

The roots behind the increasing violence in Mauritius

Violence is no stranger to Mauritius. Often referred to as the perfect "Paradise Island", Mauritius is slowly but inevitably losing its appeal due to the increasing levels of violence throughout the island. This violence exists in many forms. Murders, assaults, sexual assaults, rape, and other forms of violence often pop up all over the Mauritius news media. Some of these violent acts are extremely shocking and will often send around a buzz in the Mauritius population...before being completely forgotten in no less than two weeks until something else happens.

While these were previously contained within various specific locations in Mauritius, this is also no longer the case. In one instance, namely burglaries, this has even spread to hotels where staff members are now robbing tourists as soon as the latter leave the rooms they paid so much for. This has even led to the murder of Michaela Hart at the Legends Hotel.

Increasing violence in Mauritius
Bloody thieves!


Obviously, as the problem has escalated (which it is doing on a freakishly consistent basis), everybody and his dog has chipped in with his own opinion on the subject. Since I belong to the "everybody" category, here's what I think on the problem, its roots, and what can be done against it. I'm no psychologist but I think my views are awesome!

There's no need to spend Rs. 100 million to figure out where this violence stems from. The Mauritian population is frustrated, being ignored, and this violence is only one outlet of this ever increasing frustration. Many will argue that the violence is only being perpetrated by a small portion of the population (ie. the poor and unacknowledged) but it should not be surprising that they are the first to reach the tipping point.

Nobody in his right mind can seriously expect someone who's close to losing everything he possesses and whose pleas are constantly ignored to just shrug it off and look for a book for solace. Where the hell is he supposed to find that book anyway when he's getting a measly salary of Rs5,000 to feed a family of four? Add to this that prices just keep going up in Mauritius, and it's no surprise that there can only be a handful of negative outcomes to his plight.

Here are three headlines that occurred this week (articles are in French):

The first case in particular showcases gratuitous violence on a child in Mauritius and the perpetrator is not even an adult yet. In many cases, the criminals keep getting younger and younger, which again shows how uncontrollable violence in Mauritius is becoming. As the criminals get younger, the victims also get younger since a 14-year-old goth freak is not going to attack someone 10 years older than him however deluded he may be.

It is true that this is only one type of violence and that it does not explain the rise in the number of rapes and sexual assaults in Mauritius. However, this too is a direct result of (sexual) frustration and the total lack of a proper sex education in Mauritius. The difference here is that these types of violence are not limited to a single portion of the Mauritian population but are instead more spread across the various layers of the culture in Mauritius.

Road accidents can also be considered a part of this violence because most, if not all, of them arise due to people being in a hurry and driving recklessly. Ergo, the accident was caused because they were frustrated by their inability to go faster. Of course, the roads in Mauritius also have a role to play in this, but this is another problem that deserves its own post. Bookmark this blog to read more on that later.

The funny thing is that all these things keep happening and addressing this problem seems to be the least of the Mauritian government's priority. We seem to have adopted one of the weirdest stances on crime. Wait for it to happen, (don't) deal with it, forget about it. As shocking as a headline may be, nothing concrete is actually being done to address the problem in the long-term, which demonstrate a total lack of vision by the government.

As usual, you'll do yourself a great deed by sharing this article!