M for Moris

I’ve decided to always use the word as above, in Morissian (pron. as Creole ‘Morisyen’?) Creole, unless I am talking about the Mauritian state with its oppressiveness (of Rodrigues and Agalega too) and its pro-colonial ties.

I was once deciding upon using ‘Dina Robin’, the first name it was given by Arab sailors, thanks to whom the Dutch even got here in the first place, and perpetrated the first of 3 or 4 colonisations. It’s odd and would require new adjectives.  I’m writing this since a month or so and came across various things while doing so. h/t Zoulou Madsen Leblanc for screenshots of the odd pages of books I otherwise have no access to.

A page from ‘Island of the Swan’, Michael Malim, 1953

The whole seas were a place to be avoided by sailors because of the risk of tropical storms. Yet the Arabs made the effort of locating Dina Robin or others would have avoided the right hand side of Madagascar.

“A poor people who live in and around the hills and in caves, mostly tributaries of the local kings or of the Arabs. These peoples (according to  African authors) originally came from Phoenicia, and were called Moors or Morophoros; they were thrown out of the the land of Joshua, son of Nau, who lived with the Egyptians, passing to Libya and afterward founding the famous city of Carthage, 1278 years before the birth of our Lord Jesus Christ, who was 3929 years after the creation of our world. And according to Ibni Al Raquiq, for many years they lived in this city, a great stone city with a fountain, saying: ‘We are the people who fled the presence of the thief of Joshua, son of Nau.’ When these people came to Africa, they had already ruled it, Asclepios and Heracles, and also ruled Spain, 1693 years before Christ. After that, Carthage being destroyed for the first time, before Dido re-established it, some of these peoples passed through western Berberia, with Annone, their captain. They established the Libyan cities, Phoenician cities, where they lived when the Romans came to Africa, calling it Mauretania, named for the valley dwellers called Maurophoros.”  –  Luis del Marmol Caravajal, Granada, 1573

It’s about time we honour the Moors or Morophoros and consider the name of the island to be doing so instead of being a remberance of the Dutch royalty.

The latter and the whole patriotic attitude of oblivion towards Chagos indicate that we never got independence, our minds never did. We are not in any way decolonised. While we are supposedly advocating for the decolonisation of Chagos, this ‘Independence Day’ should have indicated that, in sobriety/mourning.

“Last year I had a little chat with Lisette Talate [Chagossian woman and decolonisation activist]; she said to me “when the cannons are heard and the flag raised, it is as if my heart is being stabbed with a knife. For you it is a celebration, for me it is mourning”. Today when we sing our national anthem, think of those who have been sacrificed on the altar. We are commemorating not only our independence but also their deportation.” — Patrick L Marie, 2012. via D. Bruno Duval.

“Lannee derniere mo ti gagn enn ti dialog ek Lisette Talate, li dir moi “kan sa bann kanon la resonner ek sa drapo la leve li koumadir enn bann cout couto dan mo leker. Pou zot li enn fet pou moi li enn lenterrement” Zordi kan nou sant motherland pense bann ki inn sakrifier lor lotel. Zordi enn zour comemoration, mais pa selman nou lindependence mais aussi zot deportation.” Patrick L. Marie, via D Bruno Duval

Coincidentally, even Morissian artists are boycotting the Independence Day Celebrations which is usually the only day they get employed or remunerated by the State. It doesn’t even have proper copyright laws in place locally and artists have been arrested last year for protesting the fact that piracy is essentially fine, done in the open and institutionally permitted. The hawker gets the money for selling their music and they obviously get nothing.

We ought to remember Rodrigues, Agalega and Chagossians every time we want to be patriotically proud, or relevant. So we must recall their lack of autonomy, the growing lack of autonomy with Agalega reportedly being quietly sold to India just like Chagos was sold/excised for Mauritian independence. Just like Benjamin Zephaniah and others are advocating alongside Chagossians, we should have a vast movement that does not solely consist of Chagossians or Mauritians signing petitions.


Violence in Chennai

Kot solidarite bann bel madras ki envi fer Jallikattu moris, zordi?* Ek bann ki ti kont, if applicable. It didn’t seem there are anyone here against, I think they are going to hear it from me. I have a saved draft since days…
I would not have even known this was going on if not for (misleading seeming) Indian channels or Tamil friends or folks on social media from other continents. [*translation] I’m just wondering, where is the solidarity from those here who feel so much Tamil pride that I saw announcements saying Jallikattu will start in Mauritius?

Meena further writes [if you don’t want to click FB] “by the state.

Poor slum people are becoming the target. Police themselves are burning their vehicles. They also have orders to open fire.
Please do your best to stop this police brutality”

Political shenanigans

I wondered if there was a reason idk as to why Rezistans ek Alternativ seems to have appropriated Lalit colours (for some psychological effect?) for their hysteria facebook campaign but no http://www.lalitmauritius.org/en/newsarticle/1924/lalit-on-resignation-of-prime-minister-and-the-probable-nomination-of-pravind-jugnauth/

I’m not surprised as well. There has been so much talk around this that one can blame the Mauritian president perhaps and for the new ministry creation. Then again, the new ministry concerns Chagos too, so we all want the outgoing/former 86-year old PM (head of state) to keep working on that issue. Well, Olivier Bancoult himself would be best (is that in the plans concerning UN procedures on Chagos?) but negotiations had taken place with the both of them. All I’m seeing forwarded/reshared virally, is la mare pe mok la bou, as we say in Kreol. In-depth change cannot not brought about through mass hysteria.

However, this country does not like in-depth change…

Lastly, I didn’t miss the appropriation of the appropriation of fallism. By what is, according to Mauritianist failed-logic, the supporters of the next PM on Shakeel Mohammed’s post. Some went #PravindMustFall like white South Africans and supporters were all #ZumaMustFall – a clear indication of who isn’t against the neo-colonialism but only wants to benefit from it, as much as the present government.

USian Women’s March

And I saw a post about the shallowness of intersectionality because some were upset at vegan signs at the march (somewhere). This was already White Feminism Inc., do not realise that and add veganism to it, brilliant.

Fuck vegans, seriously, unless you’re a regular reader [you’re all geographically far]. No vegan I know, have met, or am friends with actually reads here. They only use me, want me to admin their groups and teach them to be intersectional or help them along like they are little puppies. They think my brain isn’t sharp enough to figure out they’re trying to use me, yet theirs can’t debate me. Mauritians would be like ‘I can’t debate, I’m more of a science person’. Science, that thing that needs logic and they have none. Please, take this personally if you’re a Mauritian reading this. In all likelihood, your friend or you’ve made a hundred dozen ad-hominems and broadcast private details about my disabilities while doing so. Then there are hyperacademic wankers I can’t debate with, elsewhere. I’m about using plain language and lived experience, not wankery and white dudes I have never read.

belated wishes

Belated Pongal, Lohri, and makar Sankranthi wishes! Belated happy 2017 as well/ to the rest of you.

A rangoli for sankranthi

Makar Sankranthi marks the transition of the sun into the zodiacal sign of Makara (Capricorn).

A kolam or rangoli is traditionally and regularly made as food for the ants, and it is a means of keeping ants away from the house, it is said. ‘Pongal’ means overflow… it is understood as nature giving back when you give to nature. We’re debatably part of nature but we mostly exploit it.

Except for sankranthi, if raita and ghee was ommitted, the festivals also involve cooking with milk. Pongalwise, this is how they represent the ‘overflow’ and chant when the milk overflows. Now what we remain unaware of is: “on the third day of Pongal, people abstain from consuming any milk or milk products to show their respect in appreciation of how much help cattle are to them through the process of farming.” why not do it daily? and originally “The festival was celebrated as Thai Niradal. During the period, unmarried girls prayed for agricultural prosperity of the country and for the purpose, they observed penance during the Tamil month of Margazhi, corresponding (December-January). All through the month, they abstained themselves from the consumption of milk and milk products. etc. etc.” more at http://festivals.iloveindia.com/pongal/history.html…

Why only observe this as penance and not the moral thing to do? Is it respect if it is conditional and self-serving? But ok this was near the Sangam era, whereas it is 2017 and in the diaspora we are no longer aware of the dairy abstention day. I told a few of my relatives about it and I can see clueless as usual Hindu Tamil vegans.

Furthermore it is the height of summer and people of that grouping will consume dairy more than usual in the name of fasting, while cows are left dying of thirst (actually dying, ok) and it is not the first summer these crimes (on top of habitual crimes) happen. Some never learn, evolve or change. Or revolve. Nothing corresponds to the harvest festival here, neither the season nor the customs in households. At least the dairy abstention would have been a good step.

However when one can’t respect cows, there is always the option of publishing some BS to claim they do respect them

While animals die of extreme cold elsewhere

CW: dead animals (murdered by water supply shortages and animal exploitation), anti-blackness.
It’s only mid summer here, the heat and humidity just kicked in. And here is what the media is doing or fueling besides the sad fact that these animals died and attention need to be brought to the lack of public services.

The animal exploiter seems Black, he does not have a water reservoir where he rears animals and water supply is being restricted, as yearly. Then trucks are supposed to bring water to those in need because no water is coming out of taps. They did not, he could not afford to bring the animals enough water from his home elsewhere. They died of thirst. Now commenters are sounding anti-Black singling out the responsibility of the exploiter. And this whole thing may fuel tacit or overt anti-Blackness.

The question, instead of being simplistic, is why the water was not delivered until after the death of the animals? If he gets compensated, is it a small price to pay to help fuel anti-Blackness in the country?

Animal exploitation (though this is a low-risk industry by design with all the subsidies) thus fuels anti-blackness, with the help of the media.

And I will add, for the sake of simplistic thinkers who may pin this on politics, a long overdue critique of PMSD leader X. L. Duval. XLD has been criticised on some obvious PMSD nepotism for the Festival International Kreol.

But here is what no one dared say, to my knowledge: He went on a ramble about having read a book on a French slaveholder we all know (that he and others respect), he mentioned it to 1. bring up that a slave’s name was Duval and claim Black ancestry through that odd ‘find’ and 2. to emphasize good treatment of the slave by the slaveowner when the former was injured. He pointed out something along the lines of, don’t be surprised and in Africa it was often Black Africans who sold others as slaves. This was all a big part of his opening speech of a Black Islander Festival. And it’s all good because anti-Blackness is all fine and dandy here.

Something wrong with Dangal?

I haven’t had free time (as usual), I haven’t been able to carve out any time to blog. I have been sharing things mostly on the facebook page, as posts and issues come up. I don’t recall having explained the change of name/term here. I have yet to change username and description over here that I’m decidedly moving away from the letter v/ the word ‘vegan’ in favour of ‘Al-ma’arrist’ – which I coined many months back. Why is he the only philosopher with no ists or ites. I thought to myself someone please call me out if need be, but the page is getting many MENA/SWANA likes. I guess no harm honouring Al-ma’arri.

A Syrian stamp of Al-Ma'arri

A Syrian stamp of Al-Ma’arri

Syrian blind poet Aboululaa El-Maʿarri (in French) was the first recorded vegan – strict vegan and advocate for animal rights, and for social justice.

Reason forbade me many things which,
Instinctively, my nature was attracted to;
And a perpetual loss I feel if, knowing,
I believe a falsehood or deny the truth. — Al-Maʿarri

Maybe veganism is also what Aleppo gave to the world, who knows. 2-4 centuries later, the Cathars did not eat meat, dairy and honey but they ate fish. This made nutritional sense if one doesn’t have seaweed or if one doesn’t know seaweed have all we need for a balanced mind. Kind of odd to have access to fish but not seaweed before ice became man-made (now, not so odd because of the fishing industry). Basically, Cathar Parfait and Parfaites didn’t eat whoever and whatever resulted from sex, and they thought fish was amoeba. I expect modern-day Cathars to know better.

2-4 centuries from now, the so-called vegan movement may have regressed. There are so many reasons for me to quit using ‘vegan’, what comes up with the word ‘vegan’ (besides the misunderstanding and hate (righteous hate towards white veganism), then again it is not misunderstanding, there is a major problem with most of those representing the “movement”), racism is a given in South Africa where there is a white majority… and in Mauritius where some claim not to be racist bc they’re Asian; fatshaming and ableism as well as sexism etc. are a given. Exchange between the two or some intersectional groups popping up are only creating more ally theater. More on that another time.

Let’s go to a POC country, and look at a vegan POC critique of a recent POC film, Dangal (no real spoilers).

Brought to you by Disney. A Dangal poster. Mahavir Singh and his daughters. [From it, I can’t translate anything but Bapu, like everyone else.]

I haven’t watched it. 20 years ago perhaps I would have agreed with her. I don’t know details of his family. I don’t know if ‘affordable protein’ could include Ragi, moringa, etc. I guess it makes the story accessible to the majority – I’ve known Indian vegetarians who have eaten meat for sports, or in hostels. It’s extremely common. The critiqued line is something worth scoffing at. There is no moral difference between vegetarians and pollotarians (chicken-eaters, it seems that is all they eat), none. The vegetarianism is usually about caste and purity. In my case, my dad is allergic to meat and fish, this means we ate massive amounts of dairy and this is bad, especially for female humans.

I leaned that the hard way, ok. This critique is also useless bc Khan has his show, the latest BJP scandal airtime, and many platforms to say that he is vegan yada yada. It doesn’t matter if veganism is neither accessible nor desirable for the peoples. For vegetarians, Ishita Raman Bhalla (veggie character in a the 2nd most popular series in this country, Yeh Hai Mohabbatein) is extremely popular and has always aced sports without having practised before or trained much. Every once in a while, she yells at a doorman or security guard, who remains calm and subservient. There are Indians (Adi) whose practices are much like African Americans, in that their tradition is centered around the waste of the meat industry in India. Similar dynamics has produced this in a POC country and I’m not talking about Siddhis – Afro-Indians. We should thus not claim the moral high ground, just like we don’t with indigenous peoples (Adivasi, in India)

After all this digression, here is the critique that we should all be making or boosting about Dangal: this Hindustan Times article by Dhrubo Jyoti.