Mauritius gained independence from Great Britain in 1968, after lengthy negotiations in London, but chose to remain a member of the Commonwealth. The parliamentary system is based on the Westminster model where members of parliament are voted in at general elections held at regular intervals. Following independence, Prime Minister Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, managed to forge a nation out of disparate ethnic elements. In 1992, a historic year for the Mauritian nation, the country assumed the status of republic, with a president replacing the Governor General.

There is no official language in Mauritius, though it is often assumed to be English as parliamentary proceedings are conducted in English. Mauritian Creole, a French based language that grew from the pidgin language developed by slaves in the 18th Century is the most commonly spoken language by the native population, with French generally more widely used than English, with the majority of newspapers and television programs written and broadcast in French. However as a nation composed of a variety of different cultures and religions, many other languages are also spoken, including Hindi, Urdu, Mandarin, Tamil, Telugu, Marathi, and Bhojpuri.


Mauritius has been referred to as the "miracle of peaceful coexistence," for how people with roots in Europe, Asia and Africa, live side by side in harmony and respect each other’s culture and religion. Out of a population of 1.2 million, 70% are descended from the Indo-region, with about 40% of those being Hindu, 16% Muslim and 14% Tamil. The remaining population is approximately 25% Creole, of African descent, and 3% Chinese, and 1% of French descent.


Mauritius acceded to its independence on 12th March 1968 but it took 24 years before the country became a Republic (12th March 1992). Depending on your perspective you can either thank or blame the people behind the fight for “Freedom” – the Dream for most, a mistake in the opinion of others. In this article we look at the dreamers, and say thank you to the Father of the Nation Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, the Bissondoyal brothers (Sookdeo and Bassdeo), Guy Rozemont, and Emmanuel Anquetil to name just a few.

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