Credit where it’s due; hats off to the Prime minister for asking his Attorney General to resign especially in view of the fact that very few people expected him to do so. And that too, only hours after news of the depth of Varma’s implication in what looks like a case of conspiracy to obstruct the course of justice came to light.
Having said that, Varma was always the easy one to get rid of; he is not an elected member of Parliament and his dismissal doesn’t affect Ramgoolam’s majority one bit. So it was always only a matter of time before his fate was sealed.Varma’s extreme reaction to his fi ring seems to indicate that he did not take the full measure of his dispensability; more fool he.
That he did not comprehend what this meant for him when Navin Ramgoolam asked witnesses to the car accident to come forward fearlessly is somewhat puzzling. For how could he have failed to notice that those who came forward in the MITD case were arrested? That those who came forward to stress on Mireille Martin’s recklessness in dealing with abused children, were themselves investigated upon? That those who blamed Anil Bachoo for the tragedies that took the lives of people were quickly presented with foreign experts’ counter evidence?
That the damning report on the STC was quickly shelved and another ministry created for Rajesh Jeetah where he could quietly indulge in conflicts of interest, enthusiastically confusing the state’s interests with that of his family?
Thankfully the reactions from ministers following Navin Ramgoolam’s decision spoke of uneasiness. This means that they do not– at least, not yet – think that they can get away with murder simply because they think the Prime minister’s hands are tied. It means they are nervous. And so they should be, because as Alan Ganoo said in Parliament, Varma’s behaviour is indicative of a prevalent attitude among some cabinet ministers; that their power will protect them, that redemption can be bought.
Varma’s extreme reaction – a suicide attempt – fake or not, is a good measure of how attached to power some ministers can be. I don’t know if Varma genuinely attempted to commit suicide but if he did, the fact that his ruined political career meant more than his two kids, than his wife, than his elderly father, than his sick mother, speaks volume on how far those in power will go to stay in power. It gives a better indication on why Anil Bachoo never once gave any consideration to the thought of resigning in the name of honour. It explains why Bunwaree struggled like a madman all through the dismal MITD affair. Martin and Jeetah’s arrogance on the other hand can only be explained by what I hope is a misguided assumption that they are indispensable.
As Charles de Gaulle said, “the graveyards are full of indispensable men”. And women, one might add. Let’s just hope they don’t all stop by Darné fi rst to get treated for attempted suicide!