Mauritius: Paradise Reconsidered

Issue Date April 2011
Volume 22
Issue 2
Page Numbers 160-169
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The island of Mauritius is perhaps best known as Mark Twain’s model for paradise and as the land of the long extinct dodo. Despite its small size and lack of natural resources, Mauritius has become the “star and key of the Indian Ocean,” touting excellent economic and democratic credential since achieving independence in 1968. Unfortunately, the “star” is now losing some of its lustre, as indicated by a number of worrisome trends such as the rise of ethnosectarianism, growing levels of inequality between the different socioeconomic groups and an extremely closed and regressive political class. If left unchecked, these worrisome trends can seriously undermine the model of social harmony and diversity that the island prides itself.