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Joanna Berenger and her ‘offensive’ expression that wasn’t one

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Joanna Berenger and her 'offensive' expression that wasn't one
Joanna Berenger (left), Kalpana Koonjoo-Shah (right)

Opposition MP Joanna Bérenger (MMM) came under  fire during the weekend over an old Creole saying she posted on her Facebook page. The post read: “Apel sa: Manz bondié, Kaka diab” – an old expression to describe a “Janus Faced”.

She was referring to a photo of PM Pravind Jugnauth at a Hindu ritual in Grand Bassin.

However, the female wing of the MSM, led by Gender Equality Minister Kalpana Koonjoo-Shah, considered it to offensive. The minister and other female MPs were swift to call for Berenger’s resignation, accusing her of racism.

Several Hindu sociocultural organisations joined the fray demanding public apologies from Berenger while expressing unconditional support to the MSM-led government.

Berenger said it was “never my intention to attack any religious community.”

Author Jacques Maunick, who penned a compilation of old sayings in Creole, including the one being disputed, condemned the outcry as being “baseless”.

“It does not have any religious connotation. The expression means acting as a hypocrite. I can’t understand why the ado about it. Those who are linking it with religion are sick in their minds,” he told Top FM radio station.

The six MPs have, in turn, been severely criticised on social media – many denouncing an attempt to “incite racial hatred for political motives”.

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The information and opinions expressed in our published works are those of authors/sources believed to be reliable. NewsMoris makes no representations as to accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information expressed.