Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was a Mauritian physician, politician, and statesman.
27 Facts About Seewoosagur Ramgoolam
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam served as the island's only chief minister, first prime minister, and fifth governor-general.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam is widely recognized as the nation's founding father.
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, known as Kewal, was born on 18 September 1900 at Belle Rive, Mauritius, in the district of Flacq in a Hindu Indo-Mauritian family.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam's father, Moheeth Ramgoolam was an Indian immigrant labourer probably from the broad Kushwaha caste.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam already had two sons: Nuckchadee Heeramun and Ramlall Ramchurn.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam had his early grounding in Bhojpuri, Indian culture and philosophy, in the local evening school of the locality, where children of the Hindu community learnt the vernacular language and glimpses of the Hindu culture.
At the age of seven, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam lost his father and at the age of twelve, he suffered a serious accident in a cowshed that cost him his left eye.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam continued his scholarship class at the Curepipe Boys' Government School while taking up boarding with his uncle, Harry Parsad Seewoodharry Buguth, a sworn land surveyor, in Curepipe.
The scholarship classes, which formed the basis of lower secondary schooling, permitted Seewoosagur Ramgoolam to go straight for the Junior Cambridge at the Royal College, Curepipe, where he was educated by the likes of Reverend Fowler and Mr Harwood.
In 1921, Seewoosagur Ramgoolam set sail on one of the ships of the Messageries maritimes for Marseille, and continued by train to London, his final destination, with a transit of a couple of days in Paris.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam graduated from University College London and attended lectures at the London School of Economics.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam gave birth to their daughter Sunita and their son Navin Ramgoolam.
In 1935 he returned to Mauritius after completing medical studies in London and Seewoosagur Ramgoolam worked to improve the living and working conditions of the bulk of the island's population which consisted of the descendants of indentured Indian laborers and enslaved Africans.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam wrote a series of articles using pseudonym Thumb Mark II which challenged the island's established conservative sugar oligarchs.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was appointed as President of the group known as Indian Cultural Association.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam joined the masonic fraternity and was an active member of the Loge de la Triple Esperance.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam served as Nominated Member of the Legislative Council from 1940 to 1948.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was re-elected to the Legislative Council in 1953,1959 and 1967.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam led the Mauritian Labour Party from 1959 to 1982 following the death of Guy Rozemont in March 1956.
Under the supervision of the Colonial Office Seewoosagur Ramgoolam served as Chief Minister and Minister of Finance from 1961 to 1965, then as Premier from 1965 to 1968, before becoming Prime Minister in 1968.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam's efforts were recognised as he was honoured as knighted in the Queen's Birthday Honours of 12 June 1965.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam lost his parliamentary seat which led to further downfall of the Labour Party.
The Labour Party became a minority party in a coalition MSM-Labour government and Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was appointed Governor-General, a position which he held until his death in 1985.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was succeeded as leader of the Labour Party by Sir Satcam Boolell in 1984 when the latter returned to the Labour Party after having formed and led a new party Mouvement Patriotique Mauricien following his 1982 electoral defeat.
Seewoosagur Ramgoolam was the Chairperson of the Organisation of African Unity from 1976 to 1977.