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March 29, 1947 – March 19, 2017: Seventy years ago, exploded in several points of the Great Island, the great popular insurrection, described as “rebellion” by the government of the Colony, incarnated by Marcel de Coppet then Pierre de Chevigné . Government which represses it with the greatest violence, the survivors hiding for several weeks if not months in the forests of the East. The same government accuses the leaders of the Democratic Movement of Malagasy Renovation (MDRM) of being the initiators if not the fomentors. True or false In any case, the party is dissolved the following May 10.
In fact, the uprising had long since broken out in March 1896, a few months after the French conquest, with the Menalamba. Then in 1915, with the Vy-Vato-Sakelika Movement where Dr. Joseph Raseta is already involved. Then with the demonstration of May 19, 1929, initiated by Jean Ralaimongo, Dr. Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona and the Reunionnais Paul Dussac. Throughout the island, insurrections broke out under different names.
Beginning in 1930 and under the first authoritarian government of Yves Léon Cayla (1930-1939), the Malagasy began to advance specific political and social demands. They relate in particular to the increase in the number of French naturalizations,
The full application of French laws in Madagascar and the transformation of the Colony into the French Department. Violent campaigns in this direction are carried out, among others in the newspaper L’Opinion where abuses of the Administration are denounced.
The impact of the Second World War should not be overshadowed either because some of the
Malagasy “natives” who had been recruited and sent to the front to liberate the Motherland, played an important or even decisive role in the insurrectional movement of 1947.
In 1945, moreover, when the new post-war era enabled Madagascar to
To choose indigenous deputies to sit in the National Constituent Assembly, several personalities present themselves.
Dr. Joseph Ravoahangy Andrianavalona poses as a nationalist candidate with the program “Integral Independence of Madagascar”. This program is shared by his colleague, Dr. Joseph Raseta. Both are elected, which is not the case of Pastor Ravelojaona who proposes “Progressive Independence of Madagascar”.
In 1946, a Franco-Malagasy Committee was created in Paris, founding a political party, the MDRM, whose two deputies are the soul. The aim is to obtain for the Great Island the status of free state in the French Union, a project already proposed by Pastor Ravelojaona.
The MDRM is rapidly establishing itself in Madagascar. At the same time, the people of Malagasy, who have become very sensitive to the evolution that is continuing in the world after the Second World War – an evolution marked by the Atlantic Charter and the commitments of San Francisco- – aspire to more freedom and claim Participation in power.
An “effervescence of the spirits” then occurs and the flame of nationalism lights up in the Great island maintained by the MDRM.
“It is not difficult in the effervescence of the minds of the fanatical partisans of nationalism and of their irreconcilable adversaries, fishermen in troubled waters, to create an atmosphere favorable to the outbreak of the events of 1947” (Régis Rajemisa- Raolison). Some historians claim that it was the Colony government itself that caused the explosion, hoping to discredit the Malagasy, the MDRM as fomenter of the bloody “Tabataba”.
For the repression is in proportion to the extent of the insurrection. To the point of making certain censors of Pierre de Chevigne say, to which some metropolitan journals echo: “A work of pacification is not necessarily a work of repression, still less reprisals. “
And it is in memory of the hundred thousand nationalists killed, mostly simple people, that is commemorated each year, since the Second Republic, the Day of 29 March. In particular, to pay tribute to the victims of the infamous Moramanga wagons.