There is currently a lot of talk about the tolerance of Goans, particularly because Goans are in increasing numbers, starting to speak out against the fast deterioration of Goan Culture & Identity; mainly with the rapid influx of Non-Goans and hence the fast changing demographics. While I full appreciate that Tolerance is the need of the hour to make the world a better place, I want to put tolerance into a correct perspective for Goa.
Nobody today can dispute the enormous tolerance & hospitality exhibited by Goans in Goa, simply with the fact that 40% of the population of Goa are Non-Goans; I would like for the critics to compare this with the demographics of other states in India. We, Goans should continue to be Tolerant & Hospitable to all other people, but this does not mean it is wrong for us Goans to put in safeguards now, to reverse the erosion of Goan Identity and protect Goan interests.
In the UAE where I temporarily reside for example, the vast majority are non-nationals and many are allowed to even buy land, but this country in its wisdom has put in fair safeguards to ensure that the UAE will always remain with its own people. Yes we are Indians, but India is made up of some many cultures & identities; each of which has a right to be preserved and protected.
To drive home my point, say for instance in the homes that we live in, we can be very tolerant & hospitable to our guests or any person for that matter, but does this mean that we should give away our homes to the said people? Surely nobody will agree to this, not even the critics.
Arwin Mesquita, UAE.