Saturday, 14 June 2008

Respect our Right to Identity.

Goans are increasingly opposing Land Sales to Non-Goans. I request Non-Goans to appreciate our basis. Yes, Goans can buy land in many Indian states/Western countries. But let’s look at this in a bigger perspective; this time globally; I’ll take the UK example, just to drive my point.

I read an impressive column recently in the UAE media by a UK government minister. It was ref. the new UK immigration laws; highlight was while the UK has to be fair to other countries, at the same time it needed them, particularly India in the letter, to respect each nations right to protect its genuine interests.

We appreciate why the UK/Western Countries i.e. Main Globalisation/Democratic Free World drivers enact controls against non-locals. In UK, non-locals can buy land, but immigration controls ensure that the UK is not open to all. Those questioning my views from UAE, please note that although locals here are in minority there are safeguards e.g. No Expatriate Political Rights, No Citizenship, Restrictive Real Estate Buying laws etc. to ensure that the UAE remains with its people.

Each community has limits to which non-locals can buy land/emigrate (with political rights). Goa has way crossed this limit; beyond which we have to put safeguards; the current rate will make Goans irrelevant & no community can accept the same for themselves. I’d argue today that Goans are more tolerant than most other communities. The REAL ISSUE is that GOA HAS NO CONTROLS ON REAL ESTATE PURCHASES/IMMIGRATION (mostly non local Indians). For those quoting the constitution (A) Goa had no influence to framing of the constitution i.e. India acquisition of Goa much later in 1961 (B) Some states have special provisions; Goa is also an exception; just because we “failed” to get safeguards in 1961, does not right the wrong (C) The Constitution is not cast in stone and for just basis, should be modified to protect the people; from which a democratic constitution should have been driven; not vice-versa!!

I accept criticism that Goans are to be blamed significantly for the issue because of our actions/in-actions; but also issues of Land Sales to Non-Goans & Uncontrolled Migration are significant and need to be addressed urgently. Goans should support your right to your identity/interests, likewise please respect our right to the same.

Arwin Mesquita, Abu Dhabi.

1 comment:

dr who said...

I am of the opinion that unless Goans are prepared to fight on all fronts and at all levels to get total responsibility for our borders, nothing much can be achieved.

Unless we can secure our borders, anything else is a cost with no benefit.

The opportunity to secure our borders was squandered by our ancestors, our forefathers, our parents and now ourselves. We are all to blame and make no mistake about it.

We slept with the enemy; we were treacherous to our compatriots; we sat on the fence; we did nothing and anything that was done was feeble, weak minded, naive, juvenile, unworthy of an organisation or an intelligencia. All of the above does not work if Goa has to have a real say in its own future.

Speaking for myself and the level of my ignorance, I have to admit that I was not aware that the Hindu Goan and the Christian Goan were one and the same people. Who was to blame for that? Me and my parents I submit.

Our best opportunity was just before India invaded/liberated Goa. It is rather academic whether we consider Goa was invaded or liberated. It is all water under the bridge. We must close this post hoc contemplation of our navel.

The fact is that Goa has no control over it borders which would enable Goans to take responsibility for their own independence and future. We Goans need to decide what relationship and integration we wish to have with India or to what extent India's Foreign Policy should be allowed to include Goan relationships with the outside world.

It would not be realistic for Goa to have a wholly independent Foreign Policy without consultation and agreement with Indian. Indian Foreign Policy to-date since Independence has been remarkably responsible, mature, realistic, honest and independent as indeed it should. I am proud of those architects who were responsible for formulating Indian Foreign Policy.

Goans have a major part to play in Indian Foreign Policy construction. While we want to secure our borders, we must see the sense in recognising that our roots, our strength, our culture and our future is bound with India. But given our history and exposure to the outside world and where we wish to make it with the outside world we are in a good position to bring valueable input to the formulation of policy or have cavets indroduced to benefit Goa and Goans.

I fear Goan lack like minded elites for some unknown reason. It is almost a systemic problem of the Goan psyche. Perhaps, it is our strong sense of independence or insecurity or just that we recognise that we cannot trust ourselves to be united or it goes against our grain. To be honest I am guessing and I dont know. Mercifully, it is not the issue.

What I am sure about though is that to achieve an objective like taking ownership of our borders we need outstanding leaders who are capable of mobilising the populace. In a global world this means Networking, Intelligence Gathering, Making friends and influencing people and institutions anywhere, Central and Distributed Communication systems and the Will to fight to win.

Attempts of garnering like minded Goans is a step in the right direction but unless we are prepared to fight on all fronts the battles and wars cannot be won. We must be clear and we must communicate that we are not against India. We are full bloodied Indians but we wish to work with the rest of India rather then be dictated to through servile politicking and corrupt officials or lap dogs.

It matters not if it is the dog wagging the tail or the tail wagging the dog, Goans want to know that what happens within its borders are its responsibility. And that responsibility will be taken seriously, expeditiously and justly. We need people in positions who must be held to account and must carry the brunt for failure.

There was a time when our parents should have been prepared to sacrifice their sons and daughters for what they believe in rather then what would be nice to have. That never happened. Unless we are prepared to make scrifices that we are unfamiliar with in our long and peaceful history all we can hope to be is a talking shop and not much else.