Saturday, 19 December 2009

Non Resident Goans Please Act

In this month of December, we see many non-resident Goans who have come to Goa on Holidays. Surely, many are here to celebrate the Festive Season and indulge in relaxation/enjoyment, via various events. How good it will be for Goa and Goans, if these Goans take some time to see how they can contribute to the betterment of their towns & villages. Overseas Goans have gained the best of Global/Indian Best Practices and are aware of latest developments; surely we can put our rich expertise and knowledge back into our home state and help make Goa into the place we want it to be; and preserve our prized identity. Even a little effort by each non-resident Goan can result in a gigantic combined effort. We might be residing outside but we should not forget where we came from!!Arwin Mesquita (UAE)

Wednesday, 11 November 2009

Love For Goa And Konkanni Is Synonymous (Freddy Fernandes - Dubai/UAE)

Mother Tongue is supposed to be the language of the natives, which most often than not, is one factor that binds the locals together, it is so embalmed in their culture, that it gives them a distinct Identity, it also becomes a medium used to express or communicate among the locals and it is also a medium that all the locals adept to very easily, universally this is supposed to be true but not in the case of Goans. Goans say that their Mother Tongue is Konkanni, but for some unknown reasons, Goans in Mumbai prefer to speak in Marathi, Hindi or English but not in Konkani, the Goan Diaspora spread all over the world, proudly speak in English, most of them don’t even acknowledge that Konkanni is their Mother Tongue, worse still are the educated Goans in Goa, who prefer to speak in English rather than in Konkanni, what are we trying to prove ? What are we trying to show ? We say we are Goans and we love Konkanni but when it come to proving it, we fall way short in our commitment towards Konkanni.


We all say we love Goa and we love Konkanni, but when it comes to giving Konkanni it’s due place, we fail to deliver. We have become victims of our own insecure ideology, where we think speaking English puts us on higher strata of society. The Goan Diaspora community is the only community that that does not project it’s Mother Tongue “Konkanni”, be it in our family gathering, community gathering or even Goan conventions, Konkanni is seldom used as the means of communication. We like to show off our acquired skills in a language that had ruled, most part of India for more than 400 years, there is no doubt that English is an international language and comparatively, we Goans can match anyone on the globe in English, that does not mean we should neglect our Mother Tongue and treat it disgracefully.

It is so good to see the Mangalorean Community never falling short in their commitment towards Konkanni, so why should we Goans be any less committed to the cause of Konkanni ? At present, Goans in Goa and the Goan Diaspora spread all over the world, say we love Goa and Konkanni and would protect both by whatever means, but unfortunately, fail to show it by our deeds.

If Konkanni is loosing it’s hold in Goan families, it is the elders of the family, that are to be blamed, it is the elders in the family who have to show their love for Konkanni and have to make sure that our children learn and love our Mother Tongue. Our Children in the Gulf and rest of the world, hardly speak a word of Konkanni nor do they understand it, if we don’t teach our children Konkanni and our culture, who will carry forward our Identity and our culture ?
We try to give our children the best in everything, so why not Konkanni ? It’s so pathetic when the younger generation are made to utter a few sentences in Konkanni during a function, which do not sound anything like Konkanni, why do we have add insult to injury or rub salt and vinegar, to the already open wounds of Mother Konkanni ? Why may I ask, why ? It does stretch the limits of credulity.

Once, there was a time when, I myself was a victim of my own thinking, showing off my accented English in public and look for reactions, even if people spoke to me in Konkanni, I would reply in English, but soon I was made to realize that I was not only ungrateful and not being fair to my Mother Tongue but was also insulting my Mother Tongue, whom I should be honouring instead, it was then that I took a vow to speak Konkanni and uphold the cause of Konkanni, irrespective of the what others did around me. The very idea of reading and writing Konkanni was repulsive and never cared a damn about it, but today I can proudly say that I can read very well and write reasonably too and I am still learning. I am sure that if I have done it, so can every Goan too.
If you really love Goa and our culture, speak in Konkanni and spread the Goan flavour and the essence of Konkanni all around you, if not, there is nothing we can do about it, but for God’s sake stop calling yourself a GOAN

Freddy Agnelo Fernandes Dubai , UAE.

Monday, 9 November 2009

English Speech - Freddy Agnelo Fernandes (Global Goan Convention 2009 - Muscat, Oman)

Goa yesterday, Goa Today, will there be Goa tomorrow ?

Your Excellency Mr. Anil Wadhwa, the Indian Ambasador to the Sultanat of Oman, Your Excellency Mr. Eduardo Faleiro , Honourable Commissioner for NRI Affairs, Government of Goa, The Honourable Home Minster of Goa, Mr. Ravi Naik, distinguished guests and my fellow Goans, It’s most certainly a privilege and honour to be standing here infront of you at this Global Goan 2009 Convention and I take this opportunity to thank Dr. Mario De Souza for giving me this honour of speaking to you lovely people on the occasion. I would also like to thank The Oman Goan Community and wish them all success and blessings from above.

Are we all Goans ? (awating reply) I ask thee once again, are we all Goans, yes, we are all Goans, but remember, it’s not just enough to say we are Goans, to be a blue blooded Goan, one needs to have a heart of a true Goan in his chest and an unflinching Goan tongue in his mouth, along with the courage and resolve running through his veins to protect Mother Goa from the ravaging scavengers that are out to destroy and mutilate her.

I would like to request our most distinguished dignitaries, not to be offended at my references to the politicians and the political atmosphere in Goa but to look at it as flaws that are very much prevalent in our administration in Goa, to be precisely looked into and work towards corrective actions thereafter for the betterment of Goa and Goans.

I would like to start my talk with a quote that enthralls me even today “time and tide waits for no man” Yes, my dear Goans, time and tide waits for no man, today is of the essence, who has seen tomorrow ? Tomorrow never comes and it is very much a fact. So what we need to do today, should not be kept for tomorrow, today is the day, we might not be there tomorrow, time and tide waits for no man, For a better tomorrow, for our children, today is the day to start, today is the day to resolve, let today be the day of retribution, let tomorrow reflect our today.

We are gathered here today, for this Global Goan 2009 convention, with the theme “The Gulf Goan.” We as Goans, all have our dreams and aspirations for Goa and would love to be in Goa, but the big question is, what do we go back to or what awaits us in Goa ?
Our beautiful Goa, that once was, was known for it’s scenic breathtaking natural beauty, it enthralled young and the old, foreigners (world wide) as well as local tourist, it was acclaimed as the Rome of the east, a prized jewel on India’s crown, visitors delight, that could not be quenched with any number of visits, as they always left wanting more of it. Tourists do not come to see concrete jungles, nor do they come to see bald hills and mountains or the scorched plains either, what attracted them to Goa, was the natural beauty and it is this factor that we need to protect, preserve, nourish and harness to develop our tourism industry.
When we think of the good old days, it is the simplicity, the generosity and the love of our people, that comes to mind, the care free days breathing fresh air and drinking clean water, home grown food and the fresh fish that we ate, it was all so cheap and affordable, we had no worry whatsoever, visitors were welcome, doors were open twenty four to anyone and everyone. That was nostalgic Goa. Do we have that now ? Or better still, can we afford to do that now ? NO !
What is Goa today ? In the name of development we have destroyed our natural beauty, hill cutting and land filling have destroyed agricultural land and forest cover and have placed extra burden on the already overburdened limited infrastructure, as a result of which there have been uproars against mega housing, all over Goa. Can Goans afford to pay the exorbitant rates of these mega housing units ? NO, so if Goans cannot afford, for whom are they built, and why ? This leads to destructive development, which, Goa, does not require at the moment. We have to analyze our problems and seek answers. There is no denying that we have a major problem with the supply of the basic amenities like water and electricity, we are marching into the 21st century and we have electricity and water supply, that has more and much longer interruptions then the commercial breaks during serials on the numerous TV channels and at times, they last for days, In some villages people light up their tube, even before 5PM, because come dusk, the tubes don’t light up for lack of power, wherever you go, you see people lining up their utensils at the public taps waiting for water to flow through or wait for tankers, so how can our Government justify the approvals for mega housing. We should not gobble more than, what we can swallow and should spread our legs as per the size of our bedding.
Mining is another evil that has devastated Goa. As per News Paper reports of 14th June, Speaker of the Goa’s Legislative Assembly went on record in stating that a number of politicians were involved directly or indirectly in illegal mining activities in Goa. It’s been stated that at present, there are at least 40 illegal mining operations being carried out in Goa. Even though all this stands out like a full blown sore eye, the Government acts blind to this monstrous issue. Even though the Supreme Court has banned mining within 1Km radius of protected areas, the Environment Ministry has given it’s nod for mining leases next to wild life sanctuaries in Goa.
How long will it be before the forest cover of Goa is totally destroyed and we are faced with the dilemma of an irreversible ecological disaster ? India’s forest policy clearly says that we should work towards 33% forest cover. So far, with more than 50% forest cover already destroyed by mining, this policy looks more like a crude joke on Goa’s environment, than an attempt to restore the imbalance. If the people who are supposed to implement these policies of their respective Governments, are themselves defaulters, what’s the purpose of these policies ? Reports have been pouring in, of the draining and dwindling of our water bodies due to mining, water is a very important necessity of life and for all developmental purposes man and nature has to move hand in hand and in ambience, and in our quest and vision for development and revenue enhancement, it is mandatory, that we maintain our ecological balance which is very essential for the very survival of mankind itself.

The world over, people are fighting tooth and nail, to save the environment but in Goa, we don’t give a rat’s back side for the environment. We are well aware of the affects of environmental degradation as a result of mining and the realities of it’s ramifications, are very frightening to even fathom. It is high time we voiced our concerns to this ever magnifying colossal catastrophe that’s staring at us in our face. Man’s greed has so overwhelmed his senses that he is become blind and seizes to see beyond the colour of money. The whole world is worried about the depleting ozone layer and our politicians are only adding to the woes of the global community with further reduction in green cover. The way our forests are being destroyed, 33% forest cover surely looks wishful thinking.

Our Ministers say that “the mining industry should continue to flourish, while having a minimum impact on the environment”. How long has mining been, going on in Goa ? And just what is the minimum impact that our esteemed ministers are looking for ? The silt deposited on our river beds threatening the natural flow of our rivers, the wells that have run dry, threatening humans lives. The loss of water bodies and pollution of the rest of the few left, which is threatening human and animal life. The fertile fields, that have been covered by mining deposits and become barren and scorched, threatening livelihood of people. The pitiful conditions of our roads in the mining areas, where there have been a number of fatal accidents. The houses and the lungs of the people in the mining areas that are like dust bags, affected by the air pollution and the sicknesses that have affected the lives of people and above all the destruction caused to our flora, fauna and our forest. Is all these minimum impact ? If this is minimum impact, what is maximum impact ? A nuclear holocaust ? Isn’t it a joke that mining was carried our since the days of Portuguese rule and till today we do not have a “mining policy” ? Whom are we waiting for ? Aliens to come from outer space and draft it for us ? At this point in time, it is most imperative, that we look at this, very delicate and demanding issues with a lot more seriousness and aggression if required and put an end to the destruction of our natural wealth and preserve it for our future generations.

The law and order situation in Goa, is at cross roads, crime is on the rise and corruption is runaway rain with no signs of slowing down. As long as rampant corruption persists, our Governments will continue to shake, wobble or even tumble as do the bridges they built and the law and order situation disintegrate faster than our roads in Goa. Corruption is a monumental obstruction towards progress and development. Until and unless we do away with corruption there will not be any constructive development.

Law and order situation in Goa is abysmal, how can the law and order improve, when law makers themselves are supporting and abetting, most of the criminal activities in Goa. The high handedness of our politicians and police is well known, where innocent people are victimized and criminals are patronized. The people who peacefully fight for justice and for their rights are often intimidated, harassed, wrongfully arrested and even threatened with encounter deaths, on the direction of the money power, of the miners and the builders.

We all know and are aware that our primary education and health services are in shambles, our hospitals, clinics and schools are in a despicable state, a visit to any hospital makes one often wonder if the patient is better off outside or in it ? So too with the schools, that’s the reason even poor people make a beeline to private schools and hospitals even though they cannot afford it.

What is the legacy that we want to leave for our future generations, we have to think and think hard, today, as “time and tide waits for no man”. The memories of Goa, of yester years, most certainly brings us nostalgia, but Goa of today only brings tears to our eyes and in our greed to accumulate wealth by destroying the beauty and sanctity of Goa, will there be Goa tomorrow ? It’s time we act to protect what’s dear to us, that we all claim we love so much, let not the love for Goa, be only on our lips, but show it by our deeds, we are running out of time. As I said at the start “time and tide waits for no man” let us all come together and put an end to the atrocities against mother nature today.

While our woes continued most of our MLA’s and Ministers have backed the money power of the miners and builders but during this time we have failed to hear Mr. Faleiro’s stand on this issue. It would certainly be good to hear from the man himself.

If we are to resurrect Goa from this decay, there is one viable option, elect people who are genuine and incorruptible, I am sure there will be a lot of people who love Goa and have a passion to do good for Goa and Goans sacrificing themselves for the service of others. We should not elect people who are only interested in themselves rather than others, working for their own personal good. For the last thirty years I have been seeing the same corrupt people running affairs in Goa, are there no other people who can do the job better than these ? My humble request to Mr. Faleiro, as a senior Congressman, please see that good genuine people are given tickets and not crooks, thugs and blackmailers.

Let me wind off with the words of our late Shri Ravindranath Tagore “Through all this turmoil and tragedy let my Goa awake”.

Save the environment, save Goa, India Jai ho ! Goa Jai ho ! Viva Goa

Thank you and may God bless Goa.

Konkani Speech - Freddy Agnelo Fernandes (Global Goan Convention - Muscat 2009)

Goyem kaal, Goyem aiz, Goyem faleam astolem ?

Your Excellency, the Indian Ambasador to the Sultanat of Oman Mr. Anil Wadhwa, Amchea sogleamchea volkicho ani apurbayecho Goy’cho put, videxi aslolea Bharat Nagrikamcho Commissioner manadik Shri. Eduardo Faleiro, her mukeli Soire ani mojea bhou mogall Goy’karano. Aiz vhod khuxallkai ani obhiman maka bhogta tumchea mukar ubo ravun bagh ghevounk hea no-via ak’kea sonvsarant ximpodlolea Goy’karamchea maha-mellaveant, ani upkar attoitam Dr. Mario-ache, thannem maka ho soyoug dhilo mhunn. Hanv tumcho abbari Dr. Mario. Argam attoitam Oman Goy’karanche ani magtham tumkam uppot bessanvam sorgimchim.

Hanv tumkam ek prosn vichartam ani ravtam tumi to sogot eka tallen ditoleat mhunn, Ami Goy’kar ? Anik ek paut tumkam vichartam, ami Goy’kar ? Khosle Goy’kar ? Nizache Goy’kar, Hoi ami nizache Goy’kar, sarkem asa, punn ami thondanuch nizache Goy’kar mhunn ucharlear zaina, ami tem khorneanim dhakovunk zai, amchea holddeant asunk zia, poile swater niz Goy’karachem khaliz, niz Goy’karachi Konkani jib amchea thondant ani Goy’mattecho mog, husko ani dhasti dhavunk zai amchea rogtant, rakhunk ani samballunk amche Goy’mattek, nistor mon’xeanchea hatatlim, je Goy’mattek broxtacharan bhorun thicho bolathkar korunk sodtat, thedna-ki amchean mhunnonk zata, ki, oi ami niz Goy’kar mhunnon. Asa hem amche sovem ? Ami khosle Goy’kar ? Jivak borem dislem itke soggot niz Gay’kar hangasor asat tem polloun.

Maghtam amchea mukeli Pauneam ani heram Soiream thaim, thannim okmanit zauvchem nhoi, jedna hanv uloitam amchea aamdharam ani rajkarbaream-chea khortutam voir, punn tem borea monan, somzun ani nittai-er haddunk vavurunk moji khalti maghnim tumche sovem.

Amche Maim baxen ek mhunni asa “vellachi ghoddi ani somdirachi sukti bhorti, khonnakuch ravona” “time and tide waits for no men” he mhunnent soglemch sott asam. Hoi, mogall Goy’karamno, vellachi ghoddi ani somdirachi sukti bhorti khonnakuch ravona, faleam kitem astolem vo kitem zat’tlem, khonnachean sangonk zait ? Faleam khonnen pollelam ? Aicho dis gorjecho, aichem kam faleam keddinch soddchem nhoi, mhunn amchea purvozani amkam sanglam. Amcho ani amchea burgeamcho fuddar boro zat’tlo zalear aizuch ami vauvrunk zai, aichea kortutamchem amkam faleam mukamoll distolem. Vellachi ghoddi ani somdirachi sukti bhorti khonnakuch ravona ! Time and tide waits for no man.

Aiz ami ektovleam, somsarant ximpodlolea Goy’karamchea maha-mellaveant “Galfant asl’lo Goy’kar” ho hettu ghevun. Videxant asl’lea dor eka Goy’karachi chintnam ani sopnam asta, ami kedna Goyeam pavtole-gai mhunn, punn hatunt ek motto prosn uprasta, Goy’eant amkam kitem rauvta ? What awaits us in Goa ? Or what do we go back to ?

Adlea temparlem bangarachem Goyem amchem, irrvea zadhamni borlelem, ghirestkayechem bhandar tem aslem, tiche ankvar suropayecho ani sundortayecho onnbhov ghevunk, baile desantle toxech purai Bharatant rauvpi zantte toxe nentte axeta-let, udenttechem Roma-xar mhunn ucharlolem, Bharat desheachea mukuttar loklokit thik mhunn pacharlolem, turistamchem tikkan mhunn porgottlolem, kitleai pauvti bhetton, thanchi thaan (thirst) bago nasli, anikui bhettonk tim axetalim, bailo lok ximittacheo vhod imaroti pollounk eanat, nam mhunnon vingle dongor vo nixonton zallim mollam, bailo lok ganvchea nitol swast vathavoranak ani ankwar suropayek bulta, ani hench ami sambalunk ani vadovunk moji sorkara thaim maghnim, and it is the natural beauty of Goa that needs to protected, preserved, nourished and harnessed to develop our tourism industry.

Ami addlea tempachem jednam chinttanv, (the good old days) tednam amkam, amchea sadeponacho, udharponacho, mog-moipasacho ugdas ieta, khoslich dhasti nastonam jietalet, swast vathavaranacho, swas ghevun, nitol udik pieun, ghorchem pikoilem jevon jevun, ani somdirantlem tajem nustem khavun sukki asle. Soglem sovai aslem ani sompeponim mello, Ghoram amchim disa 24-voram ugtim aso, khonnui to zanv, vatsuream kednach portim naslim, te dis ekdomuch annondache asle. Aiz te dis amkam mevot-gai ? Aiz ami toxem khorunk xoktanv-gai ? Will we ever get those days back ? Nam, Aichi poristiti toxi nam. It is certainly different now. Unfortunately things have changed drastically.

Koslem duvens Goy’eank laglam ? Udorgotichea narrear amche irrve dongor ani zaddam nanch khorun udoileant, dongor foddun, xetam bhorun amchea peryavaranacho satyanas khela, vhod vhod imaroti bandun amchea disadispotea jivitache halo-val keleat, hea mega housing-ant, ghoram ghevunk Goy’karank putvota ? Nam, mogall Goy’karano, tor hem khonak ani kiteak bandthat ? He udorgothiche paunde nhoi, him noxtachi paulam zavun asa. Osli noxti udorgoth Goy’karank kityak zai ? Hanv mhunnona Goy’chi udorgoth zanvchi nhoi mhunn, but what we need is constructive development and not destructive development. Ami amchem atrun pollun amche paim sodunk zai. Ami 21-via xenkdeachi vatt thankthanv punn azzun-i amkam favo titli bijli ani ghoroz titlem udok Goy’karank poile swater mellona, zaite khelle ganvani loak sanjeche 5-hora fudden tube light-i pettoun dhovortat, kiteak, tilsanz zatoch teo pettonat, bijili pavona, toxench zaietch khelle ganvani “public” nolla-xim vo tankara-xim aidonachi vhodli khota (line) khorun, axen udkachi vhatt poletat, osle poristetent amcho sorkar maha-imarotimk khoxi porvangi dita ? Zait amche rajkarbari oslea ganvani azunhoi pavunk nant ?


Mina vorvim anik ek vhod odruxt Goy’cher ailolem asa, khudd amchea Vidhan Sobeant, zababdharechea mon’xan mutlam ki, zaite amche aamdhar ani montri akaidixer minant baghidar asat mhunn, azuni 40-sam voir akaidixer mina khonni-ni, min khaddit asat, hem itle sobemazar cholta astonnam, amcho sorkar kuddea-chem dhong ghevun asa. Bharatache Unch niyailayen (Supreme Court) hukum ghatlolo asa ki, khuichea-i “rakon mapllelea” swatimchea (protected areas) 1-Km bhountim, min khadunk zainam mhunn, totakpachi ghoxt mutlear, Peryavaran Mantralayan, oslea 3 (tin) zageancher min khadunk, Goy’eant porvangi dil’li asa. Unch niyailayecho kitem respet ?

Amche irrve dongor ani mollam amkam anik kitlo tem mhunn dhektolet te amchean sangonk zainam, hem orixit noxt amchea swast peryavarancho ani nitol vataverancho bosm kortolem. Bharat sorkarachi eauzon asa purai Bharatant zomniche 33% (tokke) irrve asche mhunn, aslolea tea ranache 50% (tokke) tor noxt khorun udiole, tor 33% khuiche urtole ? Sorkarachi hi eauzon Goy’chea peryavaranacheo khel-bai-io xeo distat. Sorkar cholovpi munisuch aplea sorkarache kaide moddtat tor, kaide anik kiteak ? Minachea vatharant zaiteo baim-eo sukleat, khondare, toleo ani zori pasun noxt zaleat, varea baxen, udokui mon’xakullak ekdomuch ghorjechem. Mon’xean, peryavarana borobor ani tichea sangata paul marchem, nhoi tor munis sandtolo, anik ek mhunni asa, “vetak cukot tor vaunvak sukta” uprant roddon faido nam. Udorgothchea nanvan, poixeamchea axen peryavaran noxt khorop sarkem nhoi, kiteak mon’xeakullacho fudhar peryavaranacheruch asa.

Ak’kea sonvsarak loak peryavaranam khatir zuzta punn amchea Goy’ant, khonakuch poddonk nam, ami peryavaranacho valor zanna zavun-uni to mandun ghenant. Poixeamche axen mon’xak khuddo kela, poixeamchea fuddem amkam anik kainch dissona, oxem khorun ami peryavaran sambalche boldek, tem noxt khorpac amcho tenkko dila, ani hachi amkam zap dhinvchich podteli. Je porim ami vethanv te porim 33% irrvem Goyem kedinch asonk xokchem-nam.

Amche montri mhuntat, minamcho dhondo anikui fuddem vorcho punn thacho peryavaranacher, ani mon’xeamcher unnean unnem osor poddcho (minimum impact). Goy’eant min khaddunk laglear kitlim vorsam zalim? Anik unnean unnem osor mhuntat to khoslo ? Mina khonnitli mati denvun amcheo nodi purvot aileo, ani vaunvtea udokachi vhatt bondh zavunk paulia, baimeo, toleo, khondare sukot aileat ani uloleanchem udok noxt zavun, mon’xank toxem zonvarank khotro asa, pikavolichea xetant, minachi matti poddon xetam noxt zaleant, mina-khonnichea vatharani roste sarke nasson zaite obgathak sompodleat, toxench thea vatharant tanchim ghoram ani pempde (lungs) dulan bhoron asa, ani kitlech, torechea duvensak sampodlole asat, zalear ho unnem osor koso zavunk xekta, ho unnem osor zalear, choddan chod osor kitem astolo ? Parman-hatiyaramcho attak (a nuclear holocaust), Goy’eant, Purtugez tempar thaun min khadtat tor amchea sorkaran azunui “mining policy” kiteak mandunk nam ? Bailea, ontrollavelea praneank ti mandunk ravta ? Are we waiting for the aliens to draft it for us ? Hea vhel’lar, hem ekdomunch mothvachem ki ami hea modur ani ekdomuch gorjechea prosnacher amchem lokx ghalun ani goroz podlear forsanui hea odruxtacher zoit zoddunk, amchi Goy’chi nazuk sobitai ani sundortai amchea fudlea pindgeank sambalchi.

Hea amche cholvolint amchea ammdharani ami montreani dudvamchea forsan mining-gak ani bilder-rank aplo tenkko dil’lo asa, thor osle porititint Bab Feleir-acho kitem vichar ? Goy’chem nixonton zanvchem ? vo Goyem sambalchem ?

Goy’eant kaidea mandavoll ekdomunch bigodleli asa, brostachar ek dhanvte ghadiea sarko, ekdomunch hat-bhair paula. Hakach lagon, amcho Goy’cho sorkar, halta-dolta, adlouta, khod-khodta ani amchea pulam baxen kedn-ai podunk xokta. Kaido-vhevosta amcheam rostem baxen biglot asa, kaim dissam poilim tin disank 10-modim mel’lolim, bomb funtleat ani disan dis choreo, khui pauvlam amchem Goyem ? Brostachar, udhorgothichea paundear ek vhod adkhod zaun asa, zo meren brostachar vostolo te meren Goy’eant khoslich udhargoth zaunchi nam.

Kaido mutleli vost fokt amkam ghoribank, poixe aslole mon’xank khoslech kaide lagonat, amche aamdhar montri chodxe tanchea poxeamchea forsan akaidixer khama koteleank aplo tenkko ditat ani innocent mon’xank pidhapid formaitat. Je kaidean, aplea hok’ak khatir, mina ani “mega project-tam” virud zoggodtat thankam rokdech dhorun, bondkhonint ghalun, pidhapid ditat, ani “encounter” khorun marpachi dhomki passun ditat.

Amchem, bolaikechem, toxench xikxon kendrachi poristiti itli bigodloli asa ki, bitor voichem poilem, 100 paut chintchem poddtat, amcho monis vo burgo, hatunt bitor vo hache bhair boro astolo-gai mhunn ? Hakach lagon zaitech ghorib, zanchekodde tankona, te pasun aplea mon’xank ani burgeank “private” hospitalant ani scholani dhadtat. Aiz Goy’ent hi poristiti zal’li asa.

Ami amchea burgeank ani fudlea pindgank kitem dhovrunk sodtanv ? Khosli girestkai ? Ami sokt chintunk zai, ani aizuch chintunk zai, vellachi ghoddi ani somdirachi sukti, bhorti khonakuch ravona. Amchem adlem, kaalchem Goy’chem chinttun amchim kalza-monak sontostat, suseg-shanti mel’lta, Amchea aichea Goy’chem chintlear dolleant fokt dukham ietat, ani amche ghirestkai ektaupache axek lagon Goy’chi suropai ani sosnikai khobar khorun udoit zalear, faleam Goyem astolem ? Atam vell paula, khorneani amchem niz Goy’kar-pon rakunk, Uttat Goy’karam-no, “vellachi ghoddi ani somdirachi sukti bhorti khonnakuch ravona,” “vethak cukot tor vanvak chuktole”. Faleam Goyem aschem zallear Rakkon khorat Goy-mattechi.

Hea soggot noxtank ek zabab asa, ani thantuntleannuch Goychem ani Goy’karamchem boreponn zavunk zata, them mhutllear bore nitol monnache ani nitol khalzache mon’xank niudun haddunk, je fokt Goychea ani somajeachea borepnna pasot vauvurtole, Goyeant borem sason zai tor, sason choloipi bore asunk zai, thaka lagun moji khalti maghnni Bab Faleiro thaim, zo Congress sorkaracho ek vorixt khambo zavun asa, magtham ieta thea elisanvant bore nitoll, Goy’cho ani Goy’karamcho husko aslole ummedvar amkam divunk.

Baxon khobar khortam, Swargi Ravindranath Tagor-achea utrani “hea tol-moleantlean ani koxtantlean uttum-di mojem Goyem” “Through all this turmoil and tragedy let my Goa awake”

Peryavaran rakhat, Goyem rakhat, Bharat Jai ho, Goyem Jai ho, Viva Goa

Dev borem khorum

Sunday, 8 November 2009

My Speech - Global Goan Convention - Muscat 2009

Subject: Preserving Goa & Its Unique Identity

Mogea Mogall Goyemkarano
Annondborit sanz tumkam somestank anvdettam

His Excellency the Ambassador of India to Oman Mr. Anil Wadhwa, President of Indian Social Club Mr. Satish Nambiar, Honourable Commissioner for NRI Affairs Mr. Eduardo Faleiro, Ex-Speaker Mr. Tomazinho Cardozo, President Mr. Flynn D’Lima the managing committee & members of the Goan community Oman, Distinguished Guests, My Dear Friends.

It is a great pleasure to be present here in your midst at the Global Goan 09 Convention here in beautiful Muscat and I thank the GCO; in particular Dr. Mario D’Souza, for giving me an opportunity to speak on Goan Identity. I am Arwin Mesquita, a resident of the coastal village of Colva in Salcette. I have mostly lived out side Goa, but during the little time that I was in Goa, I was attracted & captivated by its magical identity. I have travelled to many places around the world and realized that Goans, certainly have a treasure in Goa & its identity. I also have to admit that like a lot of other Goan brought up in the Gulf, my fluency in Konkani is limited but I am committed to learning it and hope to be as fluent as any niz Goyemkar in the near future; but for the time being I do apologise for not speaking in Konkani, on Goan Identity.
GOA is one of India’s most beautiful states and is a major tourist attraction; yes due to its natural beauty, beaches but most importantly because of its people & its prized identity, which is a blend of east & west. Goan Identity today has the best of both worlds’ i.e. Strong links from the Indian Subcontinent, coupled with a distinct western flair. The fact is that the way things are going in Goa, Goa’s Identity that we all know today, will soon be a thing of the past!! You only have to visit Goa, speak to Goans in Goa or keep abreast of the news in Goa to see for yourself. I would also like to emphasise at this point, that our world today is a very fascinating place, because of so many different cultures/identities; each of which makes our planet a very interesting place to live; and that includes our Goan Identity.
Mahatma Gandhi once said “I will open the doors and windows of my house and allow the winds of different parts of the world to flow through it. But I will not be swept off my feet.” In this increasingly globalised world I believe that, we can keep Goa’s Unique Identity and still be Global (we need to think Global & act Local).

My Dear Goans; we have to wake up urgently to the realities and decide, what we want for Goa & its identity. Goan Conventions like the one we are having today are good but I hope we appreciate the hard truth that these along with all other Goan Associations will be irrelevant; if Goa loses its essence!! In my view each one of us has 3 choices:
(1) Do Nothing, give up on Goa and let its Identity be lost forever
(2) Discuss all that we cannot do; which might as well mean giving up & doing nothing
(3) My personal favourite which is a CAN DO attitude i.e. "Let us look at what we can do in a positive/civilised manner; to preserve/protect our beautiful state.

My Fellow Goans, Please do not forget where you came from. Today, there are so many Goans outside of Goa. With our expertise & resources, we can work together to make it happen. I believe that we can do it and find solutions, to most of the obstacles/anomalies. We have a unique opportunity to use our Globally attained skills/expertise/resources to give back to our home state and also to possibly make Goa as a World Class state with a Unique Identity; and be a true example not only to the other States in India but also to other countries of the world.

Some of us here in the UAE have formed a non-profit and non-political movement called the Goan Identity Movement. The overall vision, to have Goa as a world class state, with a unique identity. We aim to organize Goans globally to work together for the betterment of Goa. For the purpose we have launched a website www.goamag.net/gim which will be constantly improvised to help the cause.

Ending
Let me end by stressing that we are running out of time; it’s now or never, each one of us will be responsible & accountable by our future generations, for the corrective actions not taken today. If we want a Goa that is truly authentic & truly unique for our children, let us act now. I believe that we can work together for a better GOA if we think we can! To quote a Great Person; Henry Ford, who was the founder of the Ford Motor Company “if you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, you're right”

Thank you for a patient hearing. God bless Goa, Jai Hind.

Wednesday, 21 October 2009

Merge Goa with another state

If action is not taken immediately, Goans will soon be a minority in Goa and key aspects of Goan Identity e.g. Konkani and our way of life will be irrelevant; courtesy Goa’s corrupt/selfish politicians and other Goans (local & overseas), who are contributing to the latter, via various means i.e. (1) illegal conversions of land for mega projects favouring non-goans and sales to outsiders/ land sharks (2) Employment policies favouring outsiders (3) Migrant Vote-Banks and un-necessary employment opportunities for migrants e.g. mega projects (4) Mass migration of Goans to so called greener pastures and abandonment of the land of their ancestors (5) Mining (6) Destructive development, (7) Being slaves to specific politicians for personal gains etc So in face of the all of the above, I think is better that Goans give up on being Goan/Goa and as some cowardly Goans opine, move forward!! We should perhaps merge Goa with another state, as the very basis of Goa being a distinctly separate state, is becoming irrelevant. And, in view of the latter, I wonder what will happen, to our so called Goan Political Heavyweights; perhaps they will be satisfied with the crores they have amassed for themselves & their future generations, via the SALE & Destruction of Goa!!
Arwin Mesquita, UAE.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

For Goans with blindfolds (particularly those overseas)

---------- Forwarded message ----------From: Arwin Mesquita Date: 2009/10/9Subject: For Goans with blindfolds (particularly overseas)To: GoenchimXapotam@yahoogroups.com

Dear Goans.
The below letters appeared in todays OHeraldo newspaper; I hope Goans with blindfolds start to see the realities in Goa. In particular, this is for those Overseas Goans who have migrated permanently; done nothing for Goa and now in guilt, giving views to justify their immigrant status abroad and help themselves sleep well at night; by trying to convince other Goans (including Indian Citizens) to do the same!!
Arwin


http://www.oheraldo.in/pagedetails.asp?nid=28367&cid=13

India, I Cry’: A great songJerry Fernandes, SaligaoIndia’s undisputed king of English rock ‘n’ roll and Goa’s pride Remo Fernandes might not be currently ruling the music charts, but is now definitely all set to rock the hearts of all his devoted fans through his latest video ‘India, I Cry’. The video which was exclusively premiered on popular social networking site Facebook on 3 October speaks about the destruction of Goa and India. It speaks about our indifferent attitude towards the rampant mining and over-exploitation of precious land in Goa. It also speaks about the slow destruction of the popular Candolim-Sinquerim beach belt, due to the state government’s inability to remove the grounded River Princess. A few lines worth mentioning from the song are: “Goa, I cry / I cry, Goa / Paradise of sea and sky / How we suck and bleed you dry / We can’t look you in the eye / As we watch you … slowly die. / Your miners corrode you / Your Princess erodes you / Your builders dig your grave.”Remo’s video also exposes the ground reality of this so-called secular country. It speaks about India’s gradual decline from a “world spiritual power to starving nuclear power”, which has given us nothing but hatred from neighbours like Pakistan. It speaks about our dirty politicians, corruption, terrorism, communalism, etc. The video is really touching and will surely rock this nation, as it really manages to expose the dark side of this diverse secular country which pretends to be a great nation. It’s really nice to see Remo coming out once again with a trademark hard-hitting English song after a very long time and really rocking us with some great sensible lyrics and cool music. I would therefore like to wish him “all the very best” and also advice him to keep rocking in the years to come.


Favouring migrantsR. Fernandes, MargaoThe article ‘Migration Redux’ by Vidyadhar Gadgil (Herald, 2 Oct) lacks proper research. Socio-economic fallouts due to migration in urban areas are well known. Goa is witnessing a classic example of the same on a really massive scale. Given this situation, does Mr Gadgil want to solve or create problems?At the micro level, there has been no hostility from Goans, though migration has resulted in the suffering of Goans. Builders have conveniently used labour contractors (who are themselves by and large migrants), who further eat into the earnings of the migrants. They sponge on the migrants by providing makeshift accommodation, ration cards, EPIC cards, land for encroachment, etc. Politically, there has been no harassment of migrants. In fact, small-scale flooding in Khareband results in evacuation of migrants to the stadium, while large-scale floods in Canacona affecting Goans have seen no such prompt measures. The author has conveniently not mentioned the many problems Goans face. There is a shortage of police personnel. All other infrastructural facilities including health, sanitation, power and water are inadequate. It appears that the article champions the cause not of migrant labourers but, in their name, the well-off migrants. In all this, we clearly see only one attitude: take what you can at any cost, but never give.
Arunachal is like GoaPeter Andrade, VascoAdv Edmund Antao’s article on Arunachal Pradesh (Herald Mirror, 4 Oct) was very touching for a person like me who has visited the state on three occasions. Though my stay was much longer than Mr Antao’s, he has grasped many aspects of the state very well. The main problem with the state is unbridled corruption, which has no opposition, as power changes hands as fast as money changes hands. Either the opposition party crosses over or the ruling party breaks away, leaving only the chief minister in the government. Though the natives of Arunachal are much like Goans – after Liberation, they rarely raise their voices against injustice. The only foresight their leaders had was not to allow outsiders to settle in their land. Outsiders need permits to even enter the state, leave alone setting up slums or buying land. In spite of lack of infrastructure, the people are a spirited lot and the youth are very modern and willing to go to distant places for higher education. Crimes are settled by the village justice system with hardly any police presence. Christian missionaries have played a significant role and some tribes have completely given up their old vices. In remote places, natives know about Goa, as many have attended the exposition of St Francis Xavier and are very hospitable to Goans.
Servility or self-reliance? John Menezes, MumbaiIn response to Fr Mousinho de Ataide’s letter ‘Hangover of Servility’ (Herald, 29 Sep), I would like to point out that during 450 years under Portuguese rule, Goa retained systemic order in its grass-root mini-republics dating from Vedic times which died out elsewhere in the subcontinent but prospered in Goa. Till the “conquest and subjugation” of Goa (words used by the Supreme Court of India) in the landmark judgement referred to earlier on the same issue, there was an ongoing devolution of power to the locals to the extent that before the Indian army marched into Goa, Damao and Diu, the judiciary was 100 per cent Goan and the civil administration and the police were 99 per cent Goan. There was even talk of a Goan Governor General in the person of Dr Armando Goncalves Pereira. Today there is a visible evolution towards the de-Goanisation of Goa. Heads of administrative departments are no longer Goans, and neither are the judiciary and the police under Goan direction or exclusively Goan. The day can indeed be visualised when the Goa legislature will be non-Goan dominated, and when the Goans are reduced to a minority.

Sunday, 27 September 2009

Indian colonialism - Ashburn and Leron Pereira, Porvorim

http://www.oheraldo.in/pagedetails.asp?nid=27786&cid=13
Indian colonialism - Ashburn and Leron Pereira, Porvorim
Arwin Mesquita, in his letter ‘Review Goa’s Liberation (Herald, 22 Sep) says that “we need to have an urgent post-liberation analysis of Goa”. Was Goa liberated or conquered?During the 1500s India never existed as a separate country. The Indian subcontinent under the British Raj basically consisted of British India and the Princely states. India came into existence only after the British left in 1947. No one is in doubt that the Portuguese conquered Goa in the 1500s. Before that, Goa was in a state of constant siege. The Portuguese gave Goa stability after they took over and put up a valiant front against the enemy forces, till the invasion and expulsion by India’s troops in December 1961. According to the landmark judgment delivered by the Supreme Court, Goa was ‘conquered’ by India and not ‘liberated’ from the Portuguese. Also, according to the UN resolution 1514 (XV), Goa is listed as ‘invaded’. We have now undergone 47 years of corrupt Indian colonial rule over our Goa.

Sunday, 6 September 2009

Goa’s Identity Movement holds Meeting in Dubai - UAE.

Goa’s Identity Movement, in co-ordination with the Goan Sodality group, held its Meeting at Saint Mary Church Hall in Dubai, on Friday 4th September 2009. The President of Goan Sodality, Mr. Cajetan Coelho started off the well attended meet with a brief introduction and Fr. Michael Cardozo ended the same, with a call for Goans to wake up for the love of Goa. The Meeting included a deeply moving documentary on Goa’s current horrific destruction (Prepared by Mr. Rajan Parrikar - USA), a comprehensive presentation by Mr. Arwin Mesquita, with the overall vision i.e. “TO HAVE WORLD CLASS STATE WITH A UNIQUE IDENTITY; which was followed by a detailed discussion by all. There was a unanimous view that Goans should concentrate on what we “CAN DO” in a positive & civilized manner, to save Goa & preserve its unique identity.The participants agreed time bound action points and also highlighted the critical requirement for Goans to be united, for the cause. The Goan Sodality team and Mr. Benedict Lobo played a key role, in organizing this meeting in Dubai. The Movement will co-ordinate further action via its website http://www.goamag.net/gim/
Please also see Photos on http://www.radiogoa.net/

Arwin Mesquita – UAE.

Friday, 17 July 2009

Police Terror - Goa

In Goa, for protection use the Police. However the latter, is more in terms of the Police being misused or pressurised, by Political-Builder-Mining-Land Sharks network to intimidate genuine protestors; so as to protect crores/lakhs of rupees of illegitimate income & other benefits.

For instance in the Salcete Taluka of Goa, There are Specific MLA’s who in co-ordination with their corrupt colleagues, at village panchayat’s and elsewhere in the village; use the Police to intimidate and subdue any opposition to their illegal/corrupt ways. Quite a few activists have been slapped with False Police Cases and in many instances specific MLA’s send the Police to the residences or work places, of Specific Activists for intimidation into submission!! I appreciate that some times, the Police have no other option, but to entertain these coercive requests.

However in a Democratic setup, citizens can stop this domestic terror; some options are:
(1) People must speak up against such terror tactics via the media & other avenues; we can no longer remain silent. The following quote by Martin Niemöller (1892) should give all of us, enough reason to do so: “In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then... they came for me... And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
(2) Affected Activists must approach Human Rights Organisations; India/ International
(3) Alternatively, affected activists can get united and file strong lawsuits that should be well publicized in Goa, India & even internationally; if necessary these lawsuits should even go right up to the Supreme Court of India. And to re-iterate again, the lawsuits must be well publicised; both India & Internationally!!

Arwin Mesquita, UAE.

Police Terror - Goa

In Goa, for protection use the Police. However the latter, is more in terms of the Police being misused or pressurised, by Political-Builder-Mining-Land Sharks network to intimidate genuine protestors; so as to protect crores/lakhs of rupees of illegitimate income & other benefits.

For instance in the Salcete Taluka of Goa, There are Specific MLA’s who in co-ordination with their corrupt colleagues, at village panchayat’s and elsewhere in the village; use the Police to intimidate and subdue any opposition to their illegal/corrupt ways. Quite a few activists have been slapped with False Police Cases and in many instances specific MLA’s send the Police to the residences or work places, of Specific Activists for intimidation into submission!! I appreciate that some times, the Police have no other option, but to entertain these coercive requests.

However in a Democratic setup, citizens can stop this domestic terror; some options are:
(1) People must speak up against such terror tactics via the media & other avenues; we can no longer remain silent. The following quote by Martin Niemöller (1892) should give all of us, enough reason to do so: “In Germany, they came first for the Communists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Communist; And then they came for the trade unionists, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a trade unionist; And then they came for the Jews, And I didn’t speak up because I wasn’t a Jew; And then... they came for me... And by that time there was no one left to speak up."
(2) Affected Activists must approach Human Rights Organisations; India/ International
(3) Alternatively, affected activists can get united and file strong lawsuits that should be well publicized in Goa, India & even internationally; if necessary these lawsuits should even go right up to the Supreme Court of India. And to re-iterate again, the lawsuits must be well publicised; both India & Internationally!!

Arwin Mesquita, UAE.

How is that Non-Goans recognise Goa's Unique Identity and some Goans do not?

Dear Goans ,

This is particularly for those do not appreciate Goa's Unique Identity & think its irrelevant!!
See comments from some Non-Goans below on Goa's Unique Identity; what to they see that these Goans do not?

Arwin Mesquita, UAE

(1) Dr Manmohan Singh’s daughter Upinder Kaur
http://www.oheraldo.in/pagedetails.asp?nid=23665&cid=26
Goa’s unique cultural identity – a confluence of different cultures – has fascinated Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh’s daughter Upinder Kaur.
“Goa is beautiful and calm. The state is famous for beautiful beaches, Churches and temples”, Kaur said during a brief interaction with the media on Thursday.
But, more than anything else, what fascinated Kaur the most was the State’s unique cultural identity.
A history professor in Delhi and author of many books, Kaur along with her husband Vijay Tanka and children paid a visit to the Kadam house here to offer condolence to the family of late Shivanand Kadam.
“During my last visit, I happened to visit the churches in Old Goa, besides the beaches. But, what is really interesting Goa is its very unique culture. You can sense that even if you are in the State for a short time. The unique cultural identity is very fascinating”, Kaur said, while disclosing plans to visit some of the beaches, temples and Churches this time round. Away from the hustle and bustle in Delhi, Kaur says she will take time to relax and enjoy Goa’s beauty.
Fielding a volley of questions from newsmen on his father’s second innings as the Country’s Prime Minister, Upinder said Dr Singh has a great responsibility and hoped he lives up to that. When asked how it feels to be the daughter of the Prime Minister, she said “we see him as somebody who has a great opportunity to do something for the country. We feel he has the capacity and desire to bring about positive change in the development. We are sure he would do a great job”.
But, her attention was drawn to the fact that Dr Singh’s second innings starts at a time of economic meltdown, she said her father is a brilliant economist and exuded confidence he would steer the country out of it. “My father does try to spend time with us. But, work comes first. He is busy with official work”, she said, when asked whether the Prime Minister spends time with the family.
Replying to a question, Kaur agreed that a lot needs to be done in the area of protecting our historical and ancient culture. As a parting shot, Kaur said she is more interested in history and politics.

(2) Bollywood actor Nana Patekar
http://www.mail-archive.com/goan-nri@yahoogroups.co.in/msg05929.html
'Tourists don't just come to Goa for it's beaches but for it's people too' Says
noted Bollywood actor Nana Patekar

Watch him talking very high about Goa
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sryLZyyzUpg


Nana Patekar is a noted bollywood actor known for his natural way of acting
He is known to give generously to the poor

This is what he says in the video ( partly translated- I may be wrong)

'If I speak Konkani today, neither you nor I will understand it'

‘I like the way it is done in Goa where all people come together to celebrate
shigmo or the Goan culture.. no matter what religion you belong to.’.
‘I myself does not believe in any religion’
When he was born he did not know whether he belong to Hindu, Muslim or
Christian.
He also says people /tourists don’t just come to Goa for the beaches but for
the Goan peace loving people too.
He also says in Konkani ‘ Maka soiro munn apoilo’ but next time invite me as
committee member’
He repeatedly urged the Goan people to maintain their unique identity.
‘You know me as an actor what you didn’t know that I was a painter too’
He once designed a Republic day float at New Delhi and got paid Rs.460 which
helped him to pay his school term fees.

Srinivas Dempo (also seen) suggested Nana Patekar to make a film on Goa based
on Goan Culture etc (not covered in the video).

(3) Late Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Goa_Opinion_Poll
India gained its independence from the British in 1947. Goa was the largest part of the Portuguese possession in India, the other territories being small enclaves. In 1961, India incorporated these territories after a military invasion. At the time of Goa’s accession into India, Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru had promised that Goa would retain its distinct identity. Even prior to the annexation of Goa, the Government of Independent India had promised that the people of Goa would be consulted on any decision about their territory.[4]
http://www.navhindtimes.com/story.php?story=200905286
Mr Bhembre said that at the time of liberation, the state had a chance to safeguard its interest however failed to do so as �we focused our energies elsewhere.� He said, �Today we are fighting for special status like other North-Eastern states, however, much damage has already been done.� He said that Pandit Nehru had a unique attachment for Goa and had pitched for Goa having an unique identity even before Goa�s liberation which he pushed for even after liberation.


Arwin Mesquita (UAE)

Monday, 13 July 2009

CAN DO'S - SAVE BEAUTIFUL GOA & ITS PRIZED/UNIQUE GOAN IDENTITY

Time is running out; Goa is losing its Prized Unique Identity and the critical issues include:
(1) Ruthless Mining (2) Mega Projects (3) Un-Controlled Migrant Influx (4) Large scale land sales to outsiders including foreigners (Includes a lot of land that is illegally converted), (5) The Slow death of Konkani, (6) Destruction of Environment/Ecology (7) Land/Water Contamination (8) Faulty Employment policy forcing Goans to leave Goa, (9) Illiterate/Corrupt MLA's in many key ministries of the Goa Government etc

In my view, Goans have three choices:
(1) Give up on Goa, Do nothing and let Goa & its Identity be lost forever,
(2) Discuss what we cannot do; which might as well mean giving up and doing nothing.
(3) DISCUSS/AGREE WHAT "WE CAN DO" TO SAVE & PRESERVE, OUR BEAUTIFUL GOA & ITS PRIZED/UNIQUE GOAN IDENTITY"

Arwin Mesquita

Friday, 3 July 2009

Un-necessary Kabrastan Controversy

The Kabrastan issue should have been a non-issue and with respect, every community has the right to bury their dead. The major concern here is that we run the risk of alienating our Goan Muslims who are as Goan, as the Goan Hindus & Catholics. But to put into perspective, the Anti-Kabrastan chorus is just an unfortunate consequence of the actual root cause i.e. uncontrolled migrant influx, which is changing the Goan Demographics rapidly. Goans should address the root cause, which will prevent creating un-necessary controversies, like the Kabrastan issue!! Can we Goans, particularly the Catholics, first look within and understand that who is responsible for this root cause i.e.:
(1) Migrant vote banks openly encouraged by many MLA's including many Catholic MLA's & Ministers; and why are Catholics voting blindly en masse for the same corrupt candidates/parties; over & over again?
(2) Un-necessary mega projects not only bring in new residents but also create huge un-necessary employment for migrants to come into Goa. Are we in any doubt of the political support to these monstrosities?
(3) Housing Boards which are proven to favour non-goans but openly encouraged by MLA's, for example one now is being actively pursued in Loutolim constituency!!
(4) Migrants are easily obtaining voting rights in Goa i.e. more easy for them then Goans and our MLA's including most Catholic MLA's/Ministers facilitate the same
(5) The Goa Governments Employment Policy is a faulty, toothless & corrupt policy which actually favours non-goans; our MLA's are reluctant to address it as they will lose an important source of illegitimate revenue!!

Surely there are many more points which we can gather and my point is let us focus on the root causes & fight the real enemies of Goa & Goans!!

Arwin Mesquita,
UAE.

Un-necessary Kabrastan Controversy

The Kabrastan issue should have been a non-issue and with respect, every community has the right to bury their dead. The major concern here is that we run the risk of alienating our Goan Muslims who are as Goan, as the Goan Hindus & Catholics. But to put into perspective, the Anti-Kabrastan chorus is just an unfortunate consequence of the actual root cause i.e. uncontrolled migrant influx, which is changing the Goan Demographics rapidly. Goans should address the root cause, which will prevent creating un-necessary controversies, like the Kabrastan issue!! Can we Goans, particularly the Catholics, first look within and understand that who is responsible for this root cause i.e.:
(1) Migrant vote banks openly encouraged by many MLA's including many Catholic MLA's & Ministers; and why are Catholics voting blindly en masse for the same corrupt candidates/parties; over & over again?
(2) Un-necessary mega projects not only bring in new residents but also create huge un-necessary employment for migrants to come into Goa. Are we in any doubt of the political support to these monstrosities?
(3) Housing Boards which are proven to favour non-goans but openly encouraged by MLA's, for example one now is being actively pursued in Loutolim constituency!!
(4) Migrants are easily obtaining voting rights in Goa i.e. more easy for them then Goans and our MLA's including most Catholic MLA's/Ministers facilitate the same
(5) The Goa Governments Employment Policy is a faulty, toothless & corrupt policy which actually favours non-goans; our MLA's are reluctant to address it as they will lose an important source of illegitimate revenue!!

Surely there are many more points which we can gather and my point is let us focus on the root causes & fight the real enemies of Goa & Goans!!

Arwin Mesquita,
UAE.

Saturday, 20 June 2009

Goa’s Freedom Fighters Priorities

The only major press coverages, I ever read about Goa’s Freedom Fighters is on opposing anything & everything Portuguese. This letter is not to support the former Portuguese rule or belittle any true sacrifices by Genuine Freedom Fighters. My point is that if at all, Goa’s Freedom Fighters want to act/speak for Goa’s interests, they must address the critical/ current issues of today, that are destroying Goa & Its identity, i.e.
(1) Scarce land sales to Non-Goans gradually putting Goa, in hands of Non-Goans.
(2) Uncontrolled migrant influx & vote-banks, which can result in Goans having no political say, in the affairs of Goa.
(3) Mega-Projects that are not only creating un-necessary employment for migrants but also bring in majority non-goan residents; to the detriment of Goa’s environment & demography.
(4) Large scale corruption which is gradually destroying Goa
(5) Governments faulty employment/industrial policies favouring non-goans and facilitating Goans to leave Goa in hordes, due to lack of opportunities at home.
(6) Intimidation/Threatening/Oppression of activists fighting to save Goa & its identity; in actual fact, have we actually replaced one group of oppressors by another i.e. Portugeese oppressors by now Indian/Goan oppressors?
(7) Exploitation of Goa by the privileged few; including Politicians, Mining/Builders Lobbies etc to realize huge illegitimate profits; at the cost of destroying Goa & its Identity!!

Unique Goa should have got safeguards in 1961 to protect its identity i.e. when Goa joined the Indian Union, via military action. With all due respect, Goa’s Freedom Fighters could have helped Goa get these safeguards, as then not only did Goans know of the special constitutional exceptions, for some other states e.g. Kashmir’s, but also had many other key factors in Goa’s favour. I understand that we can’t change the past, but surely the Freedom Fighters still have the power to influence Goa’s Future threatened by today’s issues, rather than dwell on past glories!!

Arwin Mesquita, UAE.

Sunday, 14 June 2009

Gulf Non Resident Goans & Goa’s Migrants

Subject: Gulf NRG’s & Goa’s Migrants

My fair views on Goa’s migrants are deliberately distorted &, misquoted, by few individuals. See following facts on Gulf Non Resident Goans (NRG’s) & Goa’s Migrants:

(1) Gulf NRG’s are “only temporary migrants” i.e. (A) No political/voting rights to influence local identities and we work on time bound job permits; renewable subject to local requirements. (B) Land in some countries e.g. UAE, can only be bought on fixed year leases i.e. non-locals can’t permanently own land. (C) Some critics whilst looking at the “comfort factor” of Gulf NRG’s should also try to understand the huge sacrifices & hardships faced by many, Gulf NRG’s.

(2) Gulf NRG’s unfortunately left Goa; mostly due to no opportunities at sustainable pay scales. Root cause is the corrupt government & no public pressure to address the same.

(3) Yes, Goa need reasonable amount of migrants but then we also need a fair & just migrant control policy; subject to requirement. It should include decent but temporary housing facilities & fair health/welfare/other benefits; these suggestions will treat & respect migrants much better, than being done today.

(4) It is common knowledge that un-necessary destructive development; like the mega-projects are significantly increasing un-necessary migrants into Goa. Surely stopping of the mega-projects will significantly restrict migrants into Goa. Also many MLA’s facilitate slums for vote banks; addressing of which, will also restrict migrants.

(5) Some NRG’s target specific issues affecting Goa’s Identity i.e. Mega-projects, uncontrolled migrant influx, Konkani, Goan employment, Corruption, etc; which are also opposed by Goans in Goa; “If Gulf NRG’s support the same, does it make these serious issues a non-issue?” Also, most NRG’s have strong Goa links i.e. Families, homes, businesses etc and could return; so they must speak out & act for Goa now!!

Arwin Mesquita, UAE.

Mega Project Realities

Mega-projects overwhelming favouring Non-Goans still grow un-opposed in Goa. Deceitful critics & politicians show ignorance on the mega-project “definition” for obvious/selfish reasons; it may be not clearly defined but common sense should show that we don’t need to create residences for outsiders; to the Goan detriment. Mega residential projects for commercial purposes should be concretely defined, in consultation by Goans, to the scope of accommodating majority Goans only. It is not hatred to outsiders but just to preserve our scarce land for future generations besides maintain the Goan demographic majority/identity; which is not the case for the other bigger states or other countries.

We must understand that Mega projects “affect Goans of all Castes, Creed & Religions”:
(1) Destruction of Beautiful landscapes & rampant hill cutting.
(2) Reduction in Tourists who find Goa’s natural beauty gradually being destroyed.
(3) Pressure on fragile infrastructure, health/educational facilities, water & electricity.
(4) Increased Traffic Jams/Congestion & Air pollution.
(5) Increased wastes particularly toxic, leading to cancers & other serious diseases.
(6) Water contamination with understandable serious consequences E.g. Calangute today!!
(7) Increased temperatures & Carbon Dioxide emissions seriously affecting Goa’s Climate & contributing to Global Warming
(8) Create un-necessary employment & influx of migrant workers.
(9) Goans to minority, both from migrant workers brought in for constructions and the large percentage of Non-Goans purchasing the apartments.
(10) Severely affecting livelihoods/housing of poor Goans to favour rich outsiders & local politicians.
(12) Agriculture which should be addressed for Goa’s sustenance & self-reliance, is sadly being replaced by mega-projects... where’s the priority?
(12) Increased pressure on police & security services to protect a rapidly growing population.
(13) Financing our corrupt politicians to keep them in power for destroying Goa.

Un-necessary Constructions like the mega-projects clearly have serious negative implications & have to be constrained. Needless to say, current ones illegally passed, should be razed to the ground!!

Arwin Mesquita, UAE.

Wednesday, 27 May 2009

Save India's True Identity

India is truly an exceptional case amongst all the countries of the world; home to most of the world’s religions and also to so many different communities of diverse cultures and identities. The traditional aspects and values of our great country connect people from different states and there is something very fascinating about the difference. One can travel the length & breadth of any nation but only in India, is the closest you will ever get, to the entire world in one country. This unique essence of our difference is an envy of other nations and it is high time we Indians appreciate this fact of our “True India”.

I always proclaim myself a Proud Indian and consistently marketed to the world around, the “True India” essence of our unity in diversity; but now this very essence that was pivotal, is being threatened with respect to certain states like Goa, slowly loosing their contribution to the rich Indian Cultural/Identity Mosaic. Surely the very foundations of the India recognized the different identities that made the country; if not then on what basis are the Indian states divided?

As humans, yes we do have our physical commonalities but then again, surely each one of us have our unique strengths/differences/personalities and as a group, we can use our respective individual strengths for the greater good. What would be like, if all of us were the same? In the same latter perspective, I would like to stress that the different identities/states in India have their unique strengths and together, we all as Indians can use our respective strengths, for the greater good of India. To sit by and allow any specific Indian Identity to be eliminated will, not only be a loss the respective state/people e.g. Goa & Goans, but also a huge loss for India & Indians.

Arwin Mesquita, UAE.

Sunday, 17 May 2009

Goan Short Term Gain

The “Short Term Gain & Long Term Loss” attitude by most Goans is destroying Goa & its identity; in addition to creating health hazards e.g. cancer, land/water contamination etc. Look across the world for the effects of this “Small minded” thinking e.g. Global Warming; Plant & Animal species are pushed into extinction daily, by our impatience for instant gains and humans also face disastrous consequences!!

In Goa, Calangute has severe Water Contamination today and its people have only themselves to blame. We can’t change the past but we can learn lessons, avoid destructive development going forward and maybe even rectify past mistakes. But sadly, most Goans still fail to see the hazards that they are creating/allowing and will wake-up only too late i.e. when their own homes/families are affected; and then there are those blinded by the fast buck they can make “today” by selling Goa to the highest bidder i.e. tainted politicians, greedy builders & land grabbers (from outside Goa).

Countries are putting in measures to address Global Warming, which includes increasing agriculture, green cover and Goa is going in the opposite direction!! Germany for instance has high taxes to discourage buying Real Estate for profits and instead favours personal usage only. In Goa, Mega-projects are pursued with any care to long term ill-effects; in order to satisfy the immediate greed of politicians, investors, builders & related businesses. Also on Public Projects, do we question our “Construction Happy Politicians and even Specific Religious leaders who abuse their roles & mislead their followers, for selfish gains”. New public projects e.g. Hospitals, Schools, Government Buildings etc must be evaluated in detail with all facts and all options/avenues addressed and then only should genuine projects be allowed; but I know of “public projects” being constructed primarily for the immediate profit objective!! To Quote Mahatma Gandhi “There is enough for everyone’s need but not for everyone’s greed”

Arwin Mesquita, UAE.

Saturday, 9 May 2009

Migrant Control is Critical

I strongly oppose views of critics opposing migrant controls in Goa.
Of course, we know that migrations have taken place for centuries; not only in Goa but also around the world. But we also should know that today, despite these migrations, various countries (including Western Nations) and other Indian States are keen to keep their respective identities & languages. Yes, most other countries and States like Goa, still have outside migrant inflow into their local populations but please let us appreciate some key facts (1) Most of these countries and other Indian states have large populations to withstand current influx of migrants and hence new migrants will NOT significantly affect their local identities/languages and in time will also start, in some measure, to integrate into their adopted countries/states (2) Many Western Nations agreeably need migrants but are putting more & more policies in place, to localize immigrants. Surely critics will appreciate that Goa is different with respect to its size, population & capacity i.e. the current rapid rate of uncontrolled migrant influx is too high be integrated into Goa; needless to say the strain it will put on Goa’s scarce resources and also increased traffic, pollution, contamination etc.

Today about 40% of Goa’s population is Non-Goan. If un-checked, Goans will soon go into a minority. So looking at it practically, will it be Non-Goans being integrated into Goan Identity, Language & Culture or will it actually be the other way around i.e. Goans forced to integrate into the multitude migrant identities/languages and which will of course mean, the Ultimate of Goa’s Identity, Culture & Language!! If the latter is what the critics want then, then can they at least have the courage to declare Goa, as India’s first cosmopolitan state with no distinct local language/identity!!

Arwin Mesquita (UAE)

Monday, 27 April 2009

Goan Racism in perspective

There is currently a lot of talk about the tolerance of Goans, as Goans are in increasing numbers, starting to speak against the fast deterioration of Goan Culture & Identity; mainly with the rapid influx of Non-Goans/Migrants 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 minimum 40% of the population of Goa are Non-Goan; I would like for the critics to compare this, with the demographics of other states in India; who will keep silent, so long as they don’t face the same crisis!! We, Goans should continue to be Tolerant, Respectful & 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 & protect Goan interests. In the UAE, where I temporarily reside for example, the vast majority is non-nationals and many are allowed to even buy land restrictively, 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/protected. Even Europe Governments today realize that there is logic in some migrant control vs. their protecting their local genuine interests, identity, culture, languages, living standards, security etc and are now converting Europe into a sort of fortress; with increasingly tighter immigration policies and those being accepted, are made to undergo a compulsory induction for integrating into the local population. For those calling Goans RACISTS, yes I appreciate that we certainly have to treat others with a decent/civilized approach, but at the same time we should not use the RACISM tag to unfairly subdue Goa’s genuine interests!! Arwin Mesquita (UAE)

Saturday, 18 April 2009

Vote for Mathany Saldanha

It is high time Goans re-think our negative political attitude. Like it or not, our influence is critical for the survival of Goa & Goans. The mindset “I don’t want to get involved in politics” is only helping Goa’s enemies, as we give them a free hand to do whatever they want, for their corrupt interests. Let’s at least support specific candidates on issue basis only and change them if they don’t deliver. Yes, we have apprehensions about politicians but surely we can manage them wisely, to get our objectives done!!

For instance, on the contestants for the South Goa Lok Sabha seat; I appreciate what critics say, but I still think that Mathany Saldanha is far better than the rest i.e.
(1) Historically he is the only one who was the most vocal of the candidates, against various anti-goan initiatives e.g. SEZ’s
(2) His party manifesto is the most detailed & comprehensive vs. all others, on not only the need, but also on the ways to protect/preserve Goa & its identity
(3) We have given so many chances to the others e.g. Congress and they have clearly let Goans down; so let us now change and give a chance to someone new!!
(4) Other politicians falsely malign Mathany, by linking him to the so called communal elements; those very politicians tasted power by aligning themselves, with very elements that they now call “communal”.
(5) Worst Case, even if Mathany is elected and does nothing; by just electing him we can send a strong message to the national parties that Goans cannot be taken for granted and it’s high time they start putting in measures to protect Goa, its identity and stop the destruction of our beautiful land.
Goans please act before it is too late!!

Arwin Mesquita (UAE)

Friday, 3 April 2009

Reservation for Goans

Dear All,

Please see letter in Herald Newspaper i.e. http://www.oheraldo.in/pagedetails.asp?nid=19582&cid=13 (re-pasted below)

Reservations for GoansArwin Mesquita, Abu Dhabi Following the letter titled ‘No Reservation for Goans’ by Robert Castellino (Herald, 31 Mar), being a Non-Resident Goan myself, I would like to put the job reservation issue for Goans in perspective. All communities have limits up to which migrants can be welcomed. Goa has crossed this limit with minimum 40 per cent of Goa’s population being migrants. In fact, I would argue that Goans are more tolerant than most other communities. Will the other communities/Indian states tolerate such rapid change in demographics and deterioration of their local identities? I do not think so!Gulf countries are increasingly putting in place policies for job reservations for their locals – for example, Kuwaitisation, Emiratisation, etc. Also, Gulf Goans are temporary migrants (not permanent).The US, Canada, Europe, Australia and other countries are increasingly putting in place more stringent measures on immigration, to ensure that increased immigration does not seriously affect their local identities. This in effect means that jobs in these countries are reserved for their citizens.Also, countries that accept Goan emigrants (among others) have policies to localise all immigrants so as to preserve their identities and languages, whereas Goa is a free-for-all with increasingly many languages growing and prospering, except Konkani.Many employers in Goa are deliberately employing non-Goans for various reasons that suit their convenience – lower salaries, favouring their non-Goan friends/families, etc – even when there are suitable Goans available for the same.I think we should look at reservation in a civilised manner. Jobs that than can be done by Goans should be reserved for Goans; the rest of the “essential jobs” can be offered to outsiders. Nevertheless, the entire policy should be reviewed to ensure jobs are created based on requirement from Goans only. Yes, I appreciate that there will need to be essential jobs that will have to be manned by non-Goans but these jobs should be encouraged, only if absolutely required for Goa.


Please post your comments on my Blog: http://goanidentity.blogspot.com/

Please also see related Blogs:

1) http://www.bvacbenaulim.blogspot.com/

2) http://www.mandgoa.blogspot.com/

Tuesday, 31 March 2009

Taleigao Manipulated Democracy

Monserrate’s & colleagues scored 11/11, at the March 2009 Taleigao panchayat elections. Firstly, we should give them credit for perfectly manipulating democracy and surely other Goan MLA’s can take learn more from them. Why did the good people of Taleigao, knowingly vote for tainted politicians, clearly bent are destroying Goa & its identity? Whilst many Goans are disappointed with the Taleigao results, I believe that a detailed analysis of what went wrong, can give us answers/solutions, of what we actually need to do, to save Goa. I think 3 areas influenced the election:

(1) Money Power:
Besides migrant beneficiaries, they are also Goans amply rewarded. It is really unfortunate that these Goans are primarily driven by materialistic/monetary greed. Let’s address this critical problem within us; because if we do lose Goa, then we will only have ourselves to blame and may our children forgive us!!

(2) Migrant Votes:
It will be interesting to know the number of migrants votes in the said elections; needless to say they have got their share of cash, bicycles etc This voting information can be publicised for Goans to understand, our diminished political power today!!

(3) MLA’s Assistance:
MLA’s oblige people with rewards/favours (mostly “illegal”); these people then sell their souls & give a blank cheque to the MLA’s, for reaping disgustingly huge profits via Goa’s Destruction. There needs to be a massive educational/awareness campaign to counter this tactic. We can develop our areas the right way i.e. without being slaves to any politician. Politicians are at our service (without any obligation) and not the other way around!!

I hope the concerned people don’t lose heart in the loss but instead address what went wrong. Let’s say it to the winners “you might have won the battle but not the war”!!

Arwin Mesquita (UAE)

Saturday, 7 March 2009

CHANGE

I believe in 3 steps to CHANGE (1) Ask (2) Tell, and if they don’t work then (3) Just do it!! We pleaded, wrote letters, submitted signature campaigns, protested on streets, moved courts, complained to Government bodies, met politicians etc; which has generated momentum for CHANGE amongst Goans but sadly made no difference to the un-concerning government & corrupt politicians. The recent Cidade De Goa shock was the last straw and now something has to be done. The Goa Governments disrespectful attitude appears to be: “Goans Get lost; we will do what we want, because you silly Goans will vote for us anyway or maybe not even exercise your precious vote; which is even better for us!!”

Goans (including Non Resident Goans) should now go for the REAL CHANGE, starting with the upcoming Lok Sabha Elections. Let’s back new politicians e.g. Peoples Candidates proposed via Gram Sabhas; with a proven track record, no party affiliations & no criminal record. Yes, despite our best efforts, we can’t guarantee new politicians, but by being persistent & constantly aiming for CHANGE, we can definitely guarantee the following:
(1) Checkmate ageing politicians & their kin, who have accumulated enough illegitimate wealth, in all the years of corruption & destruction of Goa. They have become very sharp in all possible ways & means to loot Goa. Let’s get rid of them so that they can’t use their “valuable” experience & skills against Goa.
(2) Send a clear message that we can CHANGE Politicians who don’t perform; so even new politicians will have to deliver results or be CHANGED again.
(3) Political Parties particularly the National Parties with their Supreme Masters in Delhi, will wake up to realities, stop taking Goans for granted and respect the genuine essentials, for Goa & Its Identity.

TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE THE CHANGE HAPPEN!!

Arwin Mesquita (UAE)

Question MOPA Airport









(Photos of Prime Goan Land for MOPA Airport!!)
The SEZ's issue and the Cidade de Goa incident reinforced my firm view that we cannot trust, neither the highly corrupt Goa Government nor the current Governor any longer and need to question everything; else they along with their counterparts in Delhi, will destroy Goa for good. We should stall all major projects in Goa and proceed; only if a detailed and comprehensive review concludes that these are really required and are in line, with the long term interests of Goa & Goans. Needless to say, most MLA’s appear confident that nothing will come in the way of their devious plans for personal gains i.e. they are confident of winning elections via (1) Migrant Vote banks to checkmate Goans (2) Religious grounds (3) Money power which is in place via high scale corruption and the destruction of Goa.

On the new MOPA Airport which our corrupt Government, is so eager to pursue, Let us demand an open civilized debate involving all MLA’s, unbiased Experts & the People with regards to having 2 airports in such a small state; if this debate warrants the same, we should fully support MOPA else this 2nd airport plans should be shelved. My arguments against MOPA are as follows:

(1) First & Foremost based on past experiences i.e. Mega Projects, Regional Plan, SEZ’s and now legalizing the Cidade De Goa illegality, we should have absolutely no faith in our Corrupt MLA’s who are always looking for opportunities, to make the most out of looting Goa & Goans. The same crooks are now going for a MOPA; should we trust them or question them completely?

(2) Till date I have not heard of any convincing arguments from the government other than some vague statements like ” MOPA WILL BE GOOD FOR GOANS”. “GENERATE EMPLOYMENT” ETC. Surely only the naive will believe such statements from our MLA’s, who have unreliable & disgustingly corrupt track record.

(3) The MOPA airport appears to be illicit profit sharing deal the Central Government, Maharashtra Government & the Corrupt Goa Government. The opening statements of the New Governor in Goa, was clearly in the interests of MOPA. I honestly think that the New Governor has been installed with Mopa as his primary objective; so hence we must understand there are huge political stakes with scant regard for Goa & Goans. With his support for the Ordinance on Cidade the Goa, he has lost credibility in Goa and Goans must demand that he leaves Goa immediately!!

(4) Employment for locals has no basis. Today the 80% jobs for Goans policy is toothless and Locals are loosing out on jobs, so how can Goans will benefit from MOPA when our incompetent Government can’t guarantee majority Goans jobs at Dabolim Airport, Industrial estates, pharmaceutical companies, private companies, Verna Electronic city etc Can the Government give out factual details on employment at MOPA and what will be the percentage of Goan employment by each category?

(5) Why will 2 International Airports in such close proximity work only in Goa; do we have any examples in other parts of India?

(6) Dabolim airport up-gradation is a deliberate ploy to keep gullible Goans quite, as we have been since liberation. Investment on Dabolim up-gradation now is a small price to pay for the huge illegitimate profits that await the politicians & their colleagues. The fact is that due to economics, only one airport will be viable!!

(7) We are well aware of our experiences with SEZ’s, regional plan etc where the Government was all set to setup them and Goans forced to stop; as it was clearly promoted to the detriment of Goa & Goans, so why cant we now to get out the facts on MOPA, before the plans go ahead. If the Government is so sure of its plans (which I doubt) what’s the fear in getting the facts out and properly convincing Goans on MOPA. Why did the Task Force’s set up by the Government finally agree, that the People were right to stop SEZ’s & the Regional Plans; why did the Government not conclude this in the first place? So I hope we understand the urgent need to question everything about MOPA.

(8) Today Goans find it extremely difficult to get land in Goa; surely we can use this land for Goans and not un-necessarily waste it on beefing up the profits of the politicians from Delhi, Maharashtra & Goa.

(9) On what basis are the projections made to justify the new airport, will the increased numbers actually benefit Goans or will it bring in more destruction to Goan landscapes, environment, migrants, slums etc How much Tourism do the Goan population actually need? Today Goans are going fast becoming irrelevant; will MOPA hammer the final nail into the Goan Identity coffin and put Goans into a minority?

(10) Have we questioned what is the current state of Debt Goa is in currently?

(11) Who will claim responsibility for the ill-effects of MOPA tomorrow, surely the current Pro-MOPA Governor & the politicians would have collected their incentives & secured their futures; Goans will pick up the pieces later!! Future Governments will wash off their hands saying that MOPA airport was not their doing!!

(12) There appears to be a one track approach by our bird brain politicians to develop Goa by building more Mega-Projects, more un-necessary Airports, and unnecessary government buildings, un-favourable industries i.e. just copy/paste development from elsewhere and follow a herd mentality on the developing Goa with scant respect to Goa’s unique conditions. Of course needless to say, there are huge incentives in following this path to sustain their political parties and collect as much cash as possible to influence getting the party ticket or win the next election.

(13) Goa attracts a lot of Tourists. By building a second airport at MOPA what are we doing exactly; other than building an airport to develop tourist areas in Maharashtra and divert a significant percentage of tourists away from Goa; at huge cost to the Goan taxpayer. Goans should understand that this is our money and hence we have every right to question how our money is used!! We should be spending our money to improve our economic state but are actually allowing our money to be spent for improving the economy of other states?

(14) Is it a matter of Coincidence that the Union Minister of Civil aviation is from Maharashtra, does any Goan doubt, where his primary interests will be?

We need to honestly & completely review everything since liberation!! I hope we can clearly see that we have been brainwashed, fooled and taken for a long ride to our detriment; we cannot change the past but surely we can decide our future; even if we wake up today!!
Arwin Mesquita (UAE)

Thursday, 26 February 2009

Non Resident Goans - PEN revolution

There is a famous saying “The Pen is mightier than the sword”. Non Resident Goans (NRG’s) like Rajan Parrikar, Freddy Fernandes, Mario Rodrigues, Rick Fernandes & others, write frequently to the Goan Newspapers, on saving Goa & its identity. However, time is running out and we need more impact; More NRG’s must, at least write frequently, to the local Goan media.
Many NRG’s are skeptical that letters have any impact, so let me argue the
same:
(1) Many activists have told me that NRG letters not shape public opinion but also inspire these activists to carry on their fight for Goa, against the more powerful & well financed destructive lobbies, backed by a corrupt government. These activists at least need our moral support; which I must say, does work wonders!!
(2) Vested Interests spread false propaganda. The key to Saving Goa is mobilizing Goans via awareness. As more people write on facts & solutions, Goans will be better informed & more confident, to go for the Change!!
(3) Regular writing will undoubtedly fuel a VERY STRONG UNSTOPPABLE MOMENTUM
amongst Goans, to rise & speak/act.
(4) Surely lack of interest from Goans (particularly NRG’s) can de-motivate Activists in Goa.
(5) Minimum 30% of Goans are outside Goa, exposed to various new ideas & best practices around the Globe; can’t we contribute something back to Goa?
(6) Writing could be your first step to getting involved with the Goan cause; rather than doing absolutely nothing
(7) I firmly believe in the famous saying "All that is necessary for evil to succeed is that good men do nothing - EDMUNDE BURKE".

Many Goans are quite successful overseas; please “NEVER FORGET WHERE YOU CAME FROM”; you now have a Golden Opportunity in your one lifetime, to give back & help your people/home, when they need you the most!! The choice is yours; allow Goa that you know to die or do something to save it!! I believe that with increasing number of Goans joining the effort, the hope of saving Goa & its identity will only increase!!

Arwin Mesquita (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Thursday, 19 February 2009

The Goan Catholic Casualty

During my schooling years in Kuwait, I was overwhelmed by the Goan Community or shall I say the Goan Catholic Community via the various functions, tiatrs etc. I perceived Goa’s Identity as Catholic, but to my gradual realization, Goan Identity was actually, an amazing cohesion of the Goan Hindu, Catholic & Muslim entities. I think many Goan Catholics don’t appreciate that the fact, that Hinduism in particular, has a significant positive foundation/influence on the Catholic community and both these dominant religions together, have shaped Goa’s Very Unique Identity; making us different, from other Indian & Global communities. I think with respect to Goan Identity, both Goa’s predominant religions, can’t do without the other. But then, we see divisions amongst these religious communities, to the effect that most of Goa’s critical identity issues are not addressed, to the benefit of corrupt politicians & non-goans who (with respect) are taking increasing control of Goa and making us irrelevant in our own land i.e. the disunity/suspicion amongst the religious groups are pushing Goans towards extinction. For instance, despite the fact that a significant amount of Goans relate to Roman Konkani, this script is being opposed; do Goans prefer to promote Konkani or to see non-Goan languages i.e. Kannada, Malayalam, Urdu etc getting increasing prominence via the back door i.e. uncontrolled migration, migrant vote banks & other factors. Let’s understand that Konkani (Devanagiri & Roman) will be irrelevant, if Goans become a minority in Goa.

I will address issues in my Catholic community. “Goan Catholics must realize that the first clear casualty of Goan Identity will be Catholics themselves” and surely in the long run, it will be all Goans, including the Hindus & Muslims. We Catholics, will have only ourselves to blame and in my view, are significantly responsible for Goa’s deteriorating identity, via the following facts: (A) Short term Gains in land sales to outsiders; many times unnecessary, (B) Konkani shunned by the so called educated/elite class, (C) USA, UK, CANADA, AUSTRALIA etc appears to a give a imaginary boost to the self-esteem of many Catholic Goans; many of those who emigrated then come to “Hopeless Goa” looking for prospective Grooms/Brides for themselves or their siblings (D) Most Goan emigrants give various excuses i.e. better life, education for kids etc; It is the permanent overseas residence (not temporary) that I am referring to. I appreciate that there are economic reasons for emigration, but let me pose the following questions (1) Do we really lack a long term vision, to see that the economic power is shifting east and so, do Goans really need to go west today? (2) Why can’t well off Non Resident Goans, use their resources to improve Goa and realize the very better standards that they use as an excuse to emigrate? (3) What about true value of material gains vs. the actual social/value losses? (4) Yes, there are reasons for specific emigration but then, can’t they give back anything to Goa or have they abandoned the land of their ancestors? (5) Don’t we appreciate that all developed countries were actually backward but the residents there “made it happen”; and now with respect, many Goans (particularly in the Gulf) are migrating to those countries, instead of trying to develop their home to the desired standards; I think that together, we can make Goa a world class state. It easy to run away from problem’s & emigrate; but is this right in the long run? The Goan Diaspora has the world’s best practices but only a few have/are giving back to Goa. I believe that most issues causing Goans to emigrate can be resolved, some immediately, some in a reasonable timeframe and some a bit more time. The Goan Diaspora can play a key role in the latter with their Global Skills/Strengths; but will they?

There are many cultural events & conventions in Canada, Australia, UK, USA etc surely all these, will not be relevant, if Goan identity is extinguished in Goa. Sometimes, I think that with the exception of the very few, most of these events are just socializing opportunities for the Goan Diaspora and there is actually no serious will, to do anything for Goa. I read somewhere that Mississauga Canada had the largest concentration of Goans outside Goa; the Goan source appeared to be very proud of the same, to which I can sadly say that with the current high rate of permanent Goan migration from Goa, Mississauga could have the largest Goan Population in the world and that identity too will gradually wither away, with no distinct Goan majority homeland, in the near future.

In Politics, we Catholics are slaves to deceitful “Secular Parties” and vote for “Catholics” irrespective of how much his/her image is tarnished? Many of our Catholic religious leaders blindly call to vote “Secular Parties”; are they really secular or are they “wolves in sheep’s clothing” under the deceitful garb of secularism? How different are these parties vs. the labeled communal parties. I think parties like the Congress-NCP are doing more damage & destruction to Goa than say the BJP i.e. (1) Migrant Vote banks that changing demographics, creating social imbalance/problems & Manipulating Democracy, (2) Water Contamination, (3) Illegal conversion of Agricultural land, (4) Facilitating large scale land sales to wealthy non-goans (5) Un-necessary mega-projects destroying fragile environment/ecology and again changing demographics (6) Coercion/strong arm tactics/false police cases to subdue genuine activists fighting for Goa (7) Deliberately flawed employment policy, for illegitimate monetary gains from outsiders, which works against Goan employment and forces Goans to leave Goa etc. I am not lobbying for any particular party but ask Catholics to vote for the right candidate for Goa. If we really want to back “secular parties” then let’s DEMAND that they put up good & Untarnished candidates? Else let’s put up peoples candidates via the Gram Sabhas? It is high time, we Catholics take a long hard look at ourselves & realise how our actions/non-actions are destroying Goa & its Identity. Let’s change our mindset else we probably will deserve, what is to become of us!!

Lastly, there are so many Goan Non-Catholics, who are also very keen to save Goa & its Identity; so let’s work together towards the common goal. Pessimists will say all that can’t be done or how nothing will change. IF we want to truly realize the Goa that we want, then FIRST let’s change this negative mentality & adopt a “CAN DO” attitude”. Quoting Henry Ford “if you think you can do a thing or think you can't do a thing, either way you're right”

Arwin Mesquita (Abu Dhabi, UAE)

Sunday, 1 February 2009

Saving Goa’s Prized Identity will be a lesson to world

GOA, one of India’s most beautiful states is a major tourist attraction due to its natural beauty, beaches & most importantly its prized identity; a blend of east & west. Goan Identity today has the best of both worlds’ i.e. strong values/links from the Indian Subcontinent, coupled with a distinct western flair. My plea to the Indian/Goa Government is to preserve our precious jewel, because the way things are going, Goa’s Identity will be soon eliminated and will be clear case of “killing the goose that lays the golden egg”

Recent ratings by some national bodies stating Goa as one of the India’s best states, is surprising!! Actually, Goa is India’s most corrupt states. National & Local politicians loot Goa at will i.e. rampant illegal conversion of Agricultural land to satisfy greed for huge apartment complexes, mostly for non-locals and passed even after violating laws; merciless hill cutting; destruction of forests; illegal mining; displacement of locals; pollution of fields; water contamination; destruction of sand dunes on beaches; major Coastal violations by wealthy builders; Malaria; Major Garbage issue; Scarce Water/Electricity etc. Social activists fight a difficult battle against so many illegalities & are intimidated by false police cases filed under political pressures, constant delaying tactics by Quasi-Judicial Government bodies which are influenced by Corrupt Politicians, wealthy mining & building lobbies etc. Also, the Complex Judiciary system & its timeframes are not helping Goa. Builders hold impressive real estate exhibitions in other Indian States & Overseas; Prospective buyers must understand that they are actually helping destructive elements destroy our beautiful state!! Most politicians are only interested in amassing as much wealth as possible, to secure their political future at the cost of Goa and are now making Goa’s Politics, a “family business”. The Government under pressure, is contemplating ban on agricultural land sales to outsiders; which is an eyewash, as not only agricultural land is and can be illegally converted, but also the critical issue of preserving scarce land for Goans is not met!!
The rapid rate of land sales to Wealthy Non-Goans will soon mean that many Goan future generations will not be able to get land for themselves; leave alone afford it!! Goa’s 1961 liberation is now being questioned, as whether it was liberation of Goa from the Portugeese or from the Goans. Yes, Goans are Indians but surely India is not one but a rich mosaic of so many cultures & identities, and Goans want to preserve their part of the mosaic. India is a great country based on UNITY IN DIVERSITY; as also highlighted in our National Anthem; that’s why (1) There are many states (2) Hindi is official but each state has its local language (3) Each state has its own distinct culture & identity. We need an urgent peaceful dialogue to save Goa’s identity & culture, which is being eroded today: The Goa Government is reluctant in formulating a policy, to ensure right employment opportunities for Goans vs. the educational output and hence many Goans migrate from Goa; Huge Mega Apartment Complexes coming up change local demographics, destroying landscapes & pollute the environment; Migrants Vote-Banks are encouraged by politicians and in many constituencies, democracy is clearly manipulated; Voter cards are given to migrants without nullifying their voting rights in their home states & worse, false details are put on their voter cards e.g. House No. etc.
Critics say that Identity Erosion is the result of Globalisation; to which I ask (A) Do we follow the herd mentality or we adopt a think global act local approach (B) Aren’t countries at the forefront of Globalisation enacting measures to protect local identities e.g. Western Countries continuously improvising already strict immigration norms, mandatory knowledge of local language, history, identity & culture. In India, most states can maintain their unique identities because of their big size & population. Each state has limits to sale of land sales & intake of migrants (today minimum 40% of Goa’s population). Unlike other states, Small Goa has way crossed the tolerance limits & now needs safeguards. Critics conveniently use the Indian Constitution excuse to subdue Goa’s genuine concerns; of course most of them i.e. Politicians, Builders, Bureaucrats & Wealthy Outsiders make huge monetary gains on the destruction of Goan Identity. Charity begins at home i.e. by preserving & having a world class state with a unique identity; Goans can be even better Indians. Critics also use the Capitalistic excuse to justify land sales to the highest bidders (mostly from outside Goa) but ignore the fact that Capitalism can’t take precedence over the society’s overall interests. For instance, aren’t there Government controls on basic food essentials; what if these were at the mercy of capitalism? Goans have the right of priority to live in decent clean, disease free environment with stable infrastructure, reduced contamination levels, sense of identity, maintaining livelihoods etc. Current land sales rate will make Goans irrelevant & no community will accept the same for themselves. Many with illegitimate wealth, invest in Goa’s Properties; should Goans suffer because they generally don’t have this illegitimate wealth?
Goa’s officially spoken language i.e. Konkani is gradually being by replaced by other Languages. Those quoting the Indian Constitution must appreciate key facts i.e. (1) India annexed Goa much later on a military action and as such Goa was not actually part of the constituent assembly, that framed the Constitution, (2) Goans were never given a say in the future of their state and (3) There are provisions in the Constitution i.e. Article 19(d) put in by India’s visionary founding fathers, to protect local state identities. I believe Goans, as all other Indians have a right to protect their respective local identities, culture & language. I think there the world is a very interesting place with so many cultures/identities. Why for example are many fascinated with Rome & Paris? Identity forms the Value Systems of individuals/communities. Do we prefer being “something to everybody” or “nothing to nobody”? Like Goan Identity, many identities across the world are at risk; should India succeed in safeguarding Goa & its identity, it could be a lesson to other threatened identities in India & the World. Goans are peace loving people who are proud of beings Indians but whilst preserving their identity. We are not against anyone & respect all, but at the same time request Non-Goans to respect our genuine right to Identity. I would like to end with a quote from Mahatma Gandhi “I will open the doors and windows of my house and allow the winds of different parts of the world to flow through it. But I will not be swept off my feet” Kindly spread this article as far & wide as you can

ARWIN MESQUITA – (ABU DHABI)