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.