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:

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!!

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.

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