Opting for Foreign CitizenshipPublished on: November 20, 2010 - 23:54
More in: PanoramaBy Tomazinho CardozoDuring the Portuguese era Goans have gone abroad to earn a living. This trend of going abroad for better prospects continues till date. Many Goans have ultimately opted for citizenship of the country in which they have been working. This craze for citizenship of European countries continues. And, unfortunately, this trend is on the rise.One has to explore possibilities to improve ones financial conditions. Having a good job is one way of achieving this. However, besides migrating, there are other ways of achieving financial satisfaction. Post liberation, successive government introduced various self-employment schemes and small scale industries to encourage Goan youth to seek their fortune in Goa itself. In spite of the numerous opportunities many opted and continue to opt to emigrate. Earlier, most Goans went to African countries like Mozambique which were Portuguese colonies, and to Kenya, Uganda, and Dar es Salaam where British had their supremacy. Today it is the Gulf countries, Europe, Australia, Canada and United States of America. With universal political awakening all African countries became free. At that time a majority of the Goans working there opted to go to England or Portugal. Most opted for citizenship of those countries. Such acts constitute a grave insult to one’s motherland. Initially, when the Gulf countries opened their doors, there were a few Goans. Today thousands of Goans earn their livelihood in these countries. If one analyses the type of Goans working in the Gulf States one finds that most of them are from the middle class. Very few are from the higher strata of society. Most return after retirement. But there are a few who would like to settle in European countries or Australia or in the USA after retirement. Their reason is that they would like to secure a better future for their children. Many Goans dream of leaving Goa and going to Portugal. In fact their destination is not Portugal, but being Goans it becomes very easy to for them to get a Portuguese passport. From Portugal they can then easily go to any of the European countries. This is the reason why the Portuguese Consulate in Goa is always crowded with people seeking Portuguese passports. It is only because of our selfishness that we opt for citizenship of another country. How unfortunate indeed!A question that bothers many is: Is it not possible to make a future in Goa? Take the example of the people from other states of India who came to Goa for jobs. Analyse the departments of the Goa government as well as private establishments in which people from other states occupy major positions. Who are the beneficiaries of the government schemes? One will find that many non-Goans control small businesses and carries self-employment schemes further. This has become possible because of the hard work and dedication they have put in. This has also happened because Goans have opted for shortcuts to improve their personal economic situations and by doing so they have lost grip of the Goan economy. Everyone needs money. Hence a good job is important. However, today, it is also important and meaningful to be self employed. There are various government schemes to set up small businesses. Self employment helps in two ways. It gives the needed financial support on one hand and creates job opportunities. Such an effort ultimately helps the state because such persons contribute towards reducing the number of unemployed. Goans who venture into business directly or indirectly help create jobs and need to be saluted because they help Goa and Goans in the true sense of the word. I have come across many Non Resident Goans (NRGs) who have become foreign citizens. They do not speak Konkani nor do they make any attempt to teach their children Konkani or the Goan culture. But they make numerous observations and give umpteen suggestions as to how Goa should be governed. They make conscious efforts to prove publicly that they love Goa. These Goans, if they really love Goa, and are really interested in the development of Goa, should stop professing their love in words and instead come to Goa and join hands with other like-minded people to fulfil the dream of developing Goa.