Monday, 10 January 2011

Civil rights activists to launch campaign for special status

Civil rights activists to launch campaign for special status


Civil rights activists to launch campaign for special status
With meager 450 square kilometers disposable land left in Goa, the civil rights activists have decided to propel a movement demanding Special Status for the state by amending the Constitution of India.
“It’s never late. The constitution was amended many times,” renowned social activist Mathany Saldanha told an informal meeting at Goa International Centre, Dona Paula on Saturday evening.
“We welcome everyone to come here but don’t buy the land and make us stranger,” Saldanha said in his half an hour speech which led the discussion on the roadmap to move the state government give special status to Goa.
The participating activists including Rui Da Gama, Florian Lobo, Yatish Naik, Julio D’Silva and others resolved that the state legislative assembly should pass a resolution pressing for the special status.
Saldanha said that the land in Goa is already under forest, agricultural, coastal belt and already utilized. “We are left with only 450 square kilometers of land which needs to be protected for future generations,” he said.
He said that soon after the liberation the Goans were either divided on the basis of caste and religion or also terrified after facing 450 years of Portuguese rule.
“We never had guts to tell the central government what we want. That’s why we had to fight every time. May it be opinion poll or Konkani language agitation,” Saldanha, who also chairs National Fishermen’s Forum, said.
“Then fathers of constitution did not feel it wise to give representation to Goa in the constitution. That’s why we are suffering now,” he said adding that there is lot of insecurity which has come in the fate of Goa.
Saldanha has said that with no provision to protect the land, majority of it is being given for commercial activity.
“This has resulted in large influx of people from outside. Does Goa have capacity to contain this population?” he questioned.
He said that special status is the only thing which can protect the land of Goa. “People are feeling insecure. The special status will cease buying of any land in the state,” Saldanha said.
During the interaction, the activists reminded the assurance given by Congress President Sonia Gandhi during last assembly election to give special status to Goa.
They recalled that even after the liberation, then prime minister Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru had promised that Goa’s special identity, language and culture would be protected.

2 comments: said...

i fully support this movement, goa being culturally and ethnically unique its identity and ecology which is threatened needs to be protected and granting of special status alone will help

Reggie said...

What about the newsitem "Empower Collectors to determine compensation to landholders" by Goa State Law Commission Chairman, Ramakant Khalap, that appeared in HERALD, 10 May 2011, Pg.3.