Sunday, September 21, 2014
GOANS ALSO WANT TO SAY 'NO' IN THE UN SPONSORED REFERENDUM AND FEEL NICE ABOUT IT by Floriano Lobo
Going with the trend setters, first, by East Timor [Timor Lest] having attained Independence from Occupying Indonesia through the intervention of the United Nations on May 20, 2002, to end the illegal occupation by Indonesia since 1975, and, the bid by the Scotish people to decide if they wanted to remain with Great Britain or as an Independent Country altogether, through the recently held REFERENDUM, a laudable Democratic process, the former ESTADO DA INDIA PORTUGUESA as it was called, GOA, is also simmering for the much promised and denied Referendum/Plebiscite when India occupied GOA through military intervention to drive away the 451 year standing Portuguese, interestingly, both India and Portugal having been members of the United Nations.
That GOANS have woken up, or should I say, musterred the courge to demand the REFERENDUM after 53 years of fear ridden silence is a matter of great pride for Goa and Goans. The fact of the matter is straight as a barge-pole:
1: India promised that Goa's identity would be protected and it was India's first Premier Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru through his public speech at Bombay in 1956 that said the following:
"I want to explain myself. If the people of Goa, minus the Portuguese, deliberately wish to retain their separate identity, I am not going to bring them by force, compulsion or coercion into the Indian Union.... I merely add that my national interest involves the removal of the Portuguese from Goa...."
2. This promise was never implemented, thanks to Goa's Freedom Fighters who have been enjoying pensions for the past 53 years, as well as a very staunch Goan in Bombay who had the ears of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru..... Cardinal Valerian Gracias. It looks like their only mission was to push Goa into the lap of India, lock-stock and barrel without any guarantees for Goa and Goans.
3. India forced on Goans (like myself) its Citizenship through promulgation of the Citizens Act in 1962, without asking Goans whethert they wanted it or not. UN Charter emphsises that indegenous people must be given a chance to decide their own fate through a referendum or a plebiscite. What I am saying is that this 'choice' was not given/ignored for reasons that nobody thought it fit to demand. It was imposed. As a Goan first, I want to choose what I want to feel nice about. I do not feel nice about things that are forced on me as a compulsion and call it DEMOCRACY.
4. This referendum that I am talking about must have two choices. (1) Remain Independent Or (2) Join the Indian Union WITH SPECIAL STATUS aka Special Provisions under Article 371(I) of the Indian Constitution, which request by Goa, India has repeatedly ignored.
5. The voting in this referendum must be those persons/Goans who were on the Electoral Rolls of Goa during the 1963 Elections and along with their newer generation. Also, all Goans residing and/or settled elsewhere in the world must be given the franchise to vote in this referendum. The voting cannot be based on the current Electoral Roll which is a cocktail of dilution.
6. This referendum must be conducted under the auspices of the UNITED NATIONS.
7. Goans do not recognize the Treaty signed by Portugal (through Mario Soares) and India ( through Y.B. Chavan) in 1974 handing-over Goa's sovereignty to India since this treaty had no representation from Goans in Goa or elsewhere in the world. Besides, Mario Soares and his government was not an elected Government at that time and therefore this treaty could not be signed.
8. Goa's Opinion Poll of 1967 with the two options given was an infringement on the above quoted promises of Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru. Perhaps, if he was alive, he would not have accepted this monstrosity, which was the brainchild of Maharashtra and its Chamcha in Goa, the Maharashtra Gomantak Party led by Dayanand Bandodkar, and therefore was one-sided and meaningless. Thanks to Dr. Jack de Sequeira, the Opinion Poll was won to keep Goa as Goa or be disintegrated into Maharashtra. Accepting Opinion Poll with the stated terms of reference was a risky proposition and Dr. Jack de Sequeira should not have agreed to it but instead go for the above referendum with the above stated terms of reference. But his position is vindicated by the very fact that the Opinion Poll was won.
Some Goans who are not aware of the basic facts about the so called liberation of Goa by India consider the above demands as secessionist demands. NO. these are not. These demands are authentic demands and India will have to relent to these in the very near future. Hopefully, India will take a page out of the democratic appeasement which has taken place vis a vis Scotland and Great Britain.