Tuesday, February 24, 2015
A CRY FOR A NEW LIBERATION Dr. Jaime Rangel
Much water has flown down the Mandovi and the Zuari and for the matter sown the Tiracol River since that day in late 1961, when the last colonial power in India left the shores of the land we call Goa. It was December the 19th. a date that will remain etched in the pages of Goa's history. It provoked certain fears, again expectedly so. But through this churning as one would expect during any political upheaval, a new beginning was sought to be made, a beginning that purportedly, would make Goa a better place for Goas to live in. But a little over fifty years later, these hopes have been belied and the old fears have come back rushing in. Goa finds itself, and by inference, Goans find themselves at the crossroads of another upheaval, this time not just political, but a social and religious one.
It is this churning, in which we find ourselves, that we must aim for and achieve a new liberation. And it is in this season of prayer that we have to cry out for this new liberation from the forces of destruction who will betray Goa for thirty pieces of silver. The cry for a new liberation cannot remain a cry in the wilderness. That voice needs to be heard before the Goa we know and love is turned into a wilderness of greed, of corruption, of fear, of vice, of debauchery, of filth, of intolerance, of obscurantism, of crime and of criminals. These voices have to grow louder and stronger and not allowed to be drowned by those who have a strong vested interest in promoting the worst elements of humanity and human nature.
The first cry goes out asking for a total change in the type of individuals that we elect to be the people’s representatives. It is here that the road to degradation commences and it is here that we have to focus our greatest attention. For if you curtail the rot that starts from the top, the succeeding layers of administrative bureaucracy will filter out the bad apples that dominate these layers. A good individual here and there finds it difficult to survive in this milleu, let alone fighting back. In such a situation, a single swallow does not a summer make. We have to drive this political-bureaucratic structure to work for the needs of the people and not the fulfilment of their greed.
The Goa of today cries out for freedom from fear, a freedom that allows every citizen to express oneself without being threatened by violence, a freedom that will not tolerate any group indulging in threatening and violent postures against their fellow citizens. It cries for a proper direction to the directionless social manoeuvring that is a feature of life in this state.
It calls for an open society, open to the flow of ideas, an open society that openly battles the forces of the narcotic world and their godfathers among the ppwers-that-be. It cries out for a people free from the stranglehold of drugs, the vices of gambling and alcoholism, the scourge of garbage and filth, the fear of murders and robberies and the sick wold of sex slavery and paedophilia.
We have no choice but to cling dearly to the communal harmony that has been a shining beacon of our state in the otherwise dark recesses of communal violence that envelopes this nation from time to time. We cannot allow individuals with any intolerant or obscurantist agenda to hijack the social and religious discourse in the state of Goa. The bonds between the various communities in Goa go far deeper than the superficiality of television sound bytes. We have an urgent need to be liberated from the sinister designs of such forces whose sole aim is to work towards polarisation of religious communities.
I cry for a new liberation where the prime reason decisions are taken is for the betterment of the inhabitants of Goa. For if the tourists, the industrialists, the fly-by-night operators and the middlemen are the focus where the political-bureaucratic class demands its pound of flesh, then this society is on the way to collapse.
When Goans become second-class citizens in their own land, is when the cries for a new liberation will get louder. We have no choice. For else, Goa may run out of further liberations. The Goa that was saved at the Opinion Poll on the 16th of January 1967 may just about disappear in the future, destroyed by its own leaders and their comrades-in-arms. We cannot allow that to happen.
NOW, LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, GOANS, PLEASE CONTRAST THIS WRITE-UP BY THE VERY SAME AUTHOR OF THE ABOVE TO FIND YOUR BALANCE ON HIS CONSISTENCY, IF THERE IS ANY. YOU ARE THE BOSS. YOU DECIDE.