Saturday, June 13, 2015

LIVING IN DENIAL by Mario Santos

Referring to above and Arwin Mesquita's article in the daily O Heraldo edition of 02 May 1955 I would say that, if anyone wants to know Goa and/or India and their citizens one should read respectively Teotonio de Souza's book on "Medieval Goa" or Khushwant Singh's book "We the Indians". Traditionally Goans have always looked at the outside world (especially the West or other Indian cities) for employment and Goa would be like a holiday place for their return to which every Goan would eagerly look forward to.

Today, if anyone ventures out of Goa for employment, there is no likelihood that he will ever find his home intact-likely to be lost in the laws of the jungle! Regarding Mr. Mesquita's suggestion that Goans should stay put in Goa and save Goa, I would ask the question, save from what? Through recycling the Alemaos, Faleiros, Sardinhas, Monteserrats, or the ...kars beginning with the Bandodkars, Goans are losing dignity if any was left after the liberation (?1961) . At least the Bandodkars made sure of that. If your own government usurps land belonging to your community (comunidades), what is there left for a honest Goan to fight for?

Armed conflicts between countries happen because of hurt egos or greed for land and its material resources and not because of an abstract concept called love of their inhabitants or their freedom, and Portuguese Goa or Nehru's India were not exceptions. Goa was freed of the Portuguese through an armed invasion not for the love of Goans or respect for "freedom fighters" (who continue to take birth even today half a century later) but solely for its land and mineral wealth. Let us not continue to live in denial of this fact.

Wars happen more out of hatred then out of brotherly love. The Portuguese were overthrown by violent means and not by any negotiation or peace understanding. Goa was lost in 1961 to a population of 400 million and today there are 1.2 billion people eyeing to make Goa their homeland. Goans like the rest of humanity need jobs in order to have a decent survival chance. They cannot keep living on hot air exhaled by our politicians from their southern ends in the form of 50,000 jobs in the next 2 years-that is living in cloud cuckoo land! An army can only march on its stomach. Goa's culture or what is left of it, is overwhelmed by the culture of of 1.2 billion other people and like Jason has mentioned in the above article, we are going to change our habits to appease the powers to be. These types of changes have already begun to happen since December 1961-does anyone remember Father Naik?

At one point Konkani happened to be the predominant medium of communication and English was seldom spoken prior to 1961 and today English seems to be displacing Konkani. You step into any public transport mode and one rarely hears anyone speaking in Konkani. 450 years of Portuguese administration and we should have all been communicating in Portuguese if not Konkani. It is a real tragedy for Portugal to hear Goan people speak in English at their Embassies while asking for a Portuguese passport. Then it is no surprise to me that in 1975 Portugal gave up all its claim over Goa. All we can do is to try and slow down the pace of commercialization and make the life of our people tolerable and as convenient as practicable. Hoping to save our culture may turn out to be a dream unfulfilled. It is very very sad indeed!

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