05 Dec 2015 06:22am IST
Daniel F de Souza
Vascokars are shocked and perturbed with the Civil Supplies Department for playing dirty by changing the name of Vasco da Gama, to Sambhaji Nagar in the new National Food Security cards issued to the residents of Vasco under the National Food Security Scheme.
It is all the more agonizing because the Civil Supplies department has not taken the local Civic Body neither the local MLAs into confidence before effecting the changes which will have serious ramifications in future.
A similar effort was made in the early seventies during the MGP regime in the State. But the vigilant Vascokars opposed it tooth and nail then and fought to retain the original name of the city to Vasco da Gama. I recall a hard-hitting trio was composed by the then Trio-nche Ostad viz., Conception-Nelson-Anthony and literally floored the then Bandodkar Government decision. The Bandodkar Government had then backtracked and dropped the plans of Marathising Vasco da Gama. It is a well-known fact that the Trio-nche Ostad Conception-Nelson-Anthony were the watch dogs of Civil liberties and Government policies
through the medium of tiatrs in Goa soon after liberation. No doubt they faced lathis from behind the curtains whilst performing and criticizing the Government policies, but no one had the guts to come and attack them openly on stage during the performance, as is sadly the trend now.
For the last 40 years or so, this issue of re-naming Vasco da Gama into Sambhaji Nagar was long dead and laid to rest. The very fact that the issue is being revived through the back door speaks volumes of a well hatched plan. But such evil designs will never succeed when the masses are united and will stand up to safeguard their sentiments. If the same is as per the Government records, as claimed earlier by the Director Civil Supplies & Consumer Affairs that some pockets were named as Sambhaji since 1971 then how come the name Sambhaji Nagar was not indicated in the ration cards when they were issued fresh in 2007-2008 by the same department? Can the Director Civil Supplies and Consumer Affairs give us a convincing and justifiable answer?
In the present instance it looks to be a sinister design to reintroduce the once rejected name by the back door and clandestinely. Surely, it cannot be a printing mistake or an oversight error. There is much more to it, than what meets the eye. There is a hidden conspiracy somewhere within to check the pulse of the citizens of this Port town and observe their reaction. Let it be known that Vascokars by nature maybe a patient citizenry who for all these years have borne in silence the slow pace of development in this port town, we have not reacted undemocratically to the fact that successive Governments have utterly neglected and treated this town like an orphaned child, but when it comes to issues that touch our sentiments and heart we have the gumption to stand up united and speak in one voice to oppose any evil design and seek justice. We strongly oppose the change of name from Vasco da Gama, to any other. I hope Carlos Almeida, our MLA of Vasco is seized of the matter and takes the right decision to correct the wrong safeguarding the interests and sentiments of his constituents.