Sudin Dhavalikar claims to be a Chief Ministerial aspirant of Goa. But he obviously has a long way to go before his world vision expands to beyond the cocoons of his immediate surroundings and people and becomes even remotely statesman like.
Here is the Prime Minister of Portugal, Antonio Costa, coming to the soil of his ancestors, meeting family in Margao, a town which is eagerly looking forward, to welcoming him. And Dhavalikar has had the temerity to ask for an apology from the Portuguese PM for purported atrocities on Goans during the Portuguese rule in Goa.
Goa is home to so many families, which have close links not just with Portugal but share a history which is timeless and eternal. And this history is not Sudin Dhavalikar’s interpretation of history. Portuguese institutions, the Portuguese chair in Goa University and Indo-Portuguese cultural organisations have received the warmth of the close relationship between Goa and Portugal which has enriched and enhanced lives and experiences which are still cherished.
And these are the linkages which will be on display and will be celebrated during his two-day visit. Goan civil society will honour him at the main hall, in the Adil Shah Palace where there will be a presentation of the English translation of his father Orlando Costa’s book ‘Sem Flores Nem Coroas’. He will inaugurate a new Centro de Língua Portuguesa (Portuguese Language Centre) a fine example of how the preservation and expansion of the Portuguese language continues to find new abodes.
Some of the places Senhor Antonio Costa will visit or walk through are frozen in time, hanging on to the last visages of a glorious genteel era, where Goans were not Portuguese, they were Goans living in a land which was Portugal, ruled by those who allowed all to live in harmony and have ample opportunity to witness and participate in the explosion of life with all its creativity, culture and music. And when he walks through Bairro das Fontainhas and goes to Fundação Oriente, he will freeze in time, but he may not quite know that thousands in Goa, lament that much more, so much more of that era is now preserved and protected and lives in. As a minister in successive governments, Dhavalikar has been party to the destruction of Goan heritage and changing the look and feel of Goa, taking it away from the design and architecture of the era under Portuguese rule, which was, and mark this, a true Goan era. There was more in Goa then, than there is now or ever will be. And Sudin Dhavalikar owes an apology to us for that.
He should also apologise to Goans first and then to Indians and even to Antonio Costa, since the Portuguese Prime Minister told our Prime Minister that he was proud of his Indian roots, and he Dhavalikar, chose to attempt to insult him by asking for his apology, when the Indian nation has never sought such an apology ever. We do not know which culture Sudin Dhavalikar espouses but it is certainly not the culture of humanity, decency and civility.
And then his crass, ill-intentioned and completely out of place demand to move the Portuguese consulate out of Goa because the “Portuguese consulate is trying to lure Goan youth for Portuguese citizenship” evokes disgust as well as amusement. The reason why the Goan youth is getting lured is because the State has failed to create enough opportunities for its people and its young. There are millions of Indians all over the world with citizenship of the countries they live in. Should we start closing all the consulates of those countries or shift them? And will moving the consulate to Delhi reduce aspirants to go to Portugal, who can easily take that one flight to Delhi to get their citizenship papers processed.
Sudin Dhavalikar should stop living in cuckoo land. And if he does, then he is unfit for the role of Chief Minister if that ever comes to him due to some adjustment or political necessity.
Prime Minister Costa, a descendant of a son of this soil, bemvindo a casa (welcome home). You are more than welcome and we are honoured to have you here.