Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has proposed to put a cap on the number of people from other states settling in Goa. Goa is home to people from several states in the country who have made it their home-away-from-home because of the several Public Sector Undertakings (PSUs), numerous private companies and business opportunities available here.
Goa is indeed a mini-India. Here you will find people from Bihar to Chennai, and Uttarkand to Jharkand. The person you meet in the marketplace is probably from Assam or Gujarat. Very soon Goans will probably be a minority in their own State; looking for a Goan would be like looking for a needle in a hay-stack.
The start of the Konkan Railways has made it easier for people from other states to travel here. Every train that stops at the Railway station brings in hordes of non-Goans, many of who never return to their hometowns.
Of course every Indian has the right to settle in a state of their choice. Vasco probably has the highest migrant population in the State. Owning a ration-card, voter’s identity, etc., they can no longer be called non-Goans. They are as much, if not more, Goan as we Goans are. In all this, the local politicians have played an important role as migrants are considered an important vote-bank.
With an ever increasing population, the State seems to be bursting at its seams. Land is available at a premium. Housing has become a huge problem. Congestion of the city has become the order of the day. Every state has to grapple with an ever increasing population. The problem of congestion that the State has been facing has worsened.
The increase in population has also meant a diametric increase in the vehicular population, which has led to a huge problem of paucity of parking space.
Is it really possible to put a ceiling on the number of non-Goans wanting to become “Goans”? What about Goans who have settled in other states? Will the government of these states retaliate? This seems a dangerous proposition. Can we Goans really do without migrant labourers? All the menial work is being done by these so called “outsiders” while Goans run after white-collar jobs. Most of the masons, plumbers, carpenters and those working on the fishing-trawlers are migrants. The fact that we cannot do without them was evident when many of the labourers working on the fishing trawlers did not return from their native places. Before even thinking of restricting the entry of these migrant labourers to the State, we Goans should first learn to do ourselves all the menial work which most of us consider as ‘undignified’ labour. We cannot do without these migrant labourers. Just imagine a situation when none of these so called “outsiders” decide not to come to Goa. We will face a piquant situation.