IT Minister faces the heat online
After IT Minister Rohan Khaunte made a controversial statement regarding Goans living abroad, social media was abuzz with comments and opinions of Goans pouring from across the world onto Facebook groups. Café logs in and finds out what is happening in the virtual world
Through our editorial in the September 5, 2017 edition of Herald, we had asked our readers to participate in the debate stirred by IT Minister Rohan Khaunte’s controversial statement. It may be recalled that recently, Khaunte, while speaking at a function, had made a statement on the lines of, ‘those who have lost their love for Goa and live outside Goa have no right to criticise and comment on Goa.’ After the comment created an uproar, Khanute then tried to clarify this by saying that he was targeting those who had acquired Portuguese (or foreign) passports and were living abroad, making matters worse. Needless to say, the topic spread like wild fire on social media and Goans living in Goa and abroad took turns to express their opinions on the matter. Facebook groups such as Goa+, Goa Speaks, Goans for Goa Forum, etc were buzzing with varied comments and opinions, some of which were made using choicest of expletives and abuses aimed at the minister and those supporting his statement. An individual going by the profile name of Fernandez Cip, said on one of the FB groups, “Goan NRIs are patriotic and love their motherland Goa, the land of their ancestors more than the allegedly CORRUPT current Goan politicians. These current politicians including Rohan Khaunte with sole interest in looting the Goa’s treasury and also somehow selling Goan land including our Communidade land to ghantis for hard cash black money directly into their pockets. (sic)” Another individual by the name of Kennedy Afonso posted a video of himself criticising and questioning Rohan Khaunte on the said controversial statement. While most of the participants in this debate seemed to be against the minister and his statement, some expressed their support. A person by the name of Savio Almeida, claiming to be a NRI, said, “Do Goans have any right to ask apology from Rohan Khaunte on his NRI statement? M an NRI and I am not hurt by Rohan’s statement. We NRIs are abused on a daily basis on social media by our fellow GOan who are residing in Goa saying cleaning toilets on ship, washing dishes and some even go on their legal or illegal status and such abuses are liked and enjoyed by many other Goans who follow social media. When we Goans have no respect or other Goans, no Goans have right to question Rohan Khaunte. I support you Rohan Khaunte. (sic)” Almeida made this statement via his post on the FB group Goa Speaks. Another person by the name of Simon Sequeira extended his support to Almeida by saying, “Savio bab, I’m very happy to know that you have understood what our hon’ble minister meant to say and how the media has twisted matters.. Goemkars the world over will never lose their love for their motherland and I’m sure every true goemkar has understood this and stands with our minister.. Let the fake IDs continue shouting. Viva! (sic)” Going by the storm that Khaunte’s comment has created on social media, it does not look like it is going to be laid to rest anytime soon. It will be interesting to wait and watch what lies next in store for Goans living in Goa and abroad, and more importantly, Goans living online and offline.
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