In a bottomless pit of muck that Goan politics has descended into, there was a new low hit on Friday evening when Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) karyakartas clashed with Congress workers outside the Congress House in Panjim. The justification of the BJP that their karyakartas were instigated by the Congress workers is hardly valid or even plausible as there were a handful of Congress workers, far outnumbered by the BJP karyakartas.
Instigation is also no reason for violence, it is a mere excuse being used by a party that wants to save its blushes and this does not cut any ice. Similarly with Congress, the party seeking that the FIR registered against its workers be scraped is also an attempt to show that it has been maimed, but does not pull the wool over the eyes. Both parties are responsible for the fracas that occurred on Friday evening. The BJP with larger numbers being the bigger offender, have to own up to it. Isn’t it a matter to wonder about that neither of the parties has thought of apologising to the people of Goa for their behaviour on Friday evening? They appear more content in blaming the other for the situation.
It is time to stop the blame game, stop the justifications and stop the excuses. This has been an abysmal performance by the party in power. They should instead have been hanging their heads in shame. It exposes the mindset of the two parties, especially the BJP as the morcha was led by its party president, who is also a Member of Parliament elected to the Rajya Sabha, and had two State Ministers among the party workers. BJP’s top leaders and law makers were present that evening when this happened. Couldn’t they control the party karyakartas before the situation got out of hand? How can we expect this party to maintain the law and order in the State, if it can’t control a few hundred workers of its own party? What can we expect from the persons who are meant to protect the law and legislate in the Assembly if they are the ones who are breaking the law?
And then we come to the law enforcement agencies. What about the role of the police who were accompanying the morcha? The investigation into the violence has to look into the role of the police force. Were the policemen present so incapable of acting or were they playing a wait and watch game allowing the situation to descend into a fight? The police headquarters is metres away from the Congress House. Even walking at a leisurely pace it would take not more than three minutes to get to the site of the incident from the police headquarters. Were reinforcements not called for? The police force has a lot of questions to answer, and when the investigation team looks through the video footage of the incident, it should also look at how its own men and women in uniform acted. Could the violence have been prevented? How was it that the police allowed the BJP karyakartas to cross the road and come towards the Congress House?
Goa does not approve of violence and it will never condone it. The BJP has to keep this in mind. Violence plays no role in a democracy and when the major political parties stoop to this it is a clear indication that the future of the State is in the wrong hands. We can only shudder to think what can happen next. In a democracy you debate in a civil manner. You neither fling eatables at the opposing party, nor do you get instigated by such an act. You use words in measured tones to get your point across and do not shout to try to drown out the other. Goa believes in democracy and will not let anarchy creep into the State.
The bad news just doesn’t seem to stop, for ironically, all this happened on the day the foreign media, especially in Britain, was shaming Goa for the rape of yet another foreign tourist. How much worse can it get?