Dear Mr Rane, in democracy it’s your vote that counts; in feudalism, it’s your count that votes. And that was something that you have been reading wrong for almost three decades and mixing up your former serfs and subjects in Sattari with the rest of the people of Goa. Allow the Goans to enlighten you of facts that your 19 odd years as Chief Minister of Goa failed to coach you about.
Your ancestors, the brave Ranes may have been the guardians of Sattari. But that is where their sphere of influence ended. The rest of Goa (we are talking about the common man) never knew them since they didn’t matter in their daily lives and nor did they know you as someone who would carry their legacy. It is no point flogging a legacy if it does not connect with the masses. This is democracy and the kingdoms ceased in 1961. Something, that you need to understand if you want to be a part of Goa.
You are no Bhausaheb Bandodkar as a Chief Minister, Mr Rane nor are you, Jack Sequeira as a Leader of the Opposition. In fact, despite being Goa’s Chief Minister for six times from the 1980s till this millennium, the Goans migrated in troves as your governance failed to instill in them the necessary confidence to believe in their government. While Karnataka turned Mhadei away towards its own hinterland, you and your son who lived in the neighbourhood never even noticed. You never even made a statement of support for Goa, leave aside supporting it. You felt cheap that the Goans clean toilets overseas but ever wondered how your mining friends created so many debt-ridden families that traded their paddy fields and orchards for trucks and tippers? Did you even notice how a Pissurlem factory poisoned Harvalem falls? And for a man who seemed to notice only Goan toilet cleaners and not the dozens of eminent Goans and distinguished ones in other fields from so far, one wonders how you missed noticing the deadly party drug ketamine that was being mass produced in your own backyard.
No, Mr Rane, you might have thought all these years that you were the chosen one, the democratically elected king of Goa but the fact that no one outside your regular vote banks finds you anything but an opportunistic player in State politics speaks volumes of the legacy and politics and governance that you leave behind.
There definitely was a method in your madness. Something that could be attributed to anything from allowing the State’s half-sick BJP Government survive in the absence of its ailing Chief Minister by embarrassing the party that allowed you to remain CM six times, to clearing the decks for a next generational change in Poriem leadership to that the global expat forms a poor opinion of the Congress and helps BJP regain the South Goa seat which it is set to lose to even speaking out what you really thought about the Goans all this while. As Roque Vaz, President of Golden Goa Association, Southampton points out “Mr Rane is a widely-travelled politician and knows the ground realities of the modern world. He himself was in the US at one point to gain his degree in business administration. He has been the Chief Minister of Goa several times and yet he committed this unimaginable blunder”. Your rant, your escape from Goa to avoid irate Goans and stubbornness in correcting this monumental wrong in these twilight years does not smack of grace and finesse that is identified with royal lineage. Even the Emperors have said sorry, why can’t you?
It would be worthwhile to remember the last Mughal Emperor Bahadurshah Zafar who in exile rued that so unfortunate was he that he could not get a small piece of land to be buried in his own homeland.
Mr Rane, Goa knows how to forget history. Are you one?