22 Jan 2023  |   07:00am IST

Goa for the Goans

More than ever before, it is essential to think seriously on the following proposition: Our land for us - exclusively for us, with all its multiple resources
Goa for  the Goans

Shanti Colaço’s translation of then editor Amadeu Prazeres da Costa’s Editorial of December 15, 1950, GOA PARA OS GOESES

In fact, until today our land does belong to us, Goans, in the broad sense of the word, possession or ownership. There is here, not a single tree, fruit bearing or wild, a single building, a single stone or even a single grain of sand, that is not owned by Goans. The restrictions that exist in our legislation, for foreigners to acquire real estate, have contributed, without any conscious effort on our part, to keep our heritage intact.  Even Portuguese citizens from other parts of the nation do not own any property here.
Goa belongs physically and effectively to the sons and daughters of Goa.  Perhaps no one has ever looked at this aspect of our economic life, as it occurred to nobody that these wonderful conditions exist in our land, and because this equilibrium has been existing for centuries, it appeared to be the most natural thing in the world, for the resources of a land, to belong to its inhabitants. And in this comforting certainty that this land will be forever ours, as it has so been until now, Goans immigrated and do migrate abroad, develop their potential, some of them amassing fortunes, thanks to their talents, their immense capacity for work and their honesty, but they never forget their homeland, loving it with the nostalgia of lovers.
But the centuries roll. The days though physically uniform and having a regular succession of daylight hours and hours of darkness, are however different in their course of events. The circumstances of the moment ---- the conditions of uncertainty and restrictions throughout the world --- have placed our land at a pleasant crossroad, giving it the opportunity to become, for the moment at least, a trading post to satisfy the needs that cannot be quenched anywhere else nearby. Shops and establishments are crammed with goods, and prospects for the consolidation of prosperity abound.
However, this prosperity will become like fireworks, crumbling in smoke, if this fleeting moment is not seized, by initiatives and capital, exclusively Goan.
The Goan out there has shown admirable qualities of courage and determination! What a beautiful page has been registered in the epics of the history of humanity, of daring launches in the five parts of the world and in the five oceans!  What diplomas and credentials did they take with them for their triumph, other than their own person, two arms to work with and an intrepid heart to adapt to all situations?

This man who triumphed in the wide world is today grappling with the problem of deciphering the shape and colour of the future. Take the case of Pakistan, of the big city of Karachi, where the Goan, more than anywhere else, did his apprenticeship  in the school of self-help, in order to attain victory.Why not to start a movement now in an opposite direction, back- to-home -land , with experienced Goans - masters of fortune and initiative - returning home to their land, to take in their hands the reins of the economic future of our land, with all the imports and exports, all the purchases and sales, all the operations of exploration of mineral ore and other natural resources of our land, being done by Goans?
It is a deciding moment. Opportunities come and we need to reach out the hand to grab them by the hair. But once in a lifetime comes the one which is decisive and taking advantage of it or not, can decide the victory or the defeat.