Dr Joe D’Souza
We have celebrated and ushered in the 60th year of Goa’s liberation. After seventy five years of living, Goa, my birthplace seems far from affording me the true essence of liberation. From the proverbial ‘frying pan into the fire’, seems to be my life. Ask and discover from all those who were born before 1949 and about their life then and now. The teens then and in their twilight years today; the Rs 100 crore extravaganza resorted to by the government of the day, is actually throwing dust or covering with wool the eyes of gullible Goans, over the misgovernance and the deteriorating lifestyle of the people of the once ‘Golden Goa’.
Yes, we did not have air conditioners then, but we slept in the nature conditioned balconies; soundly and carefree. There were hardly any police and security watch, yet our belongings and produce was free from dacoity, theft and plunder. Today, except by uniform, it is difficult to differentiate a police from a thief. Sometimes, we also see thieves in uniforms too.
There were less food varieties but sadly today, we allow the rodents and pests along with the two-legged criminals to have hearty meals with millions across living and sleeping on a hungry stomach. We did not use piped water systems into each house, but our crystal clear water from our personal as well as community wells was rich in minerals and invigorating – not contaminated with enteric pathogens, heavy metals and the cause of severe kidney, sin and physiological problems, we see today.
As I positively sit and ponder, I really wonder what I am supposed to celebrate, when we are told what we should not eat, how we all have to dress and behave, as to how we have to think, write and share.
An oppressed Hindu or a progressive Muslim is not spared either. The conversion to Christianity is termed as inducement and for the Muslim it is crime of ‘Love Jihad’. But caste distinctions, suppression of women and untouchability are the order of the day. Look at matrimonial columns or employment statistics of scavengers and menial jobs prevailing in liberated Goa or independent India.
Isn’t every celebration and developmental project centered on loot, plunder, nepotism and exploitation? Marginalisation of poor grows and the wealth all accumulated by the crony capitalists and the crooked politicians.
Corporates have already built storage godowns in Haryana to store millions of tonnes of grains. The silos are good for the corporates to control price, leaving both the consumers and the farmers at the mercy of the corporate-politician nexus.
In Goa, our government is pushing in three disastrous projects in the garb of development. Am I to believe that coal imports will usher development? What is the use of paper money to me, even if I have plenty of it and I live a life of acute diabetes, heart ailments and kidney failures with dialysis?
Look at ‘liberation’ in perspective, as I now do. I do not get mineral rich water from the Western Ghats as today, the plundered hills and the mining scams have filled the water table with heavy metals which destroys our immunity. Did I get myself liberated to witness the destruction of biodiversity from our life support ecosystem of our Western Ghats? Today, our aquifers are drying up. Our rivers are drying up; our waters in the ground are rich in pathogenic bacteria, released by Hotel and Industrial units. Unscientific mining, industrialisation and disastrously operated tourism police are transforming Goa into a ‘Morbid-Paradise’. The basic cause of COVID-19 is mismanagement of our environment and destruction of our ecology; wild animals are spreading zoonotic diseases as we are destroying their ecosystems.
Strangely in Goa, we are also destroying political opposition forces and allowing democracy to flourish. Congress Mukt Goa is detrimental and destructive to the tenets of Healthy democracy. If Liberation of Goa means annihilation of counterview, debates and free speech, we are heading for a ‘fascist regime’.
True, our political system has destroyed us since 1961. First, we made mundkars as bhatkars and allowed the bhatkars to be penniless. Then we allowed the politicians to misuse power through land scams and conversions. We allowed the criminals usurp our comunidade, especially those coming from across our borders; be it property sawants or the rich and mighty from Delhi in particular, having multiple homes, hotels and multiplexes.
Yes, Goa today is sighing, dying, going, gone; and we have Goan musicians, doling and dishing out melodies by dozens, singing tunes, which sadly do not touch the revolutionary and patriotic cord amongst us. It is time we see our youth touching us with full zeal and fervour. Goa’s liberation must come by sweat and blood of ‘Niz Goenkar’ willing to sacrifice themselves for the cause of Goa for sustainable eternity.