Friday, April 12, 2013


When one talks about Goa and its people, the image that comes in front of the eyes is that of a Catholic dominated state and of Gawd Saraswat Brahmins. This illusion has been given more credence in travel brochures to attract Western tourists to the state of Goa. However, the census figures for the year 2001 shows that Christians comprise a mere 24 per cent of the total population of Goa.
There are around 63 per cent Hindus, 6 per cent Muslims and the rest of the figure is rounded up by people of other religions, including Jains and Sikhs.
The million dollar question is what happened to the Goan Catholics who formed a majority in the state till the 20th century?
As per the census of 1851, the percentage of Catholics in Goa was around 63.83 per cent and by 2001 it has dropped to 24 per cent. In 1851, the number of Goan Catholics was 232,189 compared to 128,824 Hindus. The Muslims were around 2,775. The total number of Goans of all religions at that time was 363,788.
So what happened between 1851 and 2001 that the population of the Catholics in Goa shrunk so drastically?
The declining figures of Goan Catholics is also reflected in the 1971 census where the population of Hindus is put at 62.43 per cent and that of the Christians at 33.97 per cent. In the 1971 census, the population of Hindus touched around 496,000, while the Catholics were around 128,000.
If one computes the figures, one can see that the Goan Catholic population went down drastically after the Invasion of Goa. It is not that the Goan Catholics were infertile and didn’t have children, and that the Goan Hindus had dozens of children to turn the tables in their favour.
The fact is after the Invasion of Goa, between 1961-63, around 50,000 Goan Catholics were forced to leave Goa. Later more Goan Catholics left Goa as they could not progress beyond a certain limit and their careers and businesses suffered.
During the same time, thousands and thousands of Hindus from the neighbouring states of Maharashtra, Karnataka, Kerala, Uttar Pradesh and Tamil Nadu migrated to Goa. The migration of these ghanttis from other states ballooned the population of the Hindus today to a level that is on par with that of the Catholic population of 1851.
This demographic change in the population of Goa was enforced by the Indian government due to various reasons. However, the main one is to destroy the identity and soul of Goa by destroying the Catholics and original Hindus of Goa.
Now the big question is out of the nearly 64 per cent Hindus, what is the percentage of original Goan Hindus in them? I doubt it will be more than 30 per cent. My assumption is based on the fact that many Goan Hindus, especially the Gowd Saraswat Brahimins too have left Goa in large numbers and are now settled in the US, UK and Canada.
That means the population of non-Goans in Goa is now more than 30 per cent and they control nearly 70 per cent of the Goan economy. No wonder, Digamber Kamat had said that he doesn’t want Goan voters.
Very soon Goa will have ghantti MLAs and ministers.
Wake up my Goan Hindu, Catholic and Muslim brothers. From this population trend you can find out what is happening to Goa and what Goa would be in the next ten years if we don’t unite and demand special status and autonomy for Goa. If we don’t succeed now, then we will cry in the wilderness. Goa is our mother and our mother is crying out aloud to save her from the abuses of the ghanttis.

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