Saturday, May 21, 2016

Is AAP here to hit the last nail in Goa’s coffin? By Joseph L R Vaz

With Goa assembly elections a year ahead, things have started heating up with entry of the Aam Admi Party in Goa. A few days ago three events happened in a row, 1st there was a thought provoking article in the media from Jason Keith Fernandes, followed by a not so convincing reply from Dr. Oscar Rebello and on the next day some social activists from Salcete joining the AAP. This weekend there is Arvind Kejriwal visiting Goa for a Public meeting.

After the initial hype some of us are unsure as to whether AAP is the solution or a part of the problem, whether it is merely the same old wine in a new bottle. These doubts starting arising after we realized that the AAP was not taking any interest in any of the current pressing issues in Goa, like Regional Plan, Medium of instruction, Mopa Airport, Portuguese Passport. They even dismissed Goa’s Special Status request as too late. 

The problem of AAP in Goa starts with their leadership. Despite the fact that there are a large number of members in AAP Goa worthy of leading the party, it is obvious that the leadership is being restricted to members of a single caste, regardless of their religious background. The top leaders thus far and the new office bearers all share the same caste identity. We could understand if these office bearers were active in social issues and popular with the masses. 

Add to this the appointment of a non-Goan, settled in Goa, as Goa’s representative in the AAP national committee. Despite all of their faults, none of the established national parties ever appointed a non-Goan to represent Goans. It was always Goans who represented us. Should AAP’s decision to break this tradition, be understood to mean that they think that Goans are useless and not worthy? If so, then there is further need to rethink AAP’s relevance to Goa.

AAP Delhi leadership has landed in Goa with a lot of workers from all over India. I understand that all these people are come here for a free holiday, but the point here is that the AAP Delhi leaders are literally forcing the Goans to use their workers from across our borders for door-to-door campaigning. Never in the history of Goan politics, non-Goans have participated in election campaign of any party. That raises a very important question: whether they are here to save Goa or whether they are here to complete the destruction of Goa started by Nehru in 1961.

Then there are things as Jason pointed out in his article like wearing “Topis” and adding suffix “ji” to the name which are alien to Goan culture. None of the other national parties practice such things in Goa. The Indian culture is heavily influenced by Brahminism, the culture of master and slave. While the whole world shakes hands, ie. Practices a culture that suggests that we are equals; brahmanical Indian culture says namaste, meaning I bow down to you, you are superior. Add to it Arvind-ji, Pankaj-ji, ect, which for a Goan it should be Mr. Kejriwal or Mr. Gupta. These things lead to idolatry and Hero worship, which is a part of Indian Culture.

Goans in the past have got carried with minor issues and lost on bigger ones. Take the example of the so called Liberation of Goa. Even the Supreme Court has declared it as conquest/ annexation of Goa. The genuine freedom fighters of that time were fighting to liberate Goa from Portugal. Liberation did not necessarily mean joining India. They sought India’s help to liberate it from Portugal only, not to join Goa to India. The whole movement for Liberation from Portugal was sabotaged by a few, with vested interested who got more publicity than the genuine ones. What followed Liberation is known to all. 
India’s then Prime Minister, Jawaharlal Nehru had promised in the United Nations Organisation that he will ask the indigenous Goans whether they want Independence or join India. Instead India conducted opinion poll whether Goa remains a separate state or join Maharashtra. People like Jack Sequira whom I hold in no esteem got more publicity than Adv Antonio Bruto da Costa, who wrote a 33 page letter to Nehru reminding him of his duty. Goans got carried away by manipulation of emotions by our enemies between Catholic and the Hindu Bahujan Samaj and happily accepted the false opinion poll.
After that Goans fought for statehood, but has anything changed for us after getting it? Nothing. Then 7 Goans lost their life, fighting for Konkani. But Konkani only in Devnagri (script of the SG Bamons) became the State language and Romi was excluded, while Marathi language somehow got its due by including it as 2nd language. 

There is also another fear of Goans, that the limits for free electricity and water will not help any Goan, on the contrary more migrants will be attracted to Goa as land, water and electricity will be free in Goa, what else do you want.

Now everybody knows that this is the final battle. So as Goans who love Goa and “Goykarponn” let us not jump into any boat. Let us use our brains at least at death bed and not get carried away by emotions and hype. AAP as I know are using corporate methods in Governing their Party. They say that they don’t believe in democracy at every stage. Well that’s good, but lot depends on the intentions of the top leadership. If you analyse closely, AAP looks like a third front promoted by the same Corporates who control Congress and BJP. Seeing that Congress is failing, the same corporates have propped up AAP in Goa, before any real alternate option comes up. Look closely at the assembly elections in some states. Also how much money is flowing in to build up the AAP in Goa.

Hence let us be shrewd and not get carried away emotionally as the issues facing Goa are much bigger than corruption. In fact corruption in Goa is a result of the absence of clarity on the other issues.

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