|TIME FOR CHANGE - By: Valmiki Faleiro - Comments|
----- Original Message -----
From: Valmiki Faleiro
Sent: Sunday, December 31, 2006 7:10 AM
Subject: [Goanet] Time for change
TIME FOR CHANGE
By Valmiki Faleiro
No matter how you slice it, 2006 wasn’t particularly good to Goa. The curtains opened with an indecisive government in place. The administration relapsed into blissful remiss, infrastructure threatened to collapse, politicking and moneymaking clocked new heights of shameless ingenuity.
For starters, the unfortunate anguish of Saleli had been entirely mishandled. By the first week of the third month, sensible Goans had hung their heads in shame. By yearend, they were ready to hang politicians who brazenly tried selling Goa. 2006 was sombre. It ushered Goa’s first-ever communal riots. The shame was not so much that a "communal" BJP fanned a flimsy flame into a furious fire. The shame was that it happened when a so-called "secular" government was in power. As the majority went for the blood and property of the minority, migrant or homegrown, Rane played flute for three days and nights. (Funny how three ‘C’s have dogged Goa’s politics .. "casteist" MGP, "corrupt" Congress, and "communal" BJP. Interchangeable labels, ( I honestly think!)
At tomorrow’s sunrise, will we wake to the dawn of a new hope?
The turn of a year is, traditionally, time for change. In the New Year, we change to new clothes, new resolutions, new diaries, new wall calendars, and what have you. What, if anything, will change for Goa in the New Year? 2007 is Election Year, when we will elect rulers at both the State and village levels. Will it be a year of change? The first on my Wish List is that it will.
2007 indeed is a crossroads year for Goenkars. In a few months, we will be called upon to decide which way we turn, if we turn at all, or whether we proceed right ahead, in the same direction of yore, perhaps with added vengeance. Will Goans vote, and vote sensibly, in 2007? For far too long, we have returned the same old faces, who have entrenched themselves in office. And done precious little, except for his own pockets.
Power games, puerile one-upmanship and a marked lack of vision and foresight, have been the hallmark of this powerful lot. It is time the ‘aam Goenkar’ realized that real power lies not in the money and muscle of the politician but in his or her own vote. Will we sell our vote for a few thousands or a few rounds of saris, spirits and chicken biryani?
Second on my Wish List is that the bird flu revisits Goa around election time.
2007 must be a time for change. Congress was hitherto a fair bet. Any party in its place would have read the writing on the wall, and, save a few exceptions, packed home the entire senior lot under a revised ‘Kamaraj Plan’ -- and presented a fresh young team before the Goan electorate. But Congress is in no mood to change. It has announced that "winnability" will be the criterion for its candidates.
What is "winnability?" Gandhi, the Mahatma -- even the lesser ones ... Indira, Rajiv and Sonia -- could ‘win’ a nation with a single call. Do we have such Gandhis in Goa? "Winnability" implies nominating the same set of scoundrels who looted Goa for years and will use part of that loot to buy a ticket and ensure re-election. If you have no loot, you are not "winnable." The unflattering assumption is that Goans are bankrupt: they will sell their vote.
Isn’t it time we told the Congress to dump its old lot that mortgaged Goa’s future interests pretty irredeemably, failing which we shall consign the deadwood much the manner of the Old Man tonight?
Reelecting the same faces will lead our ‘Goenkarponn’ to be swamped forever. Will other political parties provide feasible fresh faces, and thereby the voters a choice? Will the Election Commission of India succeed in providing people a choice to vote "None" of the scoundrels fielded by parties in a constituency?
Will issues that rankled Goans in the year going by ... Regional Plan-2011, alarming demographics, Mopa, Romi Konknni, SEZs, sagging infrastructure, et al ... continue to agitate and draw them to the streets in the next? Will hundreds of crores invested by outstation builders in land and politicians here, ride roughshod over Goans, as seen in the mere preview at Bambolim last week?
As the evening shadows lengthen at the last sunset of 2006, I see on the horizon not a fading glow of the setting sun but the aurora of one rising, I see Kundaim and Saleli. And Keri before that. I see ‘Goa Bachao Abhiyan’ reemerging as ‘Goa Bachao Kranti.’ People power, on the ascendant. It may not happen in 2007, but should not be long in coming. The last on my Wish List for 2007 is that it arrives before it’s too late. (ENDS)
The Valmiki Faleiro weekly column at:
The Goa Su-Raj Party salutes Shri. Valmiki Faleiro for this article. We do believe that 'OPTIMISM' for once must replace the ever saddening 'PESSIMISM' that has taken hold of the minds of our intellectuals and thinkers such as Averthanus D'Souza and Mario Cabral e Sa, who have, time and again, claimed that there is no 'option' left for the people of Goa. 'SHEER BLINDNESS' this' is what we would like to call it. Goa needs more optimism in its citizens to put it back on the right track. Goa's intellectuals need to look down on the ground for a lost pin, however rusty, to defend themselves instead of trembling with fright at the overpowering sight and display of the 'King Nail' advancing on them, threateningly.
On the other hand, we do believe that the Democratic Constitution of our Country has given each of us citizens, especially in Goa, a powerful shot-gun to defend ourselves with against these perpetrators and monster rats at election times. Hopefully, Goans will use it during Election-2007 to shoot down the perpetrators and find for themselves replacements who will be made ever so aware that the barrel of the shot-gun is not far away from their backs should they also want to go the way of the perpetrators who have been done with.
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