|DID WE DESERVE THIS??? - By: Valmiki Faleiro - COMMENTS|
----- Original Message -----
From: "Valmiki Faleiro"
Sent: Sunday, January 07, 2007 6:18 AM
Subject: [Goanet] Goa deserved better
DID WE DESERVE THIS?
By Valmiki Faleiro
To those of my esteemed readers averse to Goa’s politics, my unreserved apologies. I’m aware our political scene is akin to a cesspool that any sane Goan would prefer to avoid with a long bargepole. But I am also painfully aware that our insulated attitude won’t help us, or Goa, one bit. I’ve decided to share -- hopefully, to some effect -- the little I know from having once been close to Goa’s political circus, as a journo, and, briefly, as a minor participant, as my hometown’s Municipal President. My two cents, as they say.
Beginning this first Sunday in Goa’s ‘Election Year’ to the one following Election Day, this column will pan to the politics Goa witnessed in the years since freedom from the 451-year colonial yoke, her Legislative Assembly, and its key players. And on what we, as sensible Goans, now need to do. I’ll begin with a general thought...
Goa deserved better. We are a tiny littoral enclave blessed by Mother Nature with a bountiful combination of natural resources, both of land and of water -- natural beauty, forests, mineral ore, a 105-kms coastline, riverine tidal bodies, abundant monsoons, even mudflats for fields made from the sweat and wisdom of our ancestors -- and, above all, an intelligent people. A "101 CyberGoans Honours List" published this Jan 1 by our outstanding journalist, Frederick Noronha, throws a pleasantly surprising sampling of contemporary Goans who rose to the top in their respective fields, worldwide.
As I’ve said before, Goans have shone, generally, when outside Goa.
Back home, four and half centuries of foreign rule had some plus points, but also a stark lack of opportunity -- in education and employment for the ‘aam Goenkar.’ Goa thus became a land of migrants. Our forebears migrated to Belgaum, Dharwar, Pune, Bombay and beyond, and overseas to Portugal and yonder, to get a decent education for their children and jobs for themselves. The adventurous found worthwhile avenues aboard ships and in Portuguese and British Africa.
Wherever they went, Goans carved a niche. Be it as cooks or butlers, clerks or musicians, doctors or scientists. Then came 1961. As compared to the centuries before, almost overnight, educational avenues opened in Goa. We produced matriculates and craftsmen, engineers and postgraduates -- but without matching openings for gainful employment. Goa continued to be a land of migrants. Providence opened the Persian Gulf and several other avenues that today sustain a large part of the Goan populace. But a land of expatriates, we continue to be.
>From 1963, we held our destiny in our own hands. For 27 years as a centrally-funded Union Territory. And as an independent State since May 30, 1987. The result?
Our balance sheet hardly balances.
A miniscule State as our `Supurl’lem Goem’, easy to administer and govern, should have been, 45 years after liberation, India’s sparkling showpiece. Far from such an Utopian dream, we are today a mess of bad roads, bad power, bad water supply, bridges that threaten to tumble and pipelines that burst like bubbles. All diligently superintended by the worst ever governance -- crowned by corruption at every level in every public office, the type never seen before. Led by men to whom politics is a job, profession and career, combined. Corruption in public life has been central to Goa’s misfortune.
Goa has amongst the best population, literacy, social and economic indices in the country. We are a tiny state, comparable to the size of a taluka in an average Indian State. We have a huge bureaucracy that should have yielded an administration superior to Switzerland’s. Yet, Goa languishes. We survive on future-uncertain NRI remittances, limited-resource mining (even if enriches a few, and at high environmental costs) and a highly fickle industry as tourism. Our farming and agriculture is all but extinct. We depend almost entirely on neighbouring States for everything from milk and veggies to foodgrains and power. Compared to the potential, our fisheries are primitive. Goa has tottered. Why?
Because we, ‘Goenkars’ in Goa, torn asunder by petty and myopic politics of caste, language, religion, and such like, elected the wrong governments. We backed the wrong horses since 1963. Goa lost on an enlightened political leadership when it was available. And on governance for the good of Goa. Through the power of our own vote.
Not all is lost. This election year provides us another opportunity at course correction. To give ourselves a government that Goa deserves. As we brace for elections, let us look back at where we went wrong. Let us ask ourselves if we will repeat the mistakes over again. Or whether, as sensible Goans, each one of us will do our bit to help chart a new course ... a course this little enclave, once "Sunaparant," "Goa Dourada," whatever, cries for. (ENDS)
The Valmiki Faleiro weekly column at:
All those things you have meticulously mentioned are achievable if:-
1. We Goans start thinking right in terms of what in Goa we shall leave to our children, our posterity.
2. Stop running around our chor politicians and the king makers. For that to happen each of the Goan heads must be brought back to reality by banging it on a hard stone rock.
3. Write down what we really want and then follow it up determinately.
4. Castrate people like Eduardo Faleiro who, inspite of being in politics for n number of years, have learnt nothing at all but will not rest until they have made their miserable caste supreme to the detriment of Goa's health and its overall well being.
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