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Sunday Ramblings-9

And the headline news in the July 1, 2006 edition of the Navhind Timescaptioned "Govt CONSIDERING amendment to Tenancy Act: CM" is more depressing than to be happy about. Why? It was the same CM (Rane) who implemented the provisions of the Bandodkar initiated 'Tenancy Act' after he walked over from the MG club into the Congress club. And he has waited since then, and up to now, for that detrimental 'Act' to take hold and devastate Goa's agriculture completely, making Goa totally dependent on the neighbouring states, whose agrarian policies are to be commended. But it was not the agriculture that Rane was interested in devastating. And how could he? Is he not the 'Harvard' graduate in agriculture himself?. It was the Goa's Comunidades that he wanted to devastate, being one of Bandodkar's close and reliable chelas. They say that someone burnt his house, in the hurry to get rid of rats. It is true in this case. Because, at one point or the other, the dawn of realization had to come on him, that it is very difficult to floor Goa's Comunidades. For these are the unique institutions brought into existence by our fore-fathers, the true Goemkars, who had the true, unadulterated Goemkar blood running in their veins as is presumed to be running in the veins of present day Goemkars (though a thorough check will have to be done on the blood that runs in the veins of the majority of the components and the Gaunkars of Goa's Comunidades to ascertain the percentage of adulteration and discard them as rotten fish). Moreover, it is high-time that Rane understands that it is time that he either dilutes the Tenancy Act, (scrapping it altogether is out of the question, as it is his MGP-Mergerite era's baby which he has single handedly nursed all this years to health) or get wiped off. But the bitter pill of one's making is very difficult to swallow. Hence the word 'CONSIDERING'. And there are other dominant forces which are working against the Rane led Congress government which is the cause of giving the Congresswallas sleepless nights. The Goa Su-Raj Party's Road Map for one. Now a days, all of a sudden, every one seems to be thinking, or making us believe that they are thinking, in terms of the future of Goa and Goans. May it be the 'Education', the 'Agriculture', the 'Sportspersons of Yester Years' what-have-you. Could it be because they have suddenly found a new love for Goa? Or are they just trying to save their skins? Besides, the Assembly elections are fast approaching, which is an added dose of adrenalin in their system to forced sleepless nights. But then, we at Goa Su-Raj Party have no cause to worry about sleepless nights. As a matter of fact we sleep much too well, knowing fully well that if these Congress-walle, MGP-walle, or UGDP & BJP walle or the NCP-wallo do not take our ROAD MAP in hand and commit it to memory, time will be running out for them. And even if they do master it, or even 'copy' it entirely (which will be most difficult, as it is written with an ingredient which is totally missing in their culture – 'The Self Sacrifice'), we would be more than happy that someone else is doing our job for us, just like someone else does the job of hatching its chicks for the cuckoo. One way or the other, the people of Goa have gotten smarter and more conscious of their own selves as tax-payers after having been taken for rides for nigh 45 years and refuse to be taken for more jolly good roller coaster rides any more. And, talking about Goa's Comunidades, if the grape-wines are to be believed, Goa's Comunidades are getting into high-gear, post Menezes Braganza seminar held on May 28, 2006, to put the blame of its multiple ills, squarely or rectangularly, right where it belongs, through a show of force and solidarity against the black pirates of the MGP-Congress-BJP combine. And what better way could there be than to deposit the seemingly readied (by these black pirates) the COMUNIDADE COFFIN, right at the feet of Bahusaheb Bandodkar's statue, in Panjim??

!! POWER TO GOA'S HERITAGE – THE COMUNIDADES OF GOA.!!

And in my last Sunday Ramblings, I have mentioned the name of Carmo de Noronha, who was the Director of the Fazenda (accounts) in the erstwhile Portuguese regime. And here I would like to reproduce an article that he wrote and published in the Navhind Times in 1998, a tribute actually, to a most revered son of Goa, Dr. Abel Colaco, whose excellent qualities and his talents died with him when he died of a broken heart and of broken dreams for Goa after its liberation. Here's wishing you good reading so that you may know what I am talking about in my comments that follow.

***

Navhind Times, Saturday 25 April, 1998 (Pg.4)
Abel Colaco, who saved Goa from impending catastrophe
By: CARMO DE NORONHA

Dr. Abel Alvares Colaco, the first and the last Goan as secretary-general to the Portuguese governor-general before the fall of the colonial regime, passed away a few days ago. He went just as quietly to the grave as he lived during the last stages of his life. Very few were immediately aware of this sorrowful event; others , sadly queried about the veracity of the news. Not that this death surprised anyone, but it was a painful loss to those who had seen him at the zenith of his career, in the elegance and refinement that stood out in all his actions.

Goan society will always be devoid of one who was the proto-type of dignity, nobility of character, integrity, together with politeness and self-respect.

He went away so quietly that we were not even aware of the loss of one who occupied among us the highest post in the government that of the secretary-general of state (Secretario Geral do Estado) sharing the powers of the governor-general himself.

I knew him as student of the Lyceum, later, as the judge of the judicial division of Salcete and attorney-general and, finally, through a closer association, as the secretary-general to the Government of Portuguese India. The Goan population, particularly, the bureaucracy, exulted in his honour bestowed on him. But he was always the same, simple, without vanity, inspiring admiration and respect, of immeasurable integrity, tall and intangible in his post, warm and friendly outside it. His elegant bearing, hardly Goan, surprised and delighted a shy compatriot like me.

This is how I recollect him, with a saddened soul, with a grief that oppresses and makes me revolt. Revolt, yes, because Dr. Abel Colaco was a man singled out by a fate that betrayed him, making him soar to heights, to come crashing to the ground…. His case becomes difficult to comprehend within human understanding. Job in the Bible also had a downfall but God did not take long to lift him up. In the case of Dr. Abel Colaco, God stopped midway…. Why??? He was the only Goan who inspite of the colonial regime, was invited to occupy, at the age of 42, the high government post of secretary-genera, which we have not attained even today inspite of being liberated. Instead, we need crutches in order to be governed.

Averse to servility which lowers the dignity of the Goan, he knew o be true to the post he occupied. I recall an incident to illustrate this, from among the many that I witnessed, during my work, which defines his mettle and sense of dignity. The Head of Office of the governor-general, with his customary stuffiness, tried to convey to him a message from the governor through a sub-ordinate. Dr. Colaco's immediate reaction was "Tell the Head of Office to convey this to me personally"…. I swelled up with vindictive and legitimate pride.

In November 1961, before the impeding military attack from India, The wives of the functionaries, including my wife, were invited to leave for Lisbon, on a ship that was about to set sail. Many ladies beat their wings at once, but Vassalo's wife declined the invitation, being of the opinion that it was her duty to remain next to her husband in order to partake in the reversal of his fortune. After the military action, the Cabo Palace was occupied by Indian authorities and Vassalo's wife, the ex-first lady of Goa, was left on the streets, without a roof over her head. It was on this occasion that Dr. Abel Colaco sheltered her in his house. This purely humanitarian gesture had understandably political repercussions, while it was only meant to be a gesture of Christian charity, to help a lady in distress, 'egaree dan la foret'

As many are aware, it was Dr. Abel Colaco, who along with the governor Vassalo e Silva , saved this land from disaster and from being the scene of a terrible human tragedy. I have reasons to presume, given my circumstances at the time, that Vassalo e Silva hesitating between duty and the leanings of his generous soul, definitely decided to save Goa and the Goans from an impending catastrophe, due to pressure from this noble son of Goa. Were it not for Dr. Colaco, for his profound concern and anguish for the destiny of the people of his land, which led him to intervene, although fully conscious of the fact that his high position and future were at sake, perhaps Goa would have been a land destroyed and we, roasted alive, as the 'other' one had ordered.

And inspite of this ultimate sacrifice, which marginalized him in the official sphere, and the emotional shock which victimized him, weakened and shattered forever, never to rise again, inspite of having been a figure who had a crucial role to play in the destiny of the land and of its people, one doesn't find the newspapers, which normally print just about everything, evoking his memory with respect and gratitude.

He was quietly lowered to the grave, and immediately a cold quiet enveloped his prestigious name. Obviously, we are losing our sense of judgement and justice. Accustomed to seeing in loud print the burlesque photos of sundry and nobodies, we lose sight and the capacity to assess the worth of this great personality of our land. (Translated from Portuguese by Edith Noronha e Melo Furtado)

***

In my last Sunday Ramblings, I have said that "History never lies buried for long. It surfaces of its own accord to give the living, sleepless nights and makes the dead turn in their graves." But I should have worded the same differently, thus:-

"History never lies buried for long. It surfaces of its own accord to give the living, sleepless nights, and, not only does it make the dead turn in their graves, but also, at times, resurrects them with deserved honours, to place them onto monumental pedestals for generations to acknowledge their selfless deeds."

If at all Dr. Abel Alvares Colaco deserves a place in the Goan history and a predominant place on Goa's terra firma, it is by the side of Adilshah's Palace, the old Secretariat, the place which has been occupied by an imposter, Bandodkar, since this place is rightfully the place for a revered son of Goa and not for some 'MATRAGAMANI' as Shri Acharya P.K. Atre of the 'Maratha' newspaper would say.

And the elevation of Bandodkar has not come without very serious efforts by some of our crafty Goans who believed more in the dreams and visions of Bandodkar rather than their own, of which, I am sure, there certainly was a vacuum. Anyone would have thought that Vishwanath Lavande, the head of Azad Gomantak Dal and a freedom fighter of repute; Janardhan Sinkre, the editor of 'Jwala' in Belgaum, again, a claimed freedom fighter; and M.S Prabhu, (whether a registered freedom fighter or not we do not know, but his business conduct is all too well written in our books) would not be a part of Bandodkar's conspiracy to merge Goa with Maharashtra. But the acid reality was that this team of three were Bandodkar's advisors and his head shrinkers. If at all anyone was more qualified and more suitable to take the helm of liberated Goa, it was not Bandodkar but Dr. Abel Colaco. Goa would be safe with him, as it had remained safe despite Salazar's orders that Goa must burn. And burn it would, with the extent of the mines-laying and explosives that were put in place, even to the extent of bored holes, through and through, in the road lined trees to hold dynamite sticks. And I am a witness to some of these activities including the concussive blast that blew the Mapusa bridge at 5 a.m. in the morning along with the entire roof of the Mapusa Church.

Carmo de Noronha couldn't have put down a lot of other humiliations that Dr. Abel Colaco suffered immediately after the liberation and the take-over of Goa's administration by the liberating Indian forces which lead to his death by withdrawal. But I will relate at least one of the most humiliating experiences Dr. Abel Colaco suffered at the hands of the invading nay liberating forces, so that Goans may know. It was to the office of G.K. Handoo, the officiating 'Advisor' to the military Governor of Goa that Dr. Abel Colace decided to pay a visit, giving enough time for things to settle down. It is believed that on his arrival to the former's office Dr. Abel Colaco sent in his visiting card to Mr. Handoo through a staffer. As he was waiting, it is believed that the staffer came out from Mr. Handoo's office to tell Dr. Abel Colaco to take a sit on the bench, that Mr. Handoo was busy. Dr. Abel Colaco was not a man to sit on benches waiting for persons like Handoo to be free. He quickly left and was seen no more.

And I want to bring to the attention of Goans the Chapter III (f) of the Su-Raj Party's Road Map for Goa, where, when we say " honouring the Sons and Daughters of the City, Town and Village who have excelled in any field i.e. sports, medicine, science, social justice etc." we are talking about unremembered Sons of Goa like Dr. Abel Colaco who possessed the grit of integrity and moral balance that few possess today. Late Carmo de Noronha has questioned God in his above article, asking the question Why HE stopped midway to lift Dr. Abel Colaco just like HE did JOB in the Bible. May the good soul of Carmo de Noronha rest in peace in knowing that God has handed-over the task of lifting true, legitimate Goa's Sons of the Soil like Dr. Abel Colaco entirely to the Goa Su-Raj Party, since perhaps maybe, just maybe, the mark of God's Hand has something to do with its formation past six years ago.

End

LIFE LINE
Goa Su-Raj Party has been in existence since 31/08/2000.

AN APPEAL
DEAR GOANS WORLDWIDE,

ONLY YOUR EXTENDED HANDS CAN STOP THE SLIDE OF OUR BEAUTIFUL GOA INTO THE OBSCURE..

DONATE TO GOA SU-RAJ PARTY [GSRP]
FUND A NEW FUTURE FOR GOA
BE THE REVOLUTION


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