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Newsletter. Issue 18. August 28, 2010



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The statements, opinions, or views in the articles may not necessarily reflect that of the Goan Voice Canada.


Protecting Goa and the Goan Identity
TNN, Aug 22, 2010, 06.06am IST

Every Goa-loving Goan is disgusted by the way Goa is being 'developed'. Every Goan politician who is involved in this 'development' has lost the respect of the people. This is because people today have come to know how in the guise of 'development' Goa's forests, hills, fields and ecology are being destroyed by the so-called 'developers'.

Hence, there is a hue and cry throughout the length and breadth of Goa to save Goa and to protect it from destruction. The most important question that thus comes to my mind is what is the exact interpretation of 'Save Goa'? The thrust of the 'Save Goa' agitation, it appears, is to resist the cutting of hills and destruction of greenery, to oppose mega projects in villages because such mega projects, besides adversely affecting the locals due to pressure on infrastructure like roads, water, electricity, etc also changes the demography of Goa. Let us consider for the sake of argument that the 'Save Goa' agitation has ended successfully.

All the selfish, greedy and corrupt politicians are defeated in the election and sincere, dedicated, honest and upright Goans are elected to run the state of Goa. Because of this, cutting of hills and destruction of greenery have been stopped totally. Mega projects in Goa have become a thing of the past. People's power has prevailed. If such a situation happens in Goa in reality, can we conclude that Goa has been saved from destruction? For me, saving Goa is not only protecting its hills and greenery. As I understand it, saving Goa means protecting the 'Goan Identity' too.

If we succeed in halting the destruction of Goa in the guise of development but fail to preserve our Goan identity then we shall have not achieved anything. Allowing the destruction of the 'Goan Identity' is nothing short of permitting the ruin of the Goan soul. And a green Goa or an ideal Goa without its soul is no Goa at all. I am compelled to make this remark because numerous NGOs fighting for the cause of Goa have not shown any inclination towards saving Goa's identity. And to save Goa's identity each of us will have to make efforts to protect our Goan culture. By Goan culture I mean our values, norms, folklore, music, dance, drama, law and ideology. Each one of us cannot also neglect the importance of language in our culture.

All these factors constitute what is known as 'Goan Identity'. Are there any NGOs in Goa who are combating the forces that destroy the 'Goan Identity'? No! We are only protesting against hill-cutting, mega projects, etc. In other words, we are fighting against selfish, greedy builders and politicians. On the other hand, the 'Goan Identity' is being destroyed by our own acts and deeds. We are responsible for the destruction of our identity. We ape westernization at every step of our lives. Konkani language, which is the foundation of the 'Goan Identity', has no place in our lives. Leave aside encouraging our children to study Konkani, we ourselves feel shy to talk and converse in Konkani. In the organization of social functions such as weddings, birthdays, etc, Konkani has no place at all. How can we say that we are fighting to save Goa? Take the other aspects of the 'Goan Identity'.

What has happened to our value system? Does Goan folklore have any influence on the modern generation? Are Goan youth attracted to Goan music, dance and drama? The answer to all these is a big 'NO'. Then in what way are we protecting the 'Goan Identity'? If we are not interested in protecting Goa's identity then we may succeed in halting mega projects, SEZs, etc in Goa but we shall never be able to save Goa in the true sense.

We must not forget that Goa cannot exist without its identity. Therefore, all those who shout at the top of their voices about protecting Goa, should give equal importance to the movement of preservation and promotion of 'Goan Identity' among the masses. The targets here are not the politicians and developers, but our own fellow brothers and sisters. Every citizen of Goa, poor, middle class or rich, is crazy about the English language and western culture.

There are sound reasons too for such an attitude. But should it be at the cost of despising and looking down upon your own language and culture? This mindset of today's Goans must be changed and for that, we should fight with the same spirit with which we struggle against the destruction of Goa's forests, hills and fields. Mind you, the 'Save Goa' movement can be successful only if Goa's identity along with Goa's environment and ecology are preserved for posterity.

Protecting Goa and the Goan Identity - Goa - City - The Times of India.
Click here to read more


Emotional Integration of Goans Necessary: Simon D’Souza - Former Deputy Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly
From: http://www.daijiworld.com/news/news_disp.asp?n_id=83798&n_tit=Emotional
Saturday, August 21, 2010 

Vasco, Aug 21: Falling in line with over 60 world wide organizations of the Community of Goans, Goa Day was observed in Vasco expressing bonds of unity and resolving to rededicate for collective growth and progress.

Speaking on the occasion, Former Deputy Speaker of Goa Legislative Assembly Simon D’Souza, who presided, said that he was emotionally moved at the laudable work undertaken by Rene Barreto who took the lead in constituting the organization a decade ago and brought about integration of hearts.

Emotional integration of Goans is necessary for our happy growth, he said, “It is necessary that we rediscover ourselves and adhere to our language and culture to enjoy position of pride in our country and the world”, said D’Souza. He also called upon all Goans not to forget their roots. He reminded that “Goa Day” this

year was also “Sadhbhavana Din” and said that Goans have made commendable contribution to a harmonious living and he felt extremely proud of it. It was incidentally the day that brought inclusion of Konkani language in the 8th Schedule of the Constitution and we all are indebted to late Rajiv Gandhi’s contribution in this regard, he said. Our youth should understand its significance and carry forward the work of the Konkani luminaries, he added.

Noted Konkani poet Yusuf A Sheikh, who was the Chief Guest, said that Goa, as he saw in yester years was a place of roaring sea and soaring hopes. Hopes and aspirations of the community of Goans did not seem to have materialized as Goans are seen to be submerged under developmental projects which, to them, are not meaningful. He attributed this to the fast degeneration of the identity factor. “Happiness of Goans should be the prime concern of the authorities. If the Goans in Goa are unhappy, the world community of Goans will surely be worried and abstain from investing in Goa and making valuable contribution to our contentment”, he said. “With Konkani language as its base, area of art and culture should bloom and that would always keep us emotionally integrated, he added. Sheikh also commended the task undertaken by Rene Barreto and referred to him as a world leader representing Goa in the global village of the computer age. He also referred to the significant contribution being made by the NRI cell of the Goa government to reunite global Goans.

Anil R Chodankar, general secretary of the Senior Citizens Forum who was the Guest of Honour said that he was also equally touched at the fact that global Goans are meeting to observe Goa Day. What concerns Goans today is identity crisis and the unique features of our identity are needed to be preserved at all cost, he said.

Linton Barreto, President of the Mormugao Communidade and the Convener of the programme presented the song from the CD “Proud to be Goan” composed by Basilo Magno settled in Spain. Attractively adaptated to the Goan music by Emiliano D’Cruz, the song is sung by Lulu Fortes.

Ex Councillor of Mormugao Municipal Council, John Rodrigues who attended as Guest of Honour also expressed his sentiments. Clerencio Furtado, president of the Konkan Kala Vistar Kendra and the co-convener proposed the vote of thanks.

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