THERE’S MORE DEMOCRACY IN GOA by K. R. SREENIVAS Courtesy TOI

GOA: People's power is true democracy. And the voter is king. For the couple of months that I have been here in Goa, and from interactions with activists and urban villagers, Goans stand apart. Their sentiments are very strong. They have a say in the way they are governed. And their political leaders bow to them. There have been many instances to support this argument.
The latest is the protests of the Curchorem residents led by Ghanv Rakhon Jagrut Manch marching to chief minister Digambar Kamat's residence in Margao demanding the scrapping of the proposal to expand the highway that connects the mining belt to Mormugao port to four-lane for transportation of iron ore, mainly being exported to Japan and China. The state highway connects Sanvordem and Curchorem in the Quepem-Sanguem talukas in Goa. The locals instead want the government to expedite land acquisition proceedings for the proposed 19 km Uguem-Capxem mining bypass, which can connect to the Zuari river from where the iron ore could be transported by barges to Mormugao port.
Their reasoning is that the highway is already highly polluted and many accidents take place on the road. They do not want mixing up of mining trucks on the road and more traffic.
The CM immediately called a representative team of the protestors for dialogue to his official residence in Panjim and assured the residents that the government would pursue the bypass and keep the four-lane road expansion in abeyance.
Such responsiveness to people's demands rarely happens in India, where chief ministers are not accessible to their people. And most assurances are made only to be broken much sooner than later. The Janata darshans in most state capitals are farcical exercises just to gain some publicity.
Residents of various villages in Goa have been protesting and taking out morchas demanding various things on the same issue and the government gives all groups a patient hearing.
These are not the only issues on which one is basing an argument about true democracy being practiced in Goa. There have been many occasions when people have directly called up the chief minister or ministers concerned to get their grievances addressed. On several occasions, the CM and the ministers have got calls on their mobile phones even at midnight telling them that their locality does not have power supply. The political rulers have acted on such complaints immediately and got power restored to the localities. During a chat, Digambar Kamat argued that there may be several problems of the people. Their children may be studying for an exam, or somebody in the house may be ill. "How do you expect the children to study for their exams if there are power cuts?" he said.
Do other CM's of our great nation think like that? Can people even get through the offices of chief ministers of Maharashtra or Uttar Pradesh? Or can they access chief ministers of Tamil Nadu, Andhra Pradesh or Karnataka?
Goa may be a small state, but the fact that the CM is accessible to the people on a cellphone in the middle of the night augers well for the society.
On one occasion, a state transport bus broke down past midnight between Belgaum (in Karnataka) and Margao (in Goa). The bus passengers tried contacting officials to get help from the middle of the dense ghat section. Luckily, one of them had the mobile number of the Goa CM and he decided to call him for help. The state government immediately swung into action making arrangements for an alternative bus from Belgaum to reach the spot and pick up the harassed passengers.
Another minister, Atanasio 'Babush' Monserrate goes out of the way to protect his voters. There was one incidence that a driver of a cab agency told me. When he was driving on the highway, another vehicle, a two-wheeler, crashed into the travel agency car.
There was a crowd immediately around and arguments were on. Babush, as he is popularly known in Goa, happened to witness the accident. The minister got off his car, went up to the cab driver and told him that the two-wheeler rider involved in the accident was his voter and hence he (the minister) would pay up whatever was the cost of damage to the travel agency vehicle. "Just leave him alone and don't trouble him. Bring me the bill and collect the money," Babush is said to have told the driver. The bill came to Rs 21,000.
So the driver after getting the damage repaired went to Babush with the bill, and the minister without asking any questions gave the cash. And so does another minister Churchill Alemao, who goes to any extent in south Goa to protect his voters.
People across communities give credit to the work done by opposition leader and former chief minister Manohar Parrikar of the BJP in Panjim constituency.  "Parrikar does not spend money like some of the other ministers do from his pocket, but the work he has done shows in Panjim," say most Goans. Go Goa, people's power is supreme. – (Courtesy Times of India)

10 comments:

Renoir said...

K.R.Sreenivas, you definetely are a paid author to shower these unrealistic praises on the Govt OR you are a apart of this Govt wagging your own tail. I do not see anyone in a normal frame of mind praise the Democratic values of our Govt of the day.There is nothing that a citizen gets the democratic way, the way you put it as easily as a cell phone call in the middle of the night.The recent incidents are enough proof to prove you totally blind and Wrong. The people have to come out on the streets, take out Morchas, go on hunger strikes to get their genuine and basic needs met, inspite of all this, issues are still not resolved because the Govt is unqualified,adamant and Un-Democratic . Rampant Crime,failure in the Judicial system, faulty educational policies, forced land conversions & acquisitions, Police brutality,just a few to mention are the order of the day. Sreenivas, you are not living in a world of reality but definitely in a world of day Dreamers. Wake up !

Bharat said...

Goan slaves are only used to barbaric treatment hence they cannot appreciate democracy.

Maurice Alcacoas said...

The Times of India resident editor in Goa K. R. Sreenivas obviously thinks that Digambar Kamat and Atanasio Monserrate's shitting on the heads of Goans smells sweet so that's why he writes this bull-shit as paid news which is nothing but publicity for the corrupt Goan Government.

RDM said...

@ Mr Sreenivas, Some of the people whom you have chosen to shower praises on are renowned smugglers, black mailers, rapists, extortionists and what have you ! Their helping the aam aadmi with their ill gotten wealth is only a decoy and a means of staying in power. This is precisiely how they stay in power , in disguise - by throwing peanuts at the electorate from wealth that is robbed from the exchequer while indulging in far more criminal activities to amass even more illgotten wealth. After seeing the trouble you have taken to describe their so called 'good deeds' of these criminals, i cannot help but think you have been paid to glorify these thugs. Sorry my friend, you have chosen the wrong forum to do this.

Pedro said...

Let us be an Independent State, Then India can learn a lot from us. Free Tution for all Indians

RDM said...

@ Mr Bharat, It appears that you are one of those 'Barbarians 'who have scr#@~ed democracy beyond recognition. How do you expect any appreciation. If you are not goan, please get out of this forum ( as this is meant only for goans) as well as out of Goa ( if you reside here ). It is because of you and the likes that our Golden Goa is corrupted. OUT !!!

diogofichardo said...

K.R.Sreenivas, obviously you have spent your stay in Goa paid for by the political fools, or else you would have seen the ugly side of Goa your India introduced after the invasion.

dlp said...

This Ghantti K.R. Srinivas is definitely being given a five star treatment and five star stay in Goa with everything on the house by the corrupt people he mentions. He must be enjoying a holliday of his lifetime in Goa so he has to praise the chors arses. the baboon always says its arse is red and admires it. This is the case with this baboon Srinivas.

Shubash Raikar Panjim said...

K.R.Sreenivas another crumb eater of Goans taxpayers money.

Buyarantlo Monis said...

The Times of India resident editor in Goa K. R. Sreenivas is Potacho Duckor kutro who's mother must have given him Animal's milk at birth.

Idiot you have chosen a wrong forum to voice your views, you have your paper which TOI which has & will never be patronised by any Goan.

The two people you mentioned one must be f...k..ng you from the back and the other from the back.

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