LET THE PAST BE HISTORY by Nisser Dias

Last week some so called freedom fighters (FF) upped their ante because of the Ambassador of Portugal to India Roza de Oliveira’s statement that he does not understand what the FF want from Portugal when Goans have forgiven them. The very fact that the freedom fighters took umbrage to such a comment indicates their pettiness.
Let us face the truth, Goans specially the younger generation have accepted the history that Portuguese ruled Goa with an iron hand for 450 years and finally the state was liberated from the clutches with lot of bloodshed. We respect the sentiments and the valour of our freedom fighters and the sacrifices of their families, at the same time we cannot be obsessed with it and live in the past. We have to look forward.
We are in the 50th year of Goa’s liberation. The question we need to ask ourselves. Are we happy with what our own successive governments have achieved for Goa and Goans? We cannot deny the fact that in the last five decades our elected representatives have done much more harm to Goa than what Portuguese could not in 450 years. Goans proudly speak about the heritage and monuments which the Portuguese had built, what has our governments done. Should Goans destroy our churches, temples and houses just because the Portuguese built them during their reign? We have to get rid of the hang-over and the freedom fighters should shed their negative perspective and look positively at the changing global scenario.
The recent demand of the FFs association is to close down Portuguese establishments – Fundacao Oriente and Institute Camoes and subsequently stop functioning of Portuguese Consulate is utter rubbish or rather lose talk of those who does not much to concentrate upon. These facilities provide opportunities to our youth on various fronts moreover as a gesture of reconciliation the Portuguese have not only established a Consulate, it has permitted an opportunity for prospective Goans to apply for Portuguese citizenship - which is a gateway to entire Europe.
Now coming to FFs, it does not stop to amuse me that their number keeps swelling up and the reasons being our governments have been liberal and generous to give in to their each and every demand like perks and pension. And because of which Freedom Fighters is today nicknamed as Pension Fighters. Furthermore these FF association have seen to it that the government provides for their children also.
What type of personalities would go to such length? Only those who had ulterior motive. I for sure know that some of these FFs were smugglers, hoarders, black-marketers, thieves and some even murderers. They were arrested for criminal activities by the erstwhile Portuguese rulers. Upon their release they came to be known as freedom fighters. The past of some of these FF is very shady. Dr. Francisco Colaco and eminent cardiologist in one of article had described it aptly, “Most of us are aware that among FFs there were the true ones and the fake ones. Just because you once fought committedly, courageously against an oppressive regime does not entitle you to a perennial pedestal. You must work ceaselessly as health allows for the welfare of what you “liberated”. It is all so important that you keep aside your sentiments of pathologic hate, stop pouring scorn on others and cease to make puerile statements.” There are many others who genuinely fought for Goa liberation, they do not ask for any reservation nor free travel, nor do they receive pension and are not even members of the FF association. They are content in the comforts of their homes and family members telling stories of the freedom struggle to their younger family members. They do not visit politicians as they feel ashamed that they handed over liberated Goa to bigger rogues (politicians). These genuine freedom fighters are even ashamed of some of the so called freedom fighters because they took advantage for personal benefit during the Portuguese era and continue to do so even now.
One of the so called FFs who addressed the press conference recently is a convict. He is known for his ways which are not too different from dictators like Salazar and Id Amin, notorious for taking advantage of women and hunting wild life. The other FF does not have only a shady past over the years he has developed communal streak, infact this same person called up Dr. Francisco Colaco after his article was published in a local daily few months back and after threatening him said, “All you Catholics must be deported to Portugal”. This is the same person who led a mob that vandalised the name plates of Fontainhas streets because it had Portuguese names. Can youth of this state look upon these personalities as role models? These FFs have to prove their credibility before Goans before sermonizing against our relationship with the Portuguese. These self appointed guardians of Goa who strut around as FF should first disclose how many of them along with their families have either visited or have settled in Portugal.
In conclusion I would advise the fake or pseudo freedom fighters, we Goans are not against pension doled out to you at the cost of Goan exchequer. Enjoy the facility and the perks but do not try to disturb bonding of relationship with Portugal. In this globalised world correlation without different countries is important if we can derive benefits for taking our country forward.

6 comments:

Shubash Raikar Panjim said...

 Why are the freedom fighters harping on the same tune over and over again? their comrades have embraced Portuguese citizenship and are enjoying the perks. Gather these FF and dump them in Mondovi River. They have no Guts to stand against the current Corrupt Government ministers of Goa, because they do not have the Indian Army to back them UP.

Anonymous the VIII said...

Do not give these Freedom F**k**rs any importance or publicity. They are eunuchs. They are in dire need of b*lls. If someone knows of anyone who is castrating piglings, please dispatch a couple of B*lls to these eunuchs. It is an open challenge to them to close the Portuguese establishments.

Anand Desai Mopa said...

Freedom Fighters in Goa are Anti-Goans many have joined the band wagons after the Invasion. Is Goa free of crime and corruption? certainly not so what freedom are we talking about?

Diogo Fichardo said...

Had Goa been run by literate ministers these people calling themselves Freedom Fighters would be silenced. Only in recent years these freedom fighters have been blowing their out of tune trumpets against the Portuguese establishments. Throw a few rupees at their feet the will re tune their trumpets to suite the donor. If they are genuine freedom fighters they would have voiced themselves against crime and corruption in Goa. Rather then mouthing themselves at something that wont bite back.

Joaquim Correia Afonso said...

I do not agree with a part of the last paragraph, where Nisser states that "we, Goans, are not against pension doled out to you - fake or pseudo freedom fighters - at the cost of Goan exchequer". As Nisser himself has said, some of these so-called freedom fighters were "smugglers, hoarders, black-marketeers, thieves and even murderers". Their claim to be called freedom fighters comes from the fact that they fought for their own freedom from the Portuguese jail. As such they are not entitled to the dole or pension.

But let bygones be bygones. If their illegal activities like smuggling, thefts, murders, have to be forgotten and those involved forgiven, even awarded with a permanent, lifetime pension, then why not use the same yardstick with the Portuguese? If they did any wrong (in addition to whatever good they did, and there is no doubt about this), after 50 years since their departure from Goan soil why not forgive and forget? And in lieu of a lifetime pension, let them maintain their Consulate and other Institutions for the benefit of Goans, Institutions being maintained at their own cost, not against any compensation or monetary benefits by the local government. Why should these pseudo freedom fighters prevent Goans from benefitting from these Portuguese Institutions? 

Anonymous the VIII said...

Dear Sir, The Portuguese have their Consulate & Institutions here in Goa by an International accord between Portugal and the Indian Government. No State government and much less Freedom F**k*rs  can do a damn thing about it except bark.

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