I was trying to answer a tricky question I had posed to myself and Many more. Can we find someone like Dr. Jack Sequeira. Our Children are taught in History Books that the Portuguese were Tyrants. Above all they are taught thet the Marathas were Good Kings. Strange. History will tell who was better. Have any of our Textbooks ever mentioned about Dr.Jack. Sequeira who actually saved the Goan Identity.
Above all the traitor Bandodkar features in history books. Till I was in STD X I was mislead that Bandodkar was a Great man but after researching I found out the truth. A Quisling(Traitor) Of Goa.
Researching mare about Great Goans led me to find about another great Goan. Fr. Chico Monteiro, A man who lived loyal to Goa yet never went against his religious duties. Read this NIZ GOENKAR.
It was the mid 1960's when the State -- following Goa's Invasion an edict was issued to Goans holding Portuguese passports to surrender them, or in the alternative, emigrate to Portugal. Fr. Chico, who was a conservative in the material and theological sense, opted for defiance declined to surrender his Portuguese passport and challenged the State's order of deportation. His defiant stand startled the Goan community and practically overnight, found himself entrapped in the arena of political contempt, social ridicule and alienation.
At this point, it is necessary to recount that Catholicism was not indigenous to the land; it was brought in by the Portuguese. With Catholicism, as with any other religion, cultural prejudice and political affiliation became bred. And it was not Fr. Chico's elaborate scheme to come born into a Catholic fold. It was a fact of fate. The consequences, however, were unpredictable and inevitable. Almost tantamount to being asked to alter the color of one's skin upon being subjected to a whole new political climate.
Arrested and placed in judicial custody, Fr. Chico summed up his defense with a single line: "I was born in Goa, and lived all my life peacefully in Goa." Unbeknownst to Fr. Chico, his layman's version of defense resonated the very essence of the Geneva Convention: One's place of birth conclusively determines one's nationality, and it is against all statutory and constitutional law and principles to denationalize one's nationality.
The trial gained notoriety, and it was the Indian Government which suddenly found itself coming under judicial scrutiny and going on the defensive. The trial also aroused Salazar's interest. The result? Portugal appointed Queen Elizabeth's personal counsel to represent Fr. Chico. Such notoriety, however, was not without its price. Fr. Chico was transferred from the Aguada jail in Goa to a maximum security jail in Patiala, where he remained incarcerated in solitary confinement for about a year, and subjected to psychological abuse. The attempt by authorities to fragment his spirit only led to the realization that they were dealing with one whose spiritual temperament was impervious to human tampering.
When the matter wended its way to the Supreme Court, the Justices muffled a brief admonishment. It was to be the last gavel, directing Fr. Chico back to jail in Patiala, not to freedom. It wasn't the end of hope. Whether by coincidence or divine prompting, the Holy See decided to intervene, successfully negotiating the release of Fr. Chico for that of Dr. Telo de Mascarenhas, a freedom fighter who was serving a life term in Portugal. Fr. Chico's release, however, was to be conditional. Upon his return to Goa, he was placed under house arrest in his ancestral home in Candolim and barred from holding any official position. A decade later, the terms of the house-arrest were relaxed to where he was able to walk within the confines of his village. Subsequently, he was allowed to once again travel freely within the territory of Goa.
It is unclear if the judicial curfew was ever lifted, or if Fr. Chico ever set foot outside Goa. An avid traveler in his prior days, he appeared to graciously resign himself to a life of judicial exile. As a priest, his allegiance to the Divine was of an uncommon grain and stature. As a man, he was genuinely attracted to all people as human beings. Despite been consecrated a Monsignor, he continued to don the cassock of a habitual priest. It was his way of affirming his disinclination for any position in the patriarchal hierarchy of the Church. In general, he had an unbiased enthusiasm for life and an untiring work ethic. As for his smiles, they were a trademark of his effulgent demeanor. They were vibrant with sincerity, and ungrudgingly impartial.
"Bloom where you have been planted!", urged the late music maestro, Fr. Lourdino Barreto, to his students. A stalwart in his own controversial right, he was also a close friend and admirer of Fr. Chico. And bloom they did, without being uprooted from their deep convictions. On October 30, 1990, Fr. Chico was laid to rest in the soil he was planted in seven decades before. The following year, he was posthumously conferred the Vincent Xavier Verodiano Award. It was to be the only civic recognition ascribed to his name.
If life is an intended conflict between the material and the spiritual, Fr. Chico proffered no treatise or comment. At least, he left no known written account of his crusade, and his grave mentions nothing beyond his name and the statistics of his life-span. Yet through it all, he held his head in a dignified rather than arrogant manner, exhibiting no scars of bitterness or intonations of having privately argued with God. Had his act of defiance occurred a decade later, he would in all likelihood have been hailed a ‘conscientious objector', and spared from being hauled away and treated as a traitor. Instead, he became a prisoner of his conscience, and remained one to the end of his tenancy.
In summary, there's no mathematical distinction between what's justly right and what's unjustly right. It's all simply a matter of subjective rationale, reinforced by prevailing laws. Hopefully someday, time will reorient itself and manifest the extent to which Fr. Chico's fight for human rights in a remote part of the world, in the mid-sixties, might have influenced other human rights activists elsewhere. Like a seed that was sowed and drifted into oblivion, and found its prodigious sprout some place else.


Gurudas Lotlikar Margao said...

This is one piece of history that should have been in Goan text books. Why Not?

Emediavoice said...

BJ. Your article is well researched and still you search for the answer to your question. It needs to be blamed on your current Shepherd and his predecessors, who themselves has hidden the goodwill of their disciples. If Fr. Chico has remained hidden in the history passages than it is at the disposal at the central command in Altinho. Who will care for the Shepherd's sermons in Goa if his juniors were given more demand in schools? After all why is Fr Agnel still remains stagnant?

Perdro Lopes said...

All the Goans who vote for Congress or any other Indian Parties like BJP are real traitors of Goa. All Goan politicians who stand on these Indian Parties are crumb eaters of the Indian Babus from Delhi.

We have to blame our selves for letting India first invade us then letting the indian parties Indîanise us.

Now this foreign Marathi and Hindi. We should see that if Marathi is taught in Goan Schools then it should be taught by a native of Goa. If they can't find any native then these languages should be banned in Goa. We should not promote that a foreigner teaches us this foreign language in Goa.

One day Goa will be independent. With it's own Anthem, currency  and a strong football team.

A to Z said...

One of the greatest Goan patriot. All Bandodkar statues should be replaced by Fr. Chico Monteiro. Long Live Fr. Chico !!

David Leitao said...

Dr Jack Sequeira, Erasmo Sequeira, Dr Telo de Mascarenhas, Fr Chico Monteiro are great Goan statesman men of substance you cannot compare them to these nowdays rogues and scoundrels and jokers like Ranes, Monserate, Mauvin, Dhavlikar, Alemaos, Pacehco ,Ajgaokar, Kamat Parsekar and Parrikar!!! The neo rich politicians of today are man of straw thrash simply garbage they have a one point agenda is to loot and make money big time as if there is no tomorrow !!! We are seeing the change good honest Goans will take their rightfull places in the the legislative assembly. 

Diogo Fichardo said...

Well Said David, We Goans are surrounded by Political Rouges, who could have done wonders for Goa.

Anand Desai Mopa. said...

Who remembers Goan Heroes who fought for the right causes, monuments of traitors are erected without hesitation. Bandodkar,s statue must be taken down as he was the traitor of Goa and replaced by true Goan Heroes. Shame on our Illiterate Goan Politicians for not introducing Goan Heroes in our history books. Our future generations must know who the true Goan heroes are. Not the so called Freedom fighters who have sided with the enemy.

aggybaba said...

I liked the last part of your comment Mr. Lopes. I hope and wish it comes true, and am ready to do anything to make this dream come true. By the way, Goans in maharashtra should try to fight for Konkani as a MOI, and that might open the eyes of the powers that be. Which other state has two official languages?

My dear Goans, Let us first learn to cooperate with each other, leaving our crab mentality behind, and only then will we be successful in whatever we try to do. Goa  for Goans ! VIVA GOA ! VIVA NIZ GOENKAR !

Anonymous the VIII said...

Do not confuse religion with politics or history.
Like the two in cassocks with BBSM.

Mario said...

Fr.Chico is great humanbeing, those who knows him and interacted with him will never forget that son of soil.Indian Government was scared of him and that is the main reason he was always spyed and kept under their watch.

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