ARE WE GOANS A WORTHY ELECTORATE? by Freddy Agnelo Fernandes, Dubai

The first general elections in Goa were held in December 1963, where the MGP won a slim majority over the United Goans, but with the support of independents the MGP led by the wealthy mine owner Dayanand Bandodkar ruled Goa for a full term. This was the first time Goans tasted the freedom to vote their own government. Goans were ecstatic !
In 1965 this same MGP which was voted to protect the Identity and the rights of Goa and Goans tabled a resolution in the Goa Assembly for Goa’s merger with Maharashtra, the custodians turned traitors and there was a deep sense of disquiet among many Goans but the United Goans in the opposition led by the then opposition leader Dr. Jack Sequeira did not leave any stone unturned to force the issue into a referendum as a result of which, we had the historic Opinion Poll in January 1967, when the “two leaves” (anti merger) prevailed over the “flower” (pro merger) by around 35000 votes, where the slogan of “Amchem Goem amkam zai” gave a befitting answer to the “zalach paije” and Goans sighed a sigh of relief.
What followed the elections in March 1967 was indeed ghoulish, even after the treacherous attempt to sell Goa, the same MGP traitors were voted back to power, this was indeed adding insult to injury to the efforts of the Goans who fought hard to protect and preserve our Goan Identity. The traitors themselves benefited from the result of the Opinion Poll, as they ruled Goa for nearly two decades. Did we Goans not lack any sense of general etiquette ? Where else on earth could people have elected back traitors that wanted to sell their own land but, Goa ! It was here that the ghastly community influenced tendencies of the Goan electorate were exposed at high noon.
In March 1972 the same MGP was again the ruling clique in Goa with help of the majority community along with the ST/SC/BC community as the integral part of this mundane amalgamation. What do we learn for these past elections ? Isn’t the blood of our community thicker than the cause of our land ?
August 1973 was the end of an era, with the death of the uncanny Bandodkar, the daughter was elected as the next CM of Goa, to take it up from where her father had left off and the birth of a new generation equally community inclined and inbred sprung from the same morbid shoot.
The elections in June 1977 were no different, the MGP again ruling the roost, by then the community influenced tentacles were well and truly entrenched but were not as effective as in the past. With the death of Bandodkar a slight vacuum was created but the void got bigger, this indeed was the birth of the power struggle in Goa. Goan politicians were infected by “The Power Bug” as a result of which MPG did not last a full term.
In April 1979 the MGP lost it’s ruling majority for the first time in two decades and perhaps that was the unofficial last rites for the MGP in Goa’s power grid and within a week Presidents rule was imposed, a legacy of the Central Government was established on Goan soil for the first time in history. Hereon starts the second phase of our sorry Goan political etiquette, as the Goan political enigma started transcending well beyond the abyss.
January 1980, elections gave birth to what looked like a friendly dragon called the Congress in Goa for the first. All of a sudden the community influenced tentacles were uprooted overnight by a sensible majority and the eager change seeking minorities, but then it was the case of the same old Johns back in business but at a different brothel. A lot of old faces in newer “avtars”, the saying “rats leave the sinking ship in packs” did manifest it’s self.
With the Congress in power for the first time in Goa, people were optimistic; the minorities let down their frowns and their anxieties and embraced Congress with open arms. Again in December 1984 Congress was reelected back to power on the wave of secularism but then as our politicians refused the take the antidote, “the power bug” infection spread to one and all in the Vidhan Sabha, and the once thought friendly dragon was now breathing out fierce corruption. The popularity of the Congress was on the ebb and in 1986 along with collapse of the Mondovi bridge, snapped the band of Goan unity and our politicians to safeguard their chairs and power divided Goans on the issue of the official language.
For the first time in Goa’s history violence erupted on the streets and only after the death of a few, the Congress government was forced to make Konkani the official language of Goa in 1987. A few months later on 12th August 1987 Goa was declared the 25th State of the Indian Union. With the gift of Konkani and statehood, Goans overlooked the corrupt practices of the Congress and in November 1989 election Goans witnessed an absurd situation, of a hung Assembly with both the MGP and the Congress claiming equal seats, subsequently as the dead lock could not be broken, Presidents rule was enforced in December 1990. In 1989 we also witnessed the molestation issue that rocked the Vidhan Sabha. With Statehood the number of crooks in the Vidhan Sabha also increased from 30 to 40, ten more making merry at the cost of the tax payers, adding unnecessary burden on the state’s finances.
During the Konkani movement we had the birth of yet another friendly looking dragon in the political arena, Goans and more so the South Goans, rallied behind the man who had fought for Konkani, who had reignited their beliefs that this “Sikander” would lead Goans to the “Promised Land”, a man who promised the moon and the sun to the people of Goa, of what followed the less said the better, as Goans and Konkani were left out to dry in the sun and rough weather, while his personal fortunes raced to newer heights. He had tasted blood and was indeed hungry and thirsty for more.
It was at this juncture that there was a mad rush for the CM’s chair, as the orchestra from Delhi played symphony for the “musical chairs“ in the Goa Assembly, integrities were sold , bought and resold like hot cakes on Christmas eve to the highest bidders, so much so that in a couple of years we had as many as five different Chief Ministers trying to hold on to the most coveted seat in the Goa Assembly but in vain. Even after all this “funfair” in the name secularism Goans re-elected Congress back with a massive majority in January 1995, but now it was the turn of the Congress to sell Goa to the highest bidder in the name of development, when we had the agitation against the polluting DuPont, as our corrupt politicians tried to force pollution down the gullet of Goans.
The sale of Goa had already began and the writing was on the wall but again pseudo secularism reelected the Congress with an absolute majority but with the “Power Bug” getting incessant it did not last long and soon with the decline of the MGP, the BJP took it’s first bite at Goa with it’s communal teeth. The BJP built their empire on the foundation of treachery but then the BJP was toppled by the very same treacherous elements that had brought them to power, proving that treachery has no friends or relatives on its path of treachery. But not before the IFFI filled some personal coffers in the BJP but then as usual declared righteous by the court of Law, the question still haunts, has any politician been convicted in Goa ?
In March 2005 President’s rule was imposed on Goa yet again but Congress was back in power in June 2005 after winning 4 out of the 5 by election seats. By now the integrity of the Goan politicians dipped to even lower depths. Credibility and the sanctity of Goa’s political institution was reduced to that of a mere brothel, elected representatives changed parties and affiliations, marriages, divorces and remarriages at the drop of a buck. The internal bouts and mud slinging was never worse, all for the sake of power and position, but somehow the Congress boat kept a float through thick and thin, but Congress were still victorious at the June 2007 elections.
During the June 2007 election horse trading was at its lethal best. The seat distribution was the bone of contention; tickets for family members and desired constituencies were wrestled and wrangled for, threats and challenges rang in like bolts of thunder and lightening in the air, parties discarded, new parties formed but at the end of it all, Prodigal sons were not only absolved and absorbed through reunions again but also rewarded with prime and plump ministries, proving once again that loyalties and treacheries mean nothing in Goan politics.
From 1963 to 1979 it was the MGP that won election on the back of community politics, at that time literacy was just taking shape in Goa. In that era people blindly voted for the MGP as a sign of solidarity that’s the reason UG never won the community influenced battle and disintegrated.
Since 1980, at the fall of the MGP citadel, the Congress on it’s pseudo secular agenda won over the confidence of the majority and the minorities welcomed them with open arms, at this juncture the minority community played it’s community influenced card infused by the Church in Goa. With the help of a secular majority and the community influenced minority, Congress had come to stay in Goa, in-between BJP tried to influence the majority with it’s communal agendas but Goans did not fall for it and since then Congress has came to power by “default”, even though scams where the order of the day, Goans preferred corruption to communalism, as lesser evil was the better evil, but who was the judge of the lesser or greater evil ? So I ask, are we Goans a worthy electorate ? Did our vote do justice to the democratic beliefs and values of our Country ? Or how easily, do we get influenced by colour, caste, creed, religion, money and insecurities ?
There is yet another election looming up and just round the corner and our corrupt pseudo secular, and the communal elements are already at work dividing and influencing people, whereas there are some, who are trying real hard to take credit for the work done by others, there are yet others who think Goan politics is their personal inherited domain and fiefdom, and want to make it a family business, there are yet others waiting in the wings licking their lips in anticipation, anxious to sink their teeth for a bite of the “pie” called Goa.
We all know the facts as they stand but the million dollar question is, will we Goans use our educated and literate statures to elect without bias or malice, worthy candidates and show the world that we Goans indeed are a worthy electorate?

5 comments:

Perdro Lopes said...

As long as candidates are voted and these candidates make laws for us, we are in trouble.

We should vote for candidates and also have an opinion poll for every law that is made. Only this way there will be no corruption and every Goan will have a say. Why should we have the democratic system like the rest of India, we Goans are and will never be Indians.

MGP fooled us and Congress ruined us.

Joaquim Correia Afonso said...

If we are to elect worthy candidates, then we must have worthy candidates standing for elections. Goans have been unfortunate in having the same, sometimes (perhaps mostly) unworthy people, standing again and again, while the worthy candidates shy away.

It is high time for the present political class to stand aside and allow worthy people to come forward and make themselves seen and felt, so that worthy electors can extend support to them.

Worthy candidates, please come forward, make yourselves known to the electorate and garner their support. That is my request.

David Leitao said...

Goan politics is a cesspool of corruption where the big lumps of shit float to the top !!!!

For worthy candidates to throw their hat is in the ring is like throwing a stone in the muck and getting all the dirty on your clean self .

You have to be thick skinned to dabble in Goan politics and the honest law abiding Goan is not thick skinned !!!

Only God can save Goa now !!!!

Anonymous the VIII said...

I think Sir, it is time to forget the elected. It has become so obvious that electorate themselves want such idiots. The basic problem is that proper education has not been imparted to the present generation of electorate. They do not want discipline, they want laws that can be bent at will, they do not want to respect someone in Authority, not even the Judiciary; they want their house clean but they can dirty yours; they do not mind if their friend raped someone as long as it is not their mother.
Goa's problem lies with the electorate and the politicians know it too well.

Perdro Lopes said...

One way our political system is a virus. It effects mostly the worthy ones. Power corrupts anyone and everyone.

We should have a say in the laws that are made, The constitution should be made by the people and not by the elected representatives. As long as the elected representatives can do whatever they want, corruption will always have a back door.

If the people have a say in law making and the Constitution, then even a corrupt politician will have to pack their bags, as there will be no robbing. At the present stage the people after voting a Candidate have no say what so ever, this gives way for the elected representatives to rob left and right and most of the candidates are doing it with pleasure.

For E.g. If the people had to decide the MOI, then the elected representatives had to just shut their mouth and do what the people want.
For E.g. If the people had to decide the Mining mess, then the elected representatives had to just shut their mouth and do what the people want.
For E.g. If the people had to decide on Highways, then the elected representatives had to just shut their mouth and do what the people want.
For E.g. If the people had to decide the Market places all over Goa, then the elected representatives had to just shut their mouth and do what the people want. 
And so on.

The present political system in Goa is like a sponge, which attracts criminals and uneducated person to stand in power. The elected representatives should be like a referee, a neutral person to see everything works fines. No portfolio should be given to the elected representatives, only projects on which they should work and show progress. The elected representatives are paid well to work like anyone or like any office Jobs. If portfolios are given to any elected representatives, then these elected representatives should be chosen by the people, not decided on Horse trading as it is done now.

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