Wednesday, January 6, 2010

The Colva Street Show

The Colva Street Show

By Augusto Pinto


I love theatrical productions, so I’m hugely pleased by what the
people of Colva did recently. I’m referring to the show they put up
in response to a CD produced by their tiatrist panch.
I have not had the pleasure of watching the CD, as it is now banned. But I’d love to; I’m ready to pay four times the cover price for it. From what I’m told, the people were excited because the CD took the Mickey out of the Colva parish priest.
But after that the whole show was a super hit Sex! Politics! Religion! Bigamy! Adultery! Violence! It had everything. What fun!
The Colva-ites who turned this explosive plot into a street play did a fantastic job. It was a come-one-come-all affair; everyone could play a part; anyone could say anything. There was no need for elaborate dialogue; no need to sing songs. If there was nothing else to do, one could gherao some cops; or simply fling a stone or two… or three. And it was all free!
I appreciate the Colva-ites for not consulting a lawyer regarding the CD. He would have told them to file a defamation case against the panch, instead of putting up a show. Sensible people know that this sort of case would have taken about a million years to resolve, if at all, by which time everyone would be dead. Thank God they did not resort to the law courts.
Also, it is a good thing Colva-ites are very elite and do not watch Bollywood movies like ‘Lage Raho Munnabhai’. Nobody has heard of Gandhigiri in Colva. Gandhigiri makes one sentimental when one is angry. And it makes one do good to someone that is bad. It would have been a very poor show indeed if, like Munnabhai, the Colva-ites protested by flooding this apparently erring panch with bouquets of roses.
Apart from the fact that stones are much more economical than roses, the Colva-ites would have lost the pleasure of messing up the panch tiatrist’s house. One day, I also hope I get a chance to smash up the house of someone I hate, just like the Colva-ites.
I’d suggest that the Colva-ites continue their campaign by reviving the celebration of ‘Janeiro’ ‘Janeiro’, which involves parading in fancy dress in front of people’s houses to usher in the new year. The Colva-ites can use this ruse to disguise themselves, and safely stone more politicians’ houses with no one recognising them. This is all pure, traditional, good-natured Goan fun, of course.
I’d also like to congratulate the priest, the politicians and the police for not being so stupid as to go and try to stop the violence, as well as the disruption in the lives of those who were not in any way concerned with what was going on.
After all, it is human on the part of any wounded individual – no matter that he is a politician, or for that matter, a priest who is supposed to turn the other cheek when the first is slapped – to occasionally enjoy a little tit-for-tat; especially when a particularly pesky parishioner is taught a lesson.
One must also congratulate the Church for not intervening in the show and letting everyone enjoy themselves. Of course, some people may say that by keeping silent while the trouble went on, they conveyed to the public that they are not in control of the Colva street players. Others may even say that they instigated it. Let these fools say what they want. As everyone knows, it is a good thing that religious leaders do not interfere in worldly matters in secular India.
Besides, it is intensely boring when they start giving sermons to people and quote passages from the Bible like: “Beloved, never avenge yourselves, but leave it to the wrath of God, for it is written, ‘Vengeance is mine, I will repay, says the Lord.’ To the contrary, ‘If your enemy is hungry, feed him; if he is thirsty, give him something to drink; for by so doing you will heap burning coals on his head.’ Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good.”
Finally the Magistrate who banned the CD must be praised. It’s common knowledge that once a work of art is banned, everyone then wants to see it. Tiatrists can now sing songs in praise of this Magistrate for making tiatr as an art form even more popular.



Villagers vow to continue battle
Villagers vow to continue battle Demand resignation of Calvert from p’yat

Villagers of Colva on Tuesday have vowed to continue the ongoing battle through peaceful means and would undertake nine-day fasting and prayers near the Church premises from Wednesday.
The villagers have also resolved to demand the resignation of the producer of the controversial CD, Calvert Gonsalves from the membership of the Colva Panchayat and to boycott him in the village.
A public meeting held near the Colva Church on Tuesday evening have resolved to continue the ongoing battle peacefully and warned that the people would not keep quite if any attempts are made to insult the Catholic religion.
In his address, the Moderator of the Colva parish Council, Jason Andrade called upon the people to continue the battle in a peaceful manner. Explaining the people the outcome of the meeting with the Archbishop, Filipe Neri Ferrao on Monday, Andrade said the Bishop has called for a peaceful approach to the problem.
He appealed to the parishioners not to get disturbed or violent, saying the time has come to think on the issue peacefully.
Explaining the villagers on the outcome of the meeting with the District Magistrate on Tuesday, Andrade said the Magistrate has been told that the villagers would continue with the battle peacefully for the cause of religion. “Today, this has happened in Colva and will happen somewhere else. There should be a law prohibiting anyone from targeting any religion”, he added.
Saying that the ongoing battle is a battle to protect the religion, Andrade appealed to the people not to bring personal matters into the agitation and united fight the battle.
In his address, Tiatrist Menino-de-Bandar said the tiatrist or singers have no right to target any Priest or religion. “We Tiatrist have been questioned everywhere because of the CD. I will never take the singers in the CD in my shows”, he asserted.
Ethel Lobo warned that the people will not tolerate if anyone tries to fool around with their religious sentiments.
Saying that a Panch member is expected to know the responsibilities and duties, Lobo said the villagers would submit a memorandum to the Panchayat Minister and the Director of Pancahayts to press Calvert’s resignation.
Colva Sarpanch Angela Soares expressed her support to the agitation and called for unity amongst the villagers.
In his address, Elvis Gomes came down heavily on the police for the failure to arrest Calvert and demanded a probe into the benami transactions of Police officers who have served at the Colva police station. “Matka gambling, massage parlours are openly operating in Colva, but the Colva police have turned a blind eye”, he added.
Gomes unveiled the agitational program before the meeting, beginning with fasting and prayers from Wednesday.
Others who spoke on the occasion were Camilson Fernandes, Tiatrist Agostinho, Terezinha.

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