Monday, February 1, 2010

“Mhaka saiba vatt kollona?”

No more “vatt kollona”!

Prime Minister Manmohan Singhji vows to make Mumbai another Shanghai. This is acceptable to all non-Maharashtrians. Bal and Raj Thackerey (not Thakre?) find this difficult to digest. At the mere thought of Mumbai becoming Shanghai or not belonging to Maharashtra, they react violently and take out their anger on poor Bihari taxiwalas!
We, who call Goa “Amchem Goem” now already have people in thousands from other states. The economics imposed on us, which we accept, means we need outside manual labour. Goa needs them and they need Goa. Today, Goa and Goans have become two different entities.
Goa, it seems, has preferred the Mumbai model. Now Mumbai will be Shanghai and Goa will become Mumbai. In Shanghai, Marathi will never be accepted as the sole language. In Goa-transformed-into-Mumbai, Konkani will not be acceptable as the sole language. A few Goans will then take pride in stating that Goa is a ‘cosmopolitan’ state.
I always claim that my Indian-ness is inclusive, and different from that preached by the Thackerays. My Indian-ness desires a prosperous and tolerant Goa. We who think likewise – and there are many of us – will we ever get an opportunity to work for that Goa? Where is that ‘Bangor Boil’ gone; the bull with horns that by his mere presence gets what he wants?
There are some who say that it is impossible now to stop this process. Wisdom demands, they add, that we resign ourselves to what is to come. Then why the hell was Goa made into a state?
In 1963, I saw a cartoon in a daily in which Goa, depicted as a child, was walking holding the hand of Pandit Nehru. “Safe and secure!” was the caption, if I am not wrong. Today, Goans are frightened of Mother India. This may be because we are weak citizens, and therefore helpless. “Mhaka saiba vatt kollona!” has become Goa’s national song.
Sonia Gandhi says that Goa is a “diamond in the crown of Mother India”. I feel we need to ask Soniaji what exactly she means.
Kakasaheb Kalelkar always said Goans were a “manly” people (Purusharthi). “The language of a vital people can never be a dialect. That is why Konkani is a language,” was his argument. He expected Goa to become a model for other states.
Model? My God! Today, India calls Goa a model rape state…
“I belong to that race which composed the Mahabharata and invented chess,” said that great Goan who had only a forty-year life, and died two days before Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi was born. Do we consider ourselves heirs to that great sage F L Gomes?
My question is: Shall we come out of the syndrome: “Mhaka saiba vatt kollona?” Yes or No? Now or never!

Gurunath Kelekar

gaspar almeida

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A big e-welcome to you. Tumcam Maie-mogacho ieukar. Enjoy Life - This is not a rehearsal! Konkani uloi, boroi, vach ani samball - sodankal. Hich Goenchi osmitai ani amchem khalxelponn. Goenchi amchi Konkani bhas! Ekvottachem saddon Goenkaranchem. This is Gaspar Almeida from Parra, Bardez, Goa, based in Kuwait and am connected with the website created by Ulysses Menezes, and as Moderator of the famous first of its kind Gulf-Goans e-Newsletter (since 1994) and The Goan Forum and several Goan and Indian associations and forums and e-forums in Goa, India, Kuwait, The Middle East and worldwide.