Saturday 24 October 2020

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed


The silly season is upon us


Real heroes who fast for a cause, be it a Gandhi, a Hazare or a Medha Patkar never aspire to be a Prime Minister. These titans of our society always fasted for justice and fairplay never selfishly for themselves or for their bloated egos.

Last week I was struck by this bewildering ailment. I just kept vomiting, retching and was nauseated for pretty much two whole days.

Nothing seemed to work. Reglan! Domstal! Emeset! Phenargan! Nope, Nada, Niet! I was getting desperate. I ran all conceivable blood and radiological investigations. I even had a pregnancy test done. Nothing showed up.

Completely exhausted, as a last ditch effort I went on a FAST. And then, Aaaah! I promptly felt better.

Slowly, it dawned on me as to what had caused my bile to rise so much. The clue was in the fast. The histrionic, disgraceful, non-remorseful, nonregretful, rubbing salt in the wounds, televised tamasha of Narendrabhai Modi.

Real heroes who fast for a cause, be it a Gandhi, a Hazare or a Medha Patkar never aspire to be a Prime Minister. These titans of our society always fasted for justice and  fairplay never selfishly for themselves or for their bloated egos.

Last heard, a little white bird chirped in my ear that our Chief Miner from Margao is planning to undertake a fast to protest illegal mining in the state.

The relentless wave of nausea has gripped me all over again.

The reason I relate these two “farce” stories is because of the bearing they’ll have on our Goa Elections which are just about to swing round the corner and all of us will gleefully partake in the silly season set to engulf us.

Let me hazard a few quick guesses on how the plot will unfold in the coming months:

(i)                  The big 3 viz. Vishwajeet & Co will seek to control uptown Goa; Babush & his band will seek to capture midtown Goa; and the Alemao clan will stake claim over downtown Goa. These Big3, in turn, will be the tails that will wag the donkeys ( the BJP / Congress)

(ii)                Except for the BJP/UGDP, the other major parties will be consumed by suffocating family love. A wife here, a daughter there, a nephew in this party and a niece in the other one. The high-pitched emotional hysterics will all dutifully be in place and like suckers all of us will bite the bait.

(iii)               The MGP (another family concern) will wine, dine and hope to shine and mine with the notorious Baba of Valpoi. No alliance with the BJP. Mind it.

(iv)              The BJP will desperately seek to woo minorities (poison elsewhere but necessary nectar in Goa) but the language imbroglio and the fast and furious Modi will be a big, big spanner in their works. Notice how the local BJP unit has not uttered a pipsqueak in support of the “Hindu Hriday Samrat”. The BJP here will prefer to hitch their bandwagon to Anna and Sri Sri and the anti-corruption plank.

(v)                Most sincere and committed activists of all hues(including opinionated blockheads like “yours truly”) will stand morosely on the sidelines, wringing their hands in despair preferring to see all evil, hear all evil, speak about all evil but do no evil (like join politics???) for a solution.

(vi)              Those sincere activists who foray into the political arena at their own cost and sweat and many sincere old time politicians will be smeared and rubbished and tarnished and demoralized by holy Joes and sanctimonious prudes instead of being encouraged and funded.

(vii)             The Congress in Goa will be the busiest railway platform in India after Dadar T.T. Candidates will hop in, hop out, bang their fists on the bogies; threaten to set the train on fire, derail the tracks but the Congress bandwagon will chug on nevertheless.

(viii)           The mining and the real estate issues will be powder puffed and sugar coated. The ministerial mining  Co. may even take out a “truck yatra” through the hinterland to demonstrate their love for the poor, coughing populace choking to death there. I remember telling a pensive mining baron once that tuberculosis and lung diseases was rampant in the mining belt. Grimly, he told me that he’d give the villagers free “iron” ore to build up their haemoglobin and resistance. Whatever else, you can’t fault the mining industry for a lack of ingenuity.

(ix)              Mummy Victoria may win St. Cruz but they’ll still deny her a ministerial berth. The kiss of death planted on Babush will be an expensive one. (Have you now seen the “deathly” expression on poor Zuwarkar’s face??)

(x)                Mickky Pacheco will still threaten to field 40 candidates and 40 different parties and he’ll make his mandatory appearance in 40 gold chains & 40 white boots saying Boo to every Congressman. The only one who will smoke extra cigarettes due to these threats is our good old friend Aleixo bab.

(xi)              Manohar Parrikar will still dream that his dawn has finally arrived and he will be the CM of Goa again in 2012. If you disagree with him, of course, you may run the risk of being  served a gag notice or have your hospital or cakeshop raided.


(xii)             Whichever way Goa votes the net result will be the same. The destructive forces of mining, gambling, prostitution and speculative real estate who fund, fashion and fornicate with all our political forces will eventually come out trumps. The oligarchs will dominate and “we the people” will vote and curse and sing the old familiar dirge “Let’s Save Goa” all over again. Amen!

On a more serious note, however, the only shimmer of hope that may actually change our lives in 2012 is the potential near collapse of the crony capitalist economy that has ravaged India over the last decade.

The Western model of “Greed is Good” is finally unraveling with the brutal bloodshed on world markets. With no easy money to go around, there may come a more responsible & responsive leadership to take us into a more sensitive and sensible future.

The tide may just turn as it often happens when there’s a mighty shipwreck washing up the shore.

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Dr Oscar Rebelo

Dr Oscar Rebelo is one of the leading social activist of Goa and a practicing doctor. He led the historic peoples’ movement in 2006-07 to get the anti-Goa Regional Plan scrapped and save Goa from total destruction of Goa’s ecology and natural beauty. He is a Goa-based leader of Aam Aadmi Party. He is also a columnist.


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