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The Tourism Critique and Tourism Movements in Goa

The Tourism Critique and Tourism Movements in Goa

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This report is of an introductory study by a team of activist – academics based in Goa which was done in July-October 1993, as a prelude to a larger project conceived to examine the difference between tourism movements and people’s agenda in Goa. It was assumed that that village level committees that have sprung up in Goa, opposing tourism projects or parts thereof, would more adequately represent the people’s concerns, as compared to tourism activist organisations which represent the entire state or region. Hence, a cross-case study to understand the differences and similarities between one activist organisation and one village level committee was conceived. With the arrival of data a number of assumptions did not hold: 1. There was an important change in the tourism movement within Goa, as activist organisations were aligning with village committees to oppose the introduction of golf courses into Goa. 2. Village committees were not necessarily transparent representatives of the ‘people’. The assumption that village committees are closer to the ‘people’ was suspect.

The different sections of this introductory study provides: brief outline of tourism development and the distribution of village level committees in Goa, a cross-case analysis of village committees, possibilities of understanding tourism issues in terms of ‘identity’, ‘invention of tradition’ and ‘tourism movements’ in Goa and the methodological questions and future types of work to be explored.

Publisher: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS)
Contact: info@equitabletourism.org, +91.80.25457607
Visit: www.equitabletourism.org, http://www.equitabletourism.org/stage/readfull.php?AID=766

Keywords: Goa, Tourism Movements, Village Level Committees, Activists, Tourism Critique, Movements, EQUATIONS
This report is of an introductory study by a team of activist – academics based in Goa which was done in July-October 1993, as a prelude to a larger project conceived to examine the difference between tourism movements and people’s agenda in Goa. It was assumed that that village level committees that have sprung up in Goa, opposing tourism projects or parts thereof, would more adequately represent the people’s concerns, as compared to tourism activist organisations which represent the entire state or region. Hence, a cross-case study to understand the differences and similarities between one activist organisation and one village level committee was conceived. With the arrival of data a number of assumptions did not hold: 1. There was an important change in the tourism movement within Goa, as activist organisations were aligning with village committees to oppose the introduction of golf courses into Goa. 2. Village committees were not necessarily transparent representatives of the ‘people’. The assumption that village committees are closer to the ‘people’ was suspect.

The different sections of this introductory study provides: brief outline of tourism development and the distribution of village level committees in Goa, a cross-case analysis of village committees, possibilities of understanding tourism issues in terms of ‘identity’, ‘invention of tradition’ and ‘tourism movements’ in Goa and the methodological questions and future types of work to be explored.

Publisher: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS)
Contact: info@equitabletourism.org, +91.80.25457607
Visit: www.equitabletourism.org, http://www.equitabletourism.org/stage/readfull.php?AID=766

Keywords: Goa, Tourism Movements, Village Level Committees, Activists, Tourism Critique, Movements, EQUATIONS

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Equitable Tourism Options (EQUATIONS) on Apr 22, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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PAWLEM

POINGUINIM

WUEM

urban area

Canacona Talulca, Sou1h Goa
1480.21 hectares
3318 (1572 ma1e8l1746 females).

688

Nil

location
Area of Ylilage
Population
Occupied residential houses
Tourist 8ccomodatlon

The village of Agonda is situated in Canacona T a1uka, the southernmost tip of the
State of Goa. A project of MIs Elbee Dugal Engineering Co. Pvt. Ud. and its subsidiary
company, MIs Sima Hotels and Resorts Ud., called the Canacona Beach Resort, was
started in the Val ward of Agonda in 1981. Val ward has a population of about 120
persons in about forty households, living in this isolated part of the village which is
surrounded on three sides by hills, with the sea on the fourth. The traditional
occupations have been paddy cultivation and toddy-tapping. Recently, people have
started fishing (according to an interview with a local resident) and more recenUy,
several people from the village have left to work in the GuH and on the ships. Land in
Val ward is owned by absentee landlords and most of the residents today are tenants.
Facilities like water, electricity, roads, etc. are recent entries into this village.

8}

Village iU!ports

IssuesIn the Village

ConImversies oyer the Ganacona Beach Resort Project.

The ProJect

The Dugal and Sima Hotels undertaking had acquired 84,15,288 sq. m. of land on the
beach front at Val ward of Agonda. 1l1is project envisaged a 'unique leisure resort' with
a vast range of facilities for dining and recteational activities. The project was to be
compIeIBd in two phases at a cost of As. 660 Iakhs and Rs. 840 lakhs respectively.
(Dossier on Tourism and law, 1993, LSRA, Chengalpattu and Equations, Bangalore.
pg. 31). The first phase was to include one hundreden fifty double rooms. ninety villas
and an eighteen hole golf course.

Main OblacUons to the Project

1. Illegal purchases of land by the company. from the absentee landlords
with violations of 1he Iand-to-the-tilJer and muncarial acts (where the
tenants were to have the first option if land was to be sold).
2. Harassment of villagers and coercion to vacate land.
3. Acquisilion of communidade land.
4. Illegalities and construction violations.
5. Blocking of free access to the public beadl and to their fields.
6. Fate of ancestral occupations.
7. Felling of trees from which people had earlier earned their livelihood.
S. Displacement of fifty two tenant families from 1he agricultural land.

The Local Protest

It was learned from press cuttings and interviews that the protest movement was
initiated by one family in the village. the members of which felt that they had been
ciJped into selling their land for a paltry sum.

P80pIe have been duped by Dugal Real Estate Agents, e.g Rosa Fernandes
was told that the Government was planning to acquire land in Agonda, with
little or no compensation. The poor, illiterate woman was given papers to put
her signature to ..... she signed away her property for a few thousand

rupees. -Sul'lday CIIserver -8th November, 1987

Tourism Critique and Movements in Goa

Some opined that an employee on a foreign liner was in the forefront, spearheading
the protest against the Dugal Company. They added that this person 'knew the world',
i.e., having been to many tourist spots and hotels around the world, he was aware of
big hotels at various tourist destinations, which allowed prostiMion within their
premises. The employee was convinced that the moral fabric of the village would be
destroyed if a five-star hotel was built within the village. He, along with his family
members, protested against the building of the five-star hotel. His efforts at persuading
the other families were in vain as they, especially the unemployed youngsters,
preferred the jobs promised by the hoteliers and did not share the apprehensions of
the seaman and his family. The protest group, therefore, had very few supporters from
the village but managed to mobilise support from other organisations. There were
several cases of physical assault, manhandling between the villagers and the security
staff of the resort.

Today, the situation has changed. In fact, there is no possibility of any revival
of the protest, even if the Dugsls resurrect the till date frozen project.

The employee is back on the seas again and according to nterviews, the seaman,
because of his earlier frustrating experience with the villagers of the ward, is no more
interested in pursuing the matter. There were other respondents, belonging to the four
or five families, mentioned earlier, however, who hesitated to make similar, comments
saying that the matter is still in the courts.

A village spokesman told Herald that

... they pulled down all twenty two concrete poles set up by the construction
company. He said that the villagers had to protest against the project ......
-1terIId, 15th Feb, 1987.

T1Je security guards have also singled out the more militant ofthe villagers for
special punishment. Patricio figures in most of the scuffles reported from
Agonda .... he was assaulted in his distillery by four guards, who beat him up
in the presence of his wife, Emilia, wntJ iron rods and sticks. Rendering him
unconscious, they then proceeded to batter his distillery to smithereens.
T1Jey tied his hands and dragged him by his feet to their hut, where they
robbed him of his watch and gold chain. They then bound him to a coconut
tree and kept him bound for three hours. -Sunday 0bIerver, 8th Nov., 1987

Dugal built a road through the village to the beach, cutting through dense
forests. The angered villagers demolished the cottage of the company
worlcers and dumped mud and stones into a well, built in preparation for
major construction activity. PermiSSion for the road had not been granted by
the P.nch.y.t, Subsequently the 8DO ordered the company to stop
construction of the road, following which the company started terrorising the
villagers. -SundayObserwr, 8th Nov., 1987

62

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