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OPINION
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Vol No CX No: 2 Goa, Saturday 2 January, 2010

Pg8 Time & Memory: Ringing in the New?
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Those with no memory or understanding of the past, are condemned to live without hope of a better future, says TEOTONIO R DE SOUZA
da ‘Lusofonia e da sua Hora’ e principalmente como é o caso do Professor Teotónio de Souza, que não tem cessado de criticar muitas lusofonias reais e sobretudo muitos reais lusófonos, deverá ser acusado como “lusófobo militante” em todas as suas constantes abordagens “lusólogas”?’ [Should those who insist on “a permanent critique of Lusophone reason” in order to promote an effective and interesting ‘Lusophony and its Hour’ – as has been my case, and more especially the case of Professor Teotonio de Souza, who have not ceased from criticising many real Lusophonies, and particularly many real Lusophones – be accused of being ‘militant Lusophobes’ in their frequent ‘lusologue’ treatments?] But unfortunately such men of vision are still exceptions. There are in Portugal and Goa many wise men and women, even of a high scientific calibre like Orlando Ribeiro, whose intellectual qualifications do not make them sufficiently critical and free from rabid nationalism. After his study visit to Goa from October 1955 to February 1956, he wrote a report to Salazar. Despite some frank comments that Salazar did not like (and led to Salazar making him put the report into a side drawer), Orlando Ribeiro was also critical of the appointment of two Goans to be bishops in Africa! He also described the Goans as ungrateful to the Portuguese nation. He was disappointed hearing most Goans speak only in English and Konkani. Despite efforts of some official and private Portuguese agencies to revive contacts of Goa with Portugal in recent times, including the promotion of the language through paid teachers in high schools and organising singing competitions, there is still a long way to go to neutralise the historical experiences that have jolted the affective ties. The reported Christmas celebrations at Kala Academy and elsewhere in Goa were marked by singing of Christmas carols only in Konkani and in English. To my surprise and disappointment, a message of Christmas greetings circulated worldwide (I received it too) by a representative of Instituto Camões in Goa showed a ‘Menino Jesus’ wrapped up in musical score sheets singing Silent Night and Jingle Bells! * Fernando Santos Neves, one of the co-founders of the Universidade Lusófona in Lisbon, is a philosopher. He placed the reference in the context of the philosopher Kant, who is known for his treatises on ‘Critique of Reason’. He did it because he was a great defender of Reason and its role, not because he did not care for it. he entry into 2010 has certainly been an occasion for most of us to convey our good wishes to ourselves and to others, desiring that the year may become a bearer of more satisfaction than the year or years gone by. It is in the act of wishing that lies the significance of time. It links the future with the past. Those with no memory of the past, or those who for some reason are deprived from the use of their memory, are unable to wish anything better or worse for anyone. This fortnightly column on the theme of Historical Explorations completes one year and enters into 2010 with renewed hopes and wishes that our memory of the past may stay synced (to use a digital expression) with what is in store for us in the times to come. As the psychologists and neurophysiologists tell us, this exercise of synchronisation depends largely upon the impact that past events have left upon our individual and collective psyches. During their first year, my ‘Historical Explorations’ got a reception of varying nature and intensity, depending precisely upon the individual and collective psyche of the readers. I consider it my duty to respect them all. But I also regard it as my moral and professional obligation as an historian to analyse and expose the social memory that is engineered and sustained through writing for the benefit of a privileged or dominant class of the society. Since 1950 at least, with the emergence of the computer world, the traditional writing that was largely the privilege of the local dominant classes has given way to a globalised exchange of realtime information that crosses spaces and permits, for instance, members of the Goan diaspora to follow the day-to-day happenings in Goa as quickly, and at times more quickly, than those living in Goa themselves. Just about a week ago I was happy to join a new social network of Goans on Facebook! Let us admit that Goa has become a global village that can be watched by interested Goans anywhere. Curiously, not all Goans in Goa have adjusted to this change and continue to resent any critical comments by the Goans in diaspora. There is no doubt that those who have to put up physically with the odds, year in and year out, may have good reasons to resent the comments of those who come to Goa for holidays! But they should also thank the Goans in diaspora for adding their voices and raising to global level the complaints and woes that could otherwise remain restricted to the world

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Chaos and confusion in Colva

he case of the CD that allegedly casts a priest and a politician in bad light is getting, as Alice says in Lewis Carroll’s classic tale, curiouser and curiouser with each passing day. Two days ago, South Goa Additional District Magistrate Prasanna Acharya issued an order preventing the media from reporting on the case. The order read, “I hereby direct all the TV channels broadcasting the issue…to discontinue the broadcasting of this story forthwith in South Goa district.” The media reacted with understandable outrage to this attempt to prevent it from doing its discharging its duty. When questioned about this order, the ADM clarified that this order was with respect to the electronic media only and that it relates to a specific news item “in which the facts of agitation were wrongly quoted in the story”. He went on to state, “…the press is free to cover any story/ news item with respect to Colva incidence (sic) except the story referred to in the order issued under section 108 of CrPC 1973 for the reasons mentioned in the order which is based on the police report.” What exactly does this convoluted clarification mean? The media is free to report only a particular version of events? In a controversy as complex as this, with as many conflicting versions as there are participants, the authorities will decide what is the ‘true’ version of events, and prevent the media from presenting any other version or viewpoint? This ham-handed attempt to muzzle the press is part of a pattern that has characterised the administration’s handling of the entire case from the very outset. The Margao Sub-Divisional Police Officer, DySP Umesh Gaonkar, has clarified, “…nowhere have I asked the Magistrate to direct TV channels to discontinue broadcast of the ongoing agitation.” Yet, taking cover under the tired excuse of maintaining law and order, the administration is trying to muzzle the press, and is now moving to ‘ban’ the controversial CD itself. Certainly it is the duty of the administration and the police to maintain law and order, but they have abjectly failed to do so – not because of anything the press has done, but due to their own failure to act when needed. The time to maintain law and order was when the house of Colva panch and producer of the controversial CD Calvert Gonsalves was vandalised. The time to maintain law and order was when mobs beat up Tarun Bharat reporter Mahesh Konekar outside the house of Calvert Gonsalves. The time to maintain law and order was when violent groups blocked roads in Colva, inconveniencing locals and tourists alike. Instead, the administration is now pointing fingers at the media, and trying to prevent it from doing its job. The case of the controversial CD highlights much that is wrong with the way the administration functions in Goa, particularly the dangers of political interference in the work of the police. The same problem was witnessed most recently in the case of the alleged rape of a Russian tourist in South Goa. Police officers, with loyalties to one or the other politician, have been neglecting their basic duties in their efforts to please their political masters. And the biggest casualty of this approach has been law and order, to the extent that Goa, at the height of the tourist season, has acquired the reputation of an unsafe tourist destination in the national and international media. In fact, nobody has come out of the Colva episode with any credit. When it is common knowledge that the entire episode is the result of political rivalry between Tourism Minister Mickky Pacheco and his one-time mentor Calvert Gonsalves, why are ordinary people letting themselves be used as cannon fodder in this proxy battle? If the CD is objectionable and defamatory, as alleged, why are people resorting to extra-legal means to tackle the issue? And why are the religious authorities remaining silent? The very least that should have been done was to counsel restraint and to preach against the use of violence. But the silence on the issue has been deafening.

HERALD

HISTORICAL EXPLORATIONS
of the frog in the well. No one will deny that publicity contributes to solutions. Two issues in my ‘Historical Explorations’ that irked some established interests in Goan society and gave rise to polemical writings in the local press and cyberforums were connected with the Portuguese colonial influences, and the Church administration of finances. Some respondents exploited the debate for venting their personal animosities or to foster fresh animosities. Obviously, such responses could only get my counter-responses befitting their nasty intentions, but I can reassure my readers that my ‘Historical Explorations’ reflect my personal concern for the well-being of Goa where I was born and to which I dedicated forty-eight years of the most active period of my life, most of it to find new ways of participation of the Church in the development of post-Liberation Goa. The establishment of the Xavier Centre of Historical Research (1979–1994) and of the Museum of Christian Art of Goa (1991–1994) will remain as two of the more visible expressions bearing witness to my efforts. Some touchy issues that will continue bugging some sections of the Goan society and their excolonial patrons or friends concern the post-colonial relations of Goa and Portugal. That is one area where love-hate relationships are yet to be synced. The mentality fostered by 50 years of the Salazar regime still continues to be present in Portugal and, not unsurprisingly, in Goa as well. One of the expressions of this is to classify a critic as enemy (of the State, of the Church, etc). Loyalty for such people is tantamount to chamchagiri! Some believe that my criticism of colonial and present-day Portugal is a lack of gratitude towards the country that I chose to live in as its citizen. Surprisingly no one has raised the same issue when I am critical of India (now as its Overseas Citizen). It is a problem of some oversized citizens with puny minds on either side of the planet. There are others who believe that I am anti-Church for criticising some aspects of the Church of Goa that I see as deviations to be checked. In this context I cannot fail to cite a paragraph from an essay that the former Rector of my University in Lisbon, Professor Fernando Santos Neves* contributed to the Festschrift entitled Metahistory (Lisboa: Nova Vega, 2007) that was dedicated to me on completion of 60 years of my life: ‘Alguém que insiste, como tem sido o meu caso, na necessidade de uma “permanente crítica da razão lusófona” em ordem ao advento efectivo e interessante

Tongue in Cheek
n the ODI played at Ferozshah Kotla in New Delhi, it was neither Virender Sehwag nor Sachin Tendulkar who made news. On the contrary it was the 22-yard pitch which made it to the front pages. The pitch in fact started a pitched battle within the Delhi & District Cricket Association (DDCA) which in no time reached fever pitch. Several former players pitched in with their comments. Cricket is a game different from other sports in several ways. It is known as a gentleman’s game. Unlike football, which happens to be the most popular sport in the world, cricket is not played in the rain. This is not because the players are afraid of catching a cold playing in the rain, but because the all important part of the cricket ground, the pitch, is not supposed to get wet. Hence, when there is an interruption of a match due to rain, the first part of the ground that is covered with a plastic sheet is the pitch. I can’t think of any other playing arena in any sport which is pampered more than the cricket pitch. In fact there is an altogether separate committee which looks only after the cricket pitch. Laying a pitch is a complex process requiring expertise and the correct raw material. Any defect in the pitch could cost crores

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Pitch Report
of rupees in damages, as was the case in Delhi. That brings us to a very important question. Why should the pitch be given so much importance? Well, an under-prepared pitch can ruin the career of even the finest batsmen. Bones could be broken and dreams shattered. The pitch can make the cricket ball bounce too much or keep low. It can make the ball skid or spin. It can do such a lot of things that we talk of the pitch like a human being. The expert who gives the pitch report before the start of a game normally talks of how the pitch is expected to ‘behave’. It can assist fast bowlers or spin bowlers, assist stroke-making or make life difficult for the batsmen. So what goes into the making of a perfect pitch? A lot of expensive material, lots of patience and lots of perspiration. It takes months to make a perfect pitch. Though some pitches are as bald as a billiards table, others have a varying amounts of special grass on them. This is Bermuda grass, which is probably as mysterious as the Bermuda triangle. It is believed that the best time to plant the grass is spring or just before the monsoon. It is understood that the Kotla fiasco was the result of the grass being planted just a month before the match.

By Adelmo Fernandes
Another important aspect of the pitch is the soil that goes into making it. It is not just dirt or sand but a mixture of several types of soils. The pitch is than tested several times before the actual match is played. Compare this extensive procedure with the astroturf that is used for a hockey ground and is laid in almost no time. It thus comes as no surprise that the cricket pitch attracts so much attention. A cricket expert will tell you that pitches across the world behave differently. That is probably because every cricket playing nation prepares a pitch that will assist its bowlers. So in India you will find spinner-friendly pitches. In contrast the pitches in the Caribbean will assist the speedsters. Since the pitch has so much significance it was this very part of the ground which a political outfit in India decided to dig up to disrupt an international match some years back. While South Africa will not be playing a Test match in Delhi and no matches of the 2011 World cup may be allotted to the Kotla ground, the question uppermost on everyone’s mind is whether New Delhi will also make a fiasco of the Commonwealth Games scheduled in 2010. One hopes not.

A trick to distract?
Soter D’Souza, Socorro
This is in response to the false accusations made by Dr Oscar Rebello against me and Rajan Parrikar of baying for the blood of migrants, Muslims and foreigners in his letter titled ‘The options before GBA’ (Herald, 30 Dec). Our views as regards in-migration and communalism are in the public domain, unlike Dr Rebello, who now admits to having “danced footsie” with the Digamber Kamat government. Three years later he pretends to repent for letting down the people of Goa. Dr Rebello must answer the set of questions I have raised in cyberspace as regards the issue of migration, and read the views of Goa’s internationally acclaimed fashion designer Wendell Rodricks on ‘cultural ethnocide’. The minutes of GBA meetings clearly show the undue haste from June 2007, after Mr Kamat took over as CM, of pushing GBA to cooperate with the government in the RP Task Force despite members cautioning against such a move. The impact of GBA’s treachery will be realised by Goans once RP 2021 is out. Dr Rebello’s trick of labelling us communal is to distract from his own doings.

and mine owners’ lobbies to flourish, and giving them the freedom and opportunity to continue their harmful activities.

Letter of the Day
Praxy Fernandes, London

Nobody is above the law
Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar
The recent incident in Colva comes as no surprise. In a similar case in 2004, there had been trouble in Ribandar. As in the Colva case now, that Ribandar church case was also handed over to the Crime Branch. The handing over of routine cases to the Crime Branch has to stop. It only proves the impotence of the police stations to enforce the law. This is all happening due to the political interference in the day-to-day working of the police. In the Ribandar case, when I stood in solidarity with a parishioner, a 13-year-old minor girl, I had cases filed against me. After the ordeal of a four-year trial, the court in its judgment stated that the allegations against me seemed to have been manipulated and that I was falsely implicated in the case. The last time around too, the Archbishop had chosen to be a mere spectator. The message should go out loud and clear that nobody is above the law, priests and nuns included. In the Colva case, if anyone is aggrieved by any material in the CD, he needs to file a defamation case. Stoning people’s houses or creating social tension from Church premises is uncalled for and against the law.

Living in another country

playing for the whole beach? As a result, various shacks that wish to play music for their customers cannot do so. This is not celebration at all – instead, all we are getting is noise. I request the concerned authority to take necessary action.

Letters to the Editor
Paths of Wisdom

Rajan Parrikar, whose letter (Herald, 31 Dec), talked of an ‘alternate reality’, needs to understand that it is far easier for people based overseas like us to express whatever we wish to in our letters. The present ground realities in Goa are not conducive to writing or saying anything about ministers, politicians, their PAs and our law enforcement agencies, however truthful the information may be. So how can you target Dr Oscar when the CM and his cohorts have reneged on their promises? Do you expect Oscar to wage a war alone against these people in the present circumstances? How about people like you and me going to Goa to lend him support? Like you, I too oppose the unchecked influx of migrants to build vote banks and the destruction and rape of Goa through illegal mining, building colonies for non-Goans, and providing permissions to fly-by-night operators who reap bumper harvests through drugs, sex and gambling. But besides writing, have we done anything else? I have no sweet feelings for Oscar Rebello, as I have opposed his views of late, and I also have no grudge against Rajan Parrikar. But I am sure that if Parrikar looks honestly at the situation in Goa, he will want to apologise to Dr Rebello. dor. They have planted a red flag in the safest area of the beach so that he can ply his trade, endangering the swimmers with his water vehicles .The other van plying on the beach is that of the water sports vendor. The beach has now become more dangerous than the road. On no account should motor vehicles be allowed to run on the beach. Water sports should be conducted in the place that they have been allotted. married man cannot do the same against his wife. Why? Rape cases need to be thoroughly investigated, as mere allegations of rape cannot be treated as final until proven by medical reports. If genuine rape against a woman is a crime, then false allegations against an innocent man should be treated as a bigger crime. The media should stop maligning the Goa for flimsy reasons like rape. Such childish accusations are degrading our culture.

Congratulations Xavier
Nelson Lopes, Chinchinim
The Konkani stage artist-singer Xavier Gomes has left an indelible mark and deserves our admiration, appreciation and encouragement. He qualifies as the best composer and singer in the exalted category of Alfred Rose. His themes and lyrics are thought-provoking, intellectual, and his style of rendering messages is neither critical nor sarcastic. He conveys his thoughts deeply with maximum of educative, philosophical, moral content along with social emphasis. The standard of Konkani stage is raised to a higher level with his compositions. He has so far refrained and resisted the temptation to appeal to cheap basic instincts. He has left a message for everyone through his various songs, which are worth listening to and pleasurable to the ears.

Reason and Religion
Leo Tolstoy
To those who ask my opinion whether it be desirable to endeavour by the aid of reason to attain complete consciousness in one’s inner spiritual life, and to express the truths thus attained in definite language, I would answer positively in the affirmative. Man has been given by God one single instrument to attain knowledge of self and of one’s relation to the universe; there is no other, and that one is reason. Yet he is informed that he may use his reason to solve questions, whether domestic, family, commercial, political, scientific, artistic, but not for the elucidation of the problem for which especially it was given him; and that for the solution of the most important truths, of those on an acquaintance with which hangs all his life, man must on no account employ his reason, but must acquiesce in their truth independently of his reason, whereas, independently of reason, man cannot be conscious of anything. It is said, “Accept the truth by revelation, by faith;” but a man cannot believe independently of reason. If a man believes this and not that, it is only because his reason tells him that this is credible, and that is not. To affirm that a man must not be guided by reason is equivalent to telling a man who has lost his way in dark catacombs that, in order to find his way out, he must extinguish his lamp, and be guided, not by light, but by something else.

Profiteering on milk
Samson Papaly, Benaulim
For the past one month or more, almost all the shops that stock and sell Goa Dairy milk are selling packets at Re1 more than the printed MRP. I have sent messages complaining about this to Consumer Affairs in Goa and in Delhi, but have not received any response. The reason shopkeepers give is that the distributor of Goa Dairy milk takes the MRP price from them and they have to sell it at a higher rate. I hope that the minister concerned will take action in this matter, as if it is not stopped now, it will go out of control. Letters should be 150 words or less in length, and should have the writer’s name, address and telephone number. The editor reserves the right to edit letters for size and readability, and to delete any personal attacks or libellous /objectionable matter.

The cost of infighting
Stephen Dias, Dona Paula
The letter ‘Living in an alternate reality’ by Rajan Parrikar (Herald, December 31) in response to Dr Oscar Rebello’s letter (Herald, 30 Dec) gives an impression to readers that both of them are defending their own personal views by criticising each other. No doubt they have the interest of the people of Goa at heart, and want to carry on their mission in their own way. But at what cost? This infighting is helping the builders’

Guard or hazard?
Claudine Menesse, by email
Carvellosim has been a beautiful and safe beach. We have been swimming and walking here for the last fifteen years and were pleased to see that a lifeguard service was going to be available .Now we are horrified to see that this service is a cause of great danger. The red lifeguard van drives merrily up and down the beach .The beach is the only safe place to walk and for children to play, safe from vehicles. Now the lifeguard van itself has become a major hazard. Furthermore, the lifeguard station has become the headquarters of a water sports ven-

Stop maligning Goa
Jerry Fernandes, Saligao
I would like to congratulate Rajya Sabha MP Shantaram Naik for making a very bold statement on rape and defending Goa in Parliament. Some business-minded women have started to misuse the word ‘rape’ to settle personal scores, and to achieve instant fame. Today’s women, despite being highly educated and ambitious, think nothing about maligning men though such silly accusations. Today, a married woman can file a charge of rape against her own husband, using a sick law called the Domestic Violence Act, but a

Break for dismal cops
L Fernandes, Candolim
This has reference to Alishya Carvalho’s letter ‘Give the cops a break’ (Herald, 29 Dec). She should have read the news item ‘Vasco cops fared dismally in 2009’ (Herald, 29 Dec) before requesting the Vasco police force to act.

There was no issue of O Heraldo dated 2 January 1910, as the office was closed on 1 January on account of the New Year holiday. Therefore, there is no ‘100 years ago’ column today.

Madness in Baga
UK citizen, Baga
A certain hotel near Baga creek is banging out boom-boom music till 3am. Why are they

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