= = o HERALD o
Vol No CVIII No: 341 Saturday 6 December, 2008
Never the Same Again?
BBC commentator was saying on 26 November that Mumbai and Goa were two likely and expected targets for the assault that took place in Mumbai with the tragic consequences that will go down the history. A topic that dominated Goanet the last week (and the debate over which still rages) was if 25 November was the Real Liberation day of Goa. That day marked the conquest of Goa by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510. A Macaubased Goan, who usually signs himself as B C, did not hesitate to pronounce somewhat morbidly on the Mumbai tragedy as follows: All those countries involved in anti-Portuguese colonialism ended in misery. Given the right conditions, these are the types of creature with deep-seated anger against some sections of the society who would make good candidates for jihadis or crusaders. If not yet prepared to enter personally into violent action, their voiced sentiments and other forms of indirect support can make them fall prey to the growing internationalisation of the terrorist outfits and their success. The Goanet discussion about 25 November cannot be dismissed lightly. It marks the date when a band of highly motivated adventurers, funded and trained in a distant foreign country, roving in the Indian Ocean for nearly a decade, with Anjediva as their base of operations, and secretly assisted by some local elements, took over Goa by assault, after having failed in a first attempt some months earlier. The history of Goa would never be the same again. Goa was captured for being a strategic outpost on the mid-west coast of India, and became the military headquarters and the financial capital of the Portuguese eastern empire. This event had all the hallmarks of what happened in Mumbai last week, excepting the fact that the young adventurers had now to face a mammoth defence structure of an organised state. In 1508 the foreign bands had attacked the port of Dabhol that was an important trading outlet of Bijapur. In 1510 the defence structure of Adil Shah of Bijapur and his local governor Malik Yusuf Gurji in Goa crumbled beneath the onslaught of Albuquerques men, even before Timojas promised assistance could arrive! The attack was well planned, because we have recorded information that the bar of Goa had been fathomed in advance. Indias sea front was its
Ye old stable door
ts an old cliché; bolting the stable door after the horses have run away. But our authorities continue to do just that. It is in the immediate aftermath of any terrorist attack that policemen start checking on hotels, catching fishing trawlers, cracking down on overstaying foreigners, putting restrictions on night markets, tightening security at airports, etc, etc, etc. In most cases, by this time, any offenders are already far away. All that the police succeed in doing by tightening up security is gather abuse from people for harassment and, thanks to certain dishonest elements in their ranks, for corruption. It must be realised that in dealing with terrorists, the forces of law and order are always at a comparative disadvantage. The terrorists have to get everything right just once. The cops, on the other hand, have to get it right every time; even a single slip up is enough for the former to succeed. It must be realised that there are limits to security measures. Checking every commuter on Mumbais local trains which carry 25 lakh people in each direction each day is next to impossible. It would cause huge disruptions and serve little or no purpose. At times like these, when the memory of a terrible tragedy is still fresh in peoples minds, the police should use the opportunity to improve their human intelligence network. Gaining collaborators in various fields is the best protection against terrorists. Having fishermen and leisure sailors who promptly report on suspicious vessels or missing trawlers will yield better results than a dozen coast guard patrol vessels prowling the sea. Having ordinary people promptly report on suspicious happenings in their areas will make it very difficult for terrorists to anonymously rent apartments and merge with the local population. Rather than relying just on random tip-offs from the general population, which mostly end in wild goose chases rather than reliable intelligence, policemen can give a modicum of informal training to volunteer informers, so that they know what to look out for, and dont raise too many false alarms. This is the kind of informer network that makes policing precise and effective. It is this that gives police forces that are recognised as the best in the world a decisive edge. The other thing to do is to have a widespread surveillance system; a closed-circuit television (CCTV) camera system at every public facility. The country that has deployed this to great effect is the United Kingdom. It has over five million CCTV cameras nationwide; that means about one camera for every 12 citizens in the country! It may seem like the nightmare described in George Orwells 1984 has come true, and that big brother is now watching everyone everywhere, but the system has served the UK well. Within 24 hours after the London Underground Railway bombings, detectives had descriptions of the culprits, could trace the exact route they took and had laid bare the flesh and bones of the plot, thanks to the network of CCTV cameras at every train station, bus stop, bank, large shopping centres, traffic intersections, etc. In Mumbai, too, CCTV cameras installed inside the CST railway terminus got clear footage of the terrorists as they went about their shooting spree and later, cameras mounted outside the station captured images of them moving out from the station into the lane leading to the Cama Hospital. They may not have prevented the violence, but at least they can tell us who did it and exactly how it was done. It is pointless trying to put into effect security measures that require a large part of the police force to be diverted from their regular duties. This will mean that these measures are purely temporary, and cannot be sustained for long; creating a false sense of security. It would be so much better if the force took advantage of the opportunity thrown up by the attack to build new intelligence assets on a voluntary basis. Random security checks have a questionable value even at present, and little or no utility in the long term. A network of informers, on the other hand, will serve the force well in the months and years to come.
There are chilling parallels between Mumbai after 26/11 and Goa after 25/11, from which we should take some lessons, says TEOTONIO R DE SOUZA
the Holy Land after weakening their power that was sustained by their trade control of the Indian Ocean region. Instead of the war for the oil of the Middle East in our times, the prize in view then was the spices of India. In the spate of writings and media comments in the wake of the 26 November Mumbai attacks, it is suggested that not all assailants were from outside and that perhaps some got away after participating in the carnage at some points. There are also some other issues raised and that call for serious reflection: whose India is represented by some of the icons chosen for attack? For those who have called this the 9/11 of India, the two hotels and Nariman House may be equivalent to the American twin towers, but many millions of Indians doubt if those icons mean anything at all for the overwhelming number of Indians. A Tamil writer is quoted in some forums as describing them as the icons of the financiers and swindlers of India. There was hardly any media coverage of the unknown citizens of India mowed down at the CST railway terminus or several unidentified wounded in the hospitals. Just as the above criticism comes from a south Indian writer, a Malabar-based Muslim Zain al-Din wrote Tuhfat-al-Mujahidin (Gift to the Holy Warriors) in Arabic and addressed to the Mappilas at the close of the sixteenth century, analysing the change brought about by the arrival of the Portuguese in the Indian waters. He proclaimed the legality and the duty of all Muslims to wage jihad against them. The conquest of Goa figures in this account, preserved in several British archives and first published only in the mid-nineteenth century. It probably circulated earlier in the madrasas in manuscript form. When will we know what all is being written today and circulated among one hundred and a quarter million Indian Muslims who find themselves marginalised in the Indian national system? What has been the protection they experienced during the recent Gujarat riots? Why have only some Muslims been selected for capital punishment for attacking temples and churches, while Hindu fundamentalist groups that have perpetrated similar acts continue unpunished? When similar situations continue unchecked, it is but natural that no amount of security measures will be sufficient to protect and safeguard the icons of success of the prosperous few million Indians.
Picture Source: Saturnino Monteiro, Batalhas e Combates da Marinha Portuguesa, Vol. I, Lisboa, Sá da Costa Editora, 1989, p. 209
weakness, and the Mumbai tragedy proved once again that its sea coast remains vulnerable despite the technological advances and resources available to the modern Indian state. Incidentally, K M Panikkar, the author of the celebrated Asia and Western Dominance, in a separate study entitled India and the Indian Ocean (1945) discussed the vital importance of controlling the ocean for a country like India. He predicted rightly that the Indian Ocean will be one of the major problems of the future. He made a strong plea for strengthening the countrys naval capacity. He would add today: its intelligence-gathering skills. Afonso de Albuquerque described his feat in a letter to his master, King Manuel of Portugal, in gruesome detail: Our Lord helped us to do this job better than we had planned or expected. Over 300 Turks died, and till Benastery and Gandauly the roads were strewn with dead bodies and others who lay wounded and dying. Several died while trying to cross the river with their horses. I had the city put to fire and sword. During four days our men
made the city bleed. No moor was given a chance to escape alive. They were driven into mosques which were then set ablaze. I ordered that the land cultivators and the Brahmins should not be killed. Nearly six thousand moors, men and women, were killed.
No burial place or houses belonging to Muslims were left standing. Anyone now caught is fried alive. The bravery of these few Portuguese had been tested with a thunderous victory against the combined naval forces of the Turks and the Indian Muslims at Diu in 1509. Curiously, the world scenario of international relations was not very different from what we are seeing today. Instead of the President Bush, his axis of evil and his global war against terrorism as represented by Al Qaeda, in the early sixteenth century it was King Manuel of Portugal who mounted a global war against the Muslims, from Africa till the Southeast Asian waters. As revealed by recent historical research, King Manuel regarded himself as Gods predestined to wage a war that would dislodge the Muslims from
Tongue in Cheek
have been in the news for far too long and for all the wrong reasons. People produce me in their homes every day. Every household produces a substantial portion of me, and later they disown me. They throw me out through the window, quite literally, into the neighbours compound. The general feeling is that I am not wanted by anyone. Rightly so. I raise a stink, I am an eyesore and I occupy a lot of space. The only ones I have for company are stray dogs, stray cattle, pigs, rats and the like. Crows and vultures hover above me. They feast on me, they have their belly-full. I do not mind being devoured by the animals but what gets me off is the apathy of the humans who produce me. I want to die. As a matter of fact I am not supposed to live for long. I am to disappear as fast as possible. The only thing I cry for is a decent burial. Though there is a home for me for that short time that I exist in the world (they call it the bin) people rarely keep me there. These people, who do not seem to have a heart, scatter me all over the place. And when sickness and disease strikes, they put the blame on me. They point fingers at me. I am made the scapegoat. Poor me! I do not want to be the cause of all the misery and
Give Me A Decent Burial!
suffering of the people. That is the reason why I beg for a decent burial. Destroy me as soon as I am born. I do not want to live a moment longer. But all my cries seem to fall on deaf ears. People allow me to survive in the world for more time than is necessary. I begin to rot. Nobody wants me in their locality. So they take me to a neighbouring village. This cause chaos and confusion. The big cities feel that the right place to dump me is the villages. I grow by the day. From a molehill I become a mountain, a mountain of trouble for the local villagers. People say I emit an unbearable stench as I rot in the rain and the sun. My entire body emits a foul smell. But then that is the law of nature. Any living thing which dies will emit a foul smell unless disposed off in a proper manner. I am dead. I am just an inanimate object. My presence has brought people to loggerheads. People, civic bodies and even the government are all at their wits end on how to handle me. There are protest marches and morchas. Even schoolchildren have come out on the streets in protest. Incidentally I have the potential of bringing an elected government down. But then it is not my nature to indulge
By Adelmo Fernandes
in the toppling game. The government should make a concerted effort to deal with me. Several NGOs have raised their voices. I have caught the attention of an entire generation. I have become frontpage news. People see me on the news channels practically every day. I am in the spotlight. But then being in the limelight, like the media-savvy politicians, is not my cup of tea. I want to die a lonely death. People do not realise that I am more useful when dead than when I am alive. After my death I help plants grow into big and strong trees. What is required is a little help from the people to convert me to something useful. But then people only want to let me rot in the open. Some even go to the extent of setting me on fire. I am more dangerous when left unattended. I once again make a solemn appeal to the civic bodies to destroy me before I become potentially dangerous by spreading disease. They call me by various names. I am called trash, dirt, and, more commonly, garbage. The world has passed through the Ice Age and the Stone Age. People say that in Goa now we are in the Age of Garbage.
Relax FAR for small plots
Orlando S A Da Silva, Carmona
As per the Regional plan 2021, mega housing project means built-up area (FAR) of 20000 sq m and above. This means land use area of 50000 sq m. This definition of the Town and Country Planning Board smacks of ulterior motives. Considering Goas size I am of the firm opinion that this definition is drafted by those responsible only keeping in mind the interest of the builders lobby and the high stakes at hand for the politicians and the bureaucrats. Even an area of 4000 square meters is too big a area considering Goas size. I would also suggest that a new category in FAR allocation in villages be also introduced to encourage subdivision of big properties into smaller plots of 300 sq n or less, meant solely for the benefit of resident of Goan origin by giving higher FAR, even up to 70%. This will help us to preserve the scarce land for the future requirement and at the same
time help each Goan to have a house of his own.
Jyoti Xhetgaonkar, Morjim
The greed of our municipal councillors, town planners and other government servants has converted Mapusa city into a garbage bin. Hills are destroyed. Roads have become congested. There is no proper parking place. Everyone wants to make money. Approved plans suddenly becomes illegal plans. The building comes up just the way the builder wants it to. The vendor is treated as a second-class citizen with all powers and glory given to the builder. Even steep slopes are used for construction and no one is bothered about the danger. The buyer has to go from pillar to post to get the records transferred to his name in the municipality. The buyers are made to dance to the tunes of government servants. The government should also find out how many people have just bought flats/ shops/offices and are not using them, and how many of them are government employees. This will bring to the surface the corruption. Many government servants have become agents and are getting commission in land deals in Goa, and many are selling Communidade lands too.
Letter of the Day
Irineu Gonsalves, Verna
Pakistan was sure to refuse.
Letters to the Editor
Words of Wisdom
Only posts, no checks
Ramdas Naik, by email
The heat and dust of the Pale bypoll is settling down, and as it does one would see the maturing of Vishwajeet Rane. After his election, the Junior Rane was part of petty cabals that nearly pulled down the Kamat government. Now wisdom seems to have prevailed and, much to everyones surprise, Vishwajeet threw his weight behind the Congress nominee. Leadership requires rising above pique and working with others for a common cause, and Vishwajeet showed he has those qualities. If the Junior Rane wants to emulate his statesman father, then his role in Pale has been a step in the right direction. As Health Minister, he has shown exemplary work in starting the 108 Response system and ensuring the GMC equipment works. Now one regularly sees ambulances even from as far as Vengurla coming to the GMC, and this more than anything else attests to Vishwajeet Ranes coming of age as a politician.
100 Years Ago
PRIMEIRO DIARIO N AS C O L O N I AS P O RT U G E Z AS
Gokhale sounds alarm
6 December 1908
S W Moosvi, Baga
In his article Is Goa prepeared to counter terror in Herald (1 Dec) Juino De Souza says that a film director Ashok Pandit claims that Goa is a volcano that will explode in time to come, and that a large number of Kashmiri Muslims are flocking here under the garb of selling carpets but actually to start terrorist activity in Goa. These remarks of Ashok Pandit are totally baseless and condemnable. The issue of Kashmiri Pandits having quit Kashmir in the early 90s on the directions of then Governor of J&K Jagmohan may be what is prompting Mr Pandit to make such allegations. There are clear reports that Kashmiri Muslims in Goa are not involved in any kind of anti-national activities. Our bio-datas are monitored here and also sent to our native places for verification every year, where they have been checked by the various investigating agencies as per proceedures.
Mr Gopal Krishna Gokhale in one of his speeches at the New Reform Club stated that the situation in India was extremely serious.
Herald must be complimented for bringing to the fore the sorry state of security across the state, even after the recent terrorist attacks in Mumbai. It may have surprised the IGP Kishan Kumar, who acted swiftly after the tip-off, but it has not startled us one bit. Police collecting money from incoming vehicles is not something new: it has been going on for years. Inspector Nelson Albuquerque, who has been placed under suspension, should be able to spill more beans. Permit me to tell the IGP that aggressive interference with the police system by extraneous sources, with tacit support from the politicians, encourages the police to believe that their career advancement does not depend on merit but can be secured by currying favour with politicians. This leads to the neglect of professional performance, and sets the system on the downward slope. People in Goa are worried about terrorist attacks and the police seem least bothered. At this hour the police should have concentrated on surveillance. The people of Goa demand an explanation from the Chief Minister, the Home Minister and the Chief Secretary as to what has happened to their utterances that security would be beefed up across the state. Patradevi and Naibaug are just two checkposts. The same corruption and laxity is prevailing across the state. The booty collected at the checkposts and other places, including the rampant extortion on the streets, reaches to the top level. A police force which first succumbs to pressure and becomes the handmaiden of the ruling party soon starts indulging in excesses on its own, even without any political direction, because of a general feeling of assurance of protection from its political masters in recognition of their loyalty. Why shouldnt the rogue officials who are out to make a fast buck be taught a bitter lesson by resorting to surprise checks as was recently done by the IGP? Our state should have a State Security Commission. Every action taken or omitted by the police is likely to be questioned by the Commission whose members will also have access to all records with the police and act as an effective check against arbitrary, high-handed action. This arrangement will best serve the public interest. The police are servile to people with political influence. But they can be cruel to ordinary man. Needless to say, the nexus between the politicians and the police is the root cause of all evils. So please dont blame us. Let us live and earn our livelihood in peace, as is our fundamental right as citizens of India. We are born in India and we will die as Indians. succeeded in that to a large measure. Terrorists are terrorists and Pakistanis themselves are facing similar problems with them in their land. Moreover in Pakistan the present Presidents family has been the victim of an attack where his wife Benazir Bhutto was assassinated. Thus what we should have done was to take the evidence we have in this case in a coherent and structured form and seek the assistance of the Pakistan government. Zardari has called the terrorists stateless persons and therefore, presented with proper evidence, he should have had no problems in handing over these persons to the Indian authorities. Instead. we have taken the position of asking for some 20 wanted persons including Dawood Ibrahim on suspicion of terrorist activities which
Confucius was a Chinese thinker and social philosopher, whose teachings and philosophy have deeply influenced Chinese, Korean, Japanese, and Vietnamese thought and life. His philosophy emphasized personal and governmental morality, correctness of social relationships, justice and sincerity. These values gained prominence in China over other doctrines, such as Legalism or Taoism during the Han Dynasty (206 BC-220 AD). Confucius thoughts have been developed into a system of philosophy known as Confucianism. It was introduced to Europe by the Jesuit Matteo Ricci, who was the first to Latinise the name as Confucius. The Anaclets of Confucius The Master said, Let the will be set on the path of duty. Let every attainment in what is good be firmly grasped. Let perfect virtue be accorded with. Let relaxation and enjoyment be found in the polite arts. The Master said, I do not open up the truth to one who is not eager to get knowledge, nor help out any one who is not anxious to explain himself. When I have presented one corner of a subject to any one, and he cannot from it learn the other three, I do not repeat my lesson. The Master said, With coarse rice to eat, with water to drink, and my bended arm for a pillow;-I have still joy in the midst of these things. Riches and honors acquired by unrighteousness, are to me as a floating cloud. (Anaclets, Book 7)
Show more sensitivity
Jose Maria Miranda, Margao
It is very distressing to observe that suicide cases, particularly among the youth in Goa, are very much on the rise. It is time that the government takes a very serious note of this calamity that is afflicting Goans, especially the young, and establishes and gives wide publicity to counselling centres to deal with this grave problem. The Catholic Church, social organisations and experts in the field of counseling would do a great service to the society as a whole and to families in particular if they could assist in this task of helping those in despair. Families too should not shy away from taking the help of counsellors to assist their dear ones when they are affected by symptoms that could eventually lead them to take the extreme step. It may also be advisable for the Press to show more sensitivity towards the families of suicide victims, by not publishing the names of the deceased, as in a small place like Goa this stigma would only add to the immense trauma and pain that the concerned families have to undergo. We have had too many cases where the Press has disclosed the names of those committing suicide.
Imperial jubilee in Vienna Reichstag debate
Vienna is being lit like never before from the 1st of the current month, in commemoration of the Imperial Jubilee. The Liberals and the Radicals met at the Reichstag in a grand Constitutional debate over the ministerial responsibilities in connection with the recent interviews and speeches of the Kaiser.
S Kamat, Alto Betim
The manner in which our government is dealing with the aftermath of the Mumbai terror attack investigations and taking it up with Pakistan is very amateurish and incredibly stupid. Sabrerattling always begets an equivalent response like we have now seen from Pakistan. If destabilising the relations between India and Pakistan was one of the objectives of the terror attack, the organisers of the mayhem have
The natives of Cameroon ambushed a German patrol on reconnaissance. Out of the 19 men in the patrol, nine were killed while 10 were injured.
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