Goa Forward: For Power or/and Goenkarponn?

By Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)
27 January 2016 12:33 IST

The much-awaited regional party, remote-controlled by independent MLA Vijai Sardesai, is finally christened as Goa Forward. Former state election commissioner and educationist Prabhakar Timble is the president. Political activists working for Sardesai, Rohan Khaunte and Naresh Sawal, from Margao, Porvorim and Bicholim, are its executive members. All the three independent legislators technically cannot join the political party, thus their proxies. The state-wide representation, as it was claimed by Sardesai, is yet to be established. May be its further expansion from present 11-member state committee to 30 will establish this claim. No problem, let’s wait till then.

The party has promised to come out soon with a detailed agenda on industry, service sector, tourism, solid waste management, agriculture, education, health, housing and real estate, governance and women and youth development. But it did spell out its 24-point key and prime commitments on land resource, employment, general welfare and governance. Some of these commitments look striking, like free water to households, free power for agriculture, free Wi Fi, affordable pricing of fish, coconut and bread, day care centres for senior citizens and children etc. Special Status through state legislations is the right approach rather than banging your head on the walls of North and South Blocks of New Delhi. But we have to wait till the party comes out with a detailed programme and policies. No problem, let’s wait till then.

Yet another stand of this new regional outfit is worth appreciating. They don’t want to touch ‘divisive issues which are raked up to vitiate the social atmosphere for political gains and vote bank politics.’ According to Timble, GF wants to resolve these issues through dialogue and consensus. He has promised not to widen this rift. It means the rift already exists. Timble however has not disclosed which issues the party refers to. But some issues are well-known, on which exist rifts in the Goan society. The Konkani-Marathi language issue, which Naresh Sawal is raking up, is a six-decade old controversy. Mopa-Dabolim is another issue, on which Sardesai tried to build his Ami Goenkar, dividing North and South Goa. GF has already set up an experts’ committee for Medium of Instruction issue, which is being communalised today. It needs to be seen how GF plans to resolve the issue of Konkani scripts that has split the Konkani movement on religious lines. And the most important issue of ‘Goans’ and influx of migrants. But we don’t know which issues GF looks as divisive issues. No problem, let’s wait till they pinpoint the issues.

But nobody can wait on one prominent aspect. And that is Goenkarponn, supposedly the core principle of Goa Forward. Timble defines Goenkarponn philosophically, calling it a mosaic of liberalism, pluralism, multilingualism, openness and bountiful nature. He calls it DNA of Goa. But what are the immediate issues threatening this Goenkarponn? Not spelt out. Coconut is the launching pad GF planning to use from Amdai, Sanguem, where coconut trees are already cut. Timble admits that he has not studied the issue thoroughly, thus did not know where in the Preservation of Trees Act the word coconut is included and excluded. A comprehensive Coconut Protection Act is not even thought of by the GF. They are still harping on bringing coconut under the Preservation of Trees Act, with limited protection to Goa’s Kalpavruksh.

There are also other issues threatening Goenkarponn today. For example, the Regional Plan. While Gram Sabhas are burning on this issue every Sunday, the Goa Forward did not even mention it in its key commitments. Nobody can dispute that Regional Plan is a documented roadmap to protect Goan identity and Goenkarponn.  But, except affordable housing for the homeless, nothing on housing policy, the want of which is today threatening Goan identity. The spree of outsiders buying holiday homes in Goa has made it extremely difficult for a Goan to buy affordable house. Rohan Khanute aggressively fought in the Assembly against having private forests in the midland and coastland when construction lobby is desperately trying to convert each and every inch of this land. No concern expressed over increasing pervert tourism, which has created ‘third Goa’, killing the basic spirit of Goenkarponn. Goa Forward doesn’t mind casinos if they are moved out of River Mandovi. And nothing so far on the increasing trend of urbanisation, which is crowding the cities and making villages lifeless.

And then comes the most crucial issue of reckless illegal mining, which broke the backbone of Goan economy forever. When media persons raised the issue of recovering Rs 35,000 crore quantified by Shah Commission, Timble started explaining how Shah Commission is not a judicial authority and how Supreme Court has not ordered to recover the loot. Does that mean that Goa Forward will always look forward to court orders to take action against the scamsters and looters? Or is mining loot an exception also to this new brand of Niz Goenkars, like the Congress and the BJP and the MGP and the GVP and… practically everybody! Does Goa Forward feel that rampant illegal mining by destroying forests, water sources and even human life never impacted and affected Goenkarponn? They have to come clean on the issue if people want to judge them in a proper perspective.

There is also an inherent contradiction which Goa Forward needs to clarify. It launched the party with two prime priorities.  

1. Goa’s inclusive development retaining Goenkarponn.
2. To oust the BJP from power, it is prepared to make sacrifices and work together with other political parties and independent politicians, even if they are not on the same platform on some issues.

Which are these parties? Timble says anybody and everybody, except the BJP and the MGP. Why? Because they are in power. Does that mean the first priority would also be sacrificed to achieve the second priority – of achieving power? And who is the threat to Goa’s DNA? Only the BJP and the MGP? Then why did the Goan voters oust the Congress in 2012? Didn’t they damage the DNA of Goa? And will the DNA of Goa be saved if Goa Forward sacrifices and join hands with the same Congress? And also other political characters who keep on jumping like frogs to gulp down anything and everything from any pond or a well? Bring back the old devils to oust a new devil? No criteria to judge Goenkarponn of these allies? Or will Goenkarponn be also sacrificed?

In that case, this so called ‘sacrificing spirit’ to desperately oust the BJP will not take Goa Forward, but will result into Goa Pause, or, may be, Goa Backward? 

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Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)

Sandesh Prabhudesai is the Editor of goanews.com. He has been earlier the Editor of Sunaparant (Konkani daily) and Editor-in-Chief of Pruden (TV channel). His collection of selective editorials of Sunaparant has been published as 'Goff'. He writes brief thoughts as EdiThought for goanews.com, but not on regular basis.

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Previous Comments

Goa Forward Party will merge or form alliance with Congress after election!!!!

- Jack De Goan, Goa | 25 th September 2016 20:03

 

There is no such thing as Goyekarponn. Because of liberal Portuguese rule we were sparred to congress policies and moral policing of Indian constitution till 70s. That is why we are liberal.

There is nothing different about Goan DNA. All this talk is nothing but to appropriate leadership of all Goans and pretence to speak on behalf of others.

All the talk against urbanization is absolutely stupid. People moving to urban areas is good for Goans. Places like Sandesh's hometown Loliem are nothing but hell-holes. More people move out better it is. Sandesh made a good life only because he left that place else he would have been gathering coconuts in his Bhaat.

We need good rule of law and nothing specific to Goans.

I want to sell my land at highest price possible and if that makes land more expensive for others I don't really care. I don't see why I should lose my profits to benefit someone else.

- Aryan, Panaji | 28 th January 2016 13:59

 

In Goa, political parties never care for Goans or Goa, everybody is there to make a buck for themselves and protect their narrow interest be it be caste, money, religion, or mining related.

The so-called Goa Forward is no different, its association, and the finances and other supports it receives smacks of an idea to create political players to protect 'certain interests', I have no problems with that-- only thing I cannot comprehend is that a man of integrity, Mr. Timble fell for this nonsense. After all money is indeed able to buy anything and anybody!

- J. Adhikari, Vasco | 28 th January 2016 00:16

 

Courageous confrontation Mr. Sandesh. After a long time, i am reading something valuable from our journalists, without the 'I scratch your back and you scratch mine' attitude. No one can deny the fact the party is formed with the sole ambitious motive of trying to make Vijai the CM of Goa, however, with his astute mind he may succeed in doing so by fooling the vulnerable Catholic community of Goa, who fall prey to every stupidity presented by politicians. With the current status that Goa is reeling under, wherein the BJP has given a damn about being a "party with a difference", goans will definitely go with any other party- especially a new one- that once again offers hope albeit in words.

Second reaction is to Dr. Oscar's subtle poke at you. Though till today i respect Dotor, i feel he is one of the major traitors, who left the hopes of goans and goenkarponn hanging in the air, by getting out of the active protests he had managed to galvanize. (i stand to be corrected though). Dotor, if you still feel AAP is the solution, you need to do a small clean up within your Goa unit- you should know what the reference is. I sure wish goenkaars like Oscar take the lead to jump into politics and save our goenkaarponn through some "kick arse action". GOA anik Goenkarponn Bachao!!!!!!!!!. You guys have a moral duty to do so!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

- Jaret de Silva, Chandor Goa | 27 th January 2016 21:52

 

You have raised some vital issues.But what's disturbing me is the continuous inflow of migrants in Goa to work in factories and industry where goans refuse to work. Goa has become El dorado for them. Secondly as you've said hung assembly if is the status than what will GF do. Naturally it will go with Congress. Can they authoritatively say that we will remain unalligned.

- Parag Hede, Panaji,Goa. | 27 th January 2016 18:12

 

I have missed the counts of political parties which have sprung up on Goan political soil like "taikhillo". All these parties had noble ideals. GF is another entrant who have added many more newer ideals. Was Goa Congress, UGDP, Goa Vikas Party, Save Goa Party, Bhabango, Janata Aghadi, Rajeev Congress, etc etc bad? Even founders of these parties would not remember these parties. GF should first guarantee that they would not be "taikhillo" but "maad".

- Madhav Bastodker, Ponda | 27 th January 2016 17:33

 

Excellent analysis

- Ranjana, Panaji | 27 th January 2016 15:00

 

Ah , my dear Sandesh, all our old friends , don't seem to be getting it right huh??

Interesting.

The solution, to Goa's ills ,'must be an all out electoral assault on BOTH the Congress and the BJP and their benevolent benefactors, lurking in the shadows.

For this you and I and ALL goans must back financially, morally and ideologically the only solution that is visible to the naked eye.

Look within yourself..The obvious answer lies there..AAP ke andar jawab hai!!!

Hope you are done with EDITHINKING now and ready for some kick ass action.

- Oscar Rebelo , bhangrachem goem | 27 th January 2016 13:26

 

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