Of AAP & Goa & the wrestling of one’s consciousness

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
14 April 2019 20:28 IST

Let's get one fact on the table: Another term for Mr Modi & Mr Shah could potentially annihilate or at least severely cripple our democracy for generations to come. 

Every institution, so assiduously built up over the years has come under relentless attack , in Modi 1, that they are so weakened and compromised now that a small push in a Modi 2 term will topple them over, in a heartbeat. 

All the freedoms we took for granted, beef being the least important, will go flying out of the window. 

There will be a blowback when that happens of course, on the streets, but that means those protests will entail more bloodshed and violence. No question. 

So get set for a horribly dizzying ride if there is an uncontrolled Modi 2 term. 

At least in Goa, how do you battle this then??... We Goans are insignificant drops in the country's electoral ocean, but as usual we believe we are the fountainhead, from which all wisdom flows. 

So we love punching way above our weight. 

In Goa, you have the BJP, now without their lodestar, but passionately pro-Modi and flushed with a war chest and so well organised at the booth level that they will remain formidable forces in both South and North Goa. 

On the other side of the tug of war you have the perennially clueless, cash strapped Congress that humbled along like a bumbling elephant hoping to crush its opponent. 

And you have AAP…

Presently we must admit AAP is a pale shadow of the IAC revolution, those heady days and that marijuana kick of Change. 

We have to acknowledge we are just another political party, playing the same political game for survival. 

Old enemies we thrashed as being the torch bearers of corruption are now friends we seek... So yes we don't look good at all.

And frankly, we were never cut out for this "business as usual" politics… That was never our forte. 

But the members of AAP, in Goa, I know are still completely committed to Goa’s causes of corruption-free governance, environmental protection and communal amity. 

They can never be agents of the BJP… It's absurd to suggest so when AAP is pleading for an alliance with the Congress, simply because our values are more in tune with those of Nehru than of Deen Dayal Upadhyaya.

So, to preserve, the Nehruvian idea of India, now under severe duress, AAP has put its anti -corruption plank against the usual suspects on hold, to salvage our democracy. 

So what AAP does, being at the crushing end of the Modi-Shah stick, is not easy and certainly not comfortable or funny. 

AAP in Goa then, remains the best indeed only option to address Goa’s identity and environmental crisis but apparently the people of Goa still have more faith in the Churchills and Babushs and Vijays and Mauvins of the world, when they are the proven offenders, that it makes you wonder if AAP is mad or the Goan electorate is mad.

I will settle for AAP is mad !... And still clinging to a naive belief. 

Having said all this, I cannot see how AAP contesting just 20 odd seats in the country, with no formal alliance can challenge the hegemony of the Modi-Shah duo. 

The worst thing will be if we end up spoilers, in what could be the most significant election of our lifetimes. 

Life is hard mates but it's going to get a lot harder. We will have to brace ourselves and trust the innate wisdom of the Goan electorate. 

AAP must decide if it is fighting this to win the argument or to win the electoral battle.

PS : In the Panaji by-poll the Congress has no credible candidate, Babush can withdraw his nomination at the last moment if the circumstances are right and the BJP must be defeated… Valmiki Naik, a proven ideologue, of the Nehruvian ideology (yes yes even if his father was with the BJP) seems to be the only logical candidate that must be supported across the board.... If Panaji has to breathe some fresh air… But then how we love to inhale toxic air and then whine that Goa is decaying. 

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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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Why not combine with anti bjp forces to get rid of our fears. There is still time

- Stephen coutinho, Mapusa | 15 th April 2019 00:38


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