Back in Action!!!

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
23 November 2019 12:33 IST

The Mhadei imbroglio has galvanised the perennially agitated Goan, all over again. Perennially agitated, yes, but totally incapable of finding a lasting solution to his/her state of agitation. That's a Goan for you.

So, what's the agitation all about???

Karnataka, our neighbouring state and big brother and even bigger bully is all set to divert, in brazen violation of river sharing norms, mega gallons of our Mhadei river for their drinking water, agrarian, hydroelectric and industrial use.

A thirsty Goa, be damned!!!

AND that's the key of the issue.


In their minds, Goa and Goans are a bunch of dim witted, corrupt, morally bankrupt clowns so we will run legal and extra legal circles around the legendary, puffed up nincompoops.

And, in that assessment, I agree with them, they are bloody well right.

So, step in a few good men and women (and maybe some not so good men and women) to fight our battle for WATER (which of course most Goans give less importance to, than alcohol).

1. At the top of the list is the newly minted Mhadei Bachao Andolan, made up of stalwarts like Arvind Bhatikar, Subhash Velingkar and Elvis Gomes and the incredibly credible water warriors Rajendra Kerkar and Nirmala Sawant.

Of course, you may not agree with the parochial, conservative politics of Velingkar or the narrative and methods of AAP. But this is not about anyone's politics. It’s about your, repeat YOUR, drinking WATER and FUTURE.

2. Prajal Sakhardande and Hema Sardesai erstwhile cheerleaders of Manohar Parrikar and who may have not been as strident if he was around in similar circumstances, are also lending their voice to the agitation and theirs are always passionate, credible voices when it comes to our environment.
So like Hema or Prajal or not, this is about your WATER and FUTURE.

3. Congress: Except for Girish Chodankar and his team some of whom spent prison time for YOUR cause the rest of the Congress wily and devious charlatans can never be trusted. But this isn’t about the Congress this is about your WATER and FUTURE 

4. Goa forward and their supremo Jack de Sardesai. This is singularly the most untrustworthy lot in Goa, by a mile. Heard that even a barge pole is frightened of touching them.

But this is not about Vijay’s convenient opposition because he's a lost babe in the woods. Again, it's about your WATER and FUTURE.

Hence, tomorrow if captains of industry suddenly find their inner voice (just kidding) and back the agitation, if members from within the ruling party create a din just to embarrass Sawant or indeed even if Pramod Sawant himself finds the urgent need to fight for Goa and Mhadei, because even Dodamarg may run dry, grab that help for all its worth because it's about your WATER and FUTURE.

Moral of the story then is that every single Goan in his moment of sobriety must create a din, a real noise about this issue from whichever platform they feel comfortable on. Speak not so politely to every MLA and minister about the issue. Get the Church and Temple priests and Imams to thunder from their pulpits, about this existential threat to Goa.

Move courts, juggle national and international opinion on this issue. True most of our media is embedded here but even they need water to clean themselves up after being embedded, so my guess is they will help.

This Mhadei threat is very real, people. Our culture and language and caste and religious wars can wait. Because even if we have to yell and fight with one another on these issues, as we always do, we will need at least a glass of WATER to clear our throats.

But if Marie Antoinette were alive today she'd probably advise Goans: If they don't have water, give them alcohol instead. And maybe we Goans would have heeded her advice, got suitably sizzled and gone off to sleep.

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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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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Previous Comments

Bravo, to the good Doctor. Well spoken. May many of our Goemkars, leave their "socessegado" "kiss-ass" atitude and get to work sharpening their weapons against the subverse actions every Goan is used to and make a new Sun shine on our much BELOVED, but our "sorrowing land", GOA.

- Joao Manuel Pereira, Mississauga, Ont., L5B 3W6 | 25 th November 2019 02:51


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