Walk like an Egyptian

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
26 February 2011 17:25 IST

Ever so often, these days, I get accosted by my friends and this is what they say: “It is time to launch a massive movement by all of us Goans, like the Egyptians”.   

As if, all movements are as easy as a bowel movement.

Talk they say is cheap. Sadly, Democracy is even cheaper.

Like a scintillating, searing magnum opus, that even Hollywood could not dream of, we are proud to witness one of the most epoch making periods, in our planets contemporary history.  The entire Arab world is ablaze with the feverish emotion of Revolt.  Tunisia and Egypt have fallen.  Libya, Bahrain and Yemen are creaking at the gates of Paradise. Blood has been spilled, sacrifices made, and we are almost an integral part of these countrie’s histories via live TV and the internet.  Their struggle for freedom and democracy is forever ours.

So, where’s the difference ???  Can’t we get rid of our home grown despots?  The little men who have set this little land of ours down a suicidal path of disaster.  

A press of the voting button is so much easier. No ? Than pressing  a trigger.

So, why can’t the change occur.

And therein, lies our collective tragedy, if not farce. 

Whereas  Mubarak and Gadaffi kept their  ill gotten wealth restricted to family and a coterie, our family concerns that rule us;  the Alemaos, the Monserates, the Ranes, the Dhavlikars  spread the largesse like a generous dose of butter to  almost everyone in their constituencies.

All of us are welcome to the party, in true carnival style, to part take of the feast which consists of exotic, wonderful delicacies even if laced with arsenic.

So far now, why bother about democracy, and accountability  and transparency?  That is for tireless (and thankfully tiresome) activists and journalists and thinking citizens to fret about.

Today, we are drunk silly all at the cost of our earth and our trees, our rivers and our hills.  The booze just does not seem to stop.  So why grumble?

But someday, the hangover will have to set in and the unsustainable bubble will have to burst.

And then, the monstrous Marie Antoinettes   and Louis XVI that we ourselves have created will exclaim.  “ They don’t have water??? Really?, Why don’t they drink alcohol instead?. And the French connection would seem  complete.

The subtle yet humungous difference between the Arabs and us therefore is this.

Whereas,  the Arabs are waging a spectacular, gutsy  and winning battle against wealthy ensconced tyrants addicted to oil and power, we the brilliant people of Goa  and India are hell bent on jeopardizing and squandering the glorious fruits of democracy, our founding fathers, created for us selflessly, spectacularly and seamlessly.

By bartering our votes (and our conscience as well) for thirty pieces of silver, we are slowly but surely nurturing  feudal lords and dangerous tyrants addicted to mines and real estate who will then crush us relentlessly to keep their grip on power for a eons to come. Democracy be damned!.

The gale storm is approaching! Without doubt!!!

My guess is that it will take our grand children to over throw, these kings and their progeny in an Egyptian style revolution, 80 years down the line when the cauldron finally  comes to a boil.

Hence let us celebrate as the Arab world marches forward, and mourn while We stubbornly refuse to see  the writing on the wall, and determinedly march BACKWARDS a cocky smile on our faces and our eyes wide shut.

Vive La Revolucion!



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

The language being English is difficult to understand from Goa, they are not sure of the definitions of the words in their sentence, and these words have no relation to one another. It's like saying the cow is riding in the wrist watch. I don't mean to insult anyone on the language it just needs some study specially if one is angry

Sometimes one sees a visual image that expresses riches and take image as a cause without realizing the hard work that goes into earning the dollars to buy these baubles and beads and the images of visual effect were never reality, they're colors on stock paper, the ads are not REALITY there meant to ignite craving not anger or obsession, be very careful within these lines.I've been living her 60 years and do not like suffering, it has no real reason or thought.

- Louis Profeta, New York City | 30 th May 2011 17:09


Vive La Revolucion! Brilliant !!

- gerson rebelo, bangalore | 15 th March 2011 09:46


We need to get rid of the party dispensing largesse, because that is in practice a feudal system, we may take for granted as benevolence.

- Ludovico, Old-Goa | 01 st March 2011 15:57


I pray Goa wakes up and reads not just what you have written but the writing on the wall! We have to think beyond our porsus to keep away the impending doom... or else get ready for the 'no water, drink feni' regime that will be here to hound. Only you can drum this message in Oscar... please shake us awake!!

- Sapna Sardessai, Porvorim | 28 th February 2011 00:14


Today we are really drunk silly at the cost of our earth, our trees, our rivers, our hills ! Just for a few pieces of silver we are nurturing feudal lords and dangerous tyrants addicted to mines and real estate and shamelessly allowing them to perpetuate dynasty rule ! When the jungle is on fire we are waiting for the fire to reach our own house!

When all the erosion of values and ideologies is taking place--what are the Institutions supposed to guide the masses doing? Are they sleeping in a deep slumber? Are they busy collecting doles from the same corrupt against whom they are supposed to raise their voice?

Goa is being destroyed mercilessly in almost every possible manner. Unethical acts are being carried out with impunity by enacting legislations to make such acts look legal. Otherwise how can one justify gambling, drinking, mining, deforestation--all being given legal framework ?? How can you justify the regime of cuts and commissions for almost every legitimate work??

The fire has already started in Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and is taking its toll- Are we going to learn any lesson from all that or wait till it reaches our door steps?

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 27 th February 2011 09:38


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