Life in a 'scrap'yard

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
03 December 2011 00:25 IST

I had an illuminating dream last night. I was lost and forlorn in a bizarre city straight out of a scifi Stephen Speilberg extravaganza. A world of twisted metal and confused minds – the Scrap Zone !!

Hundreds of millions of passionate, disillusioned individuals roamed the streets with a ferocious glint in their eyes “Scrap the plan”. “Scrap the economic Activities,” “ Scrap the Builder,” “Scrap the Architect/Engineer,”  “Certainly Scrap Pompous doctors,”  “Scrap the Migrant,”  “Scrap Walmart,”  “Scrap M. F. Hussain,” “Scrap the slums,” “Scrap the Assembly,” “Scrap Wall street,”  “Scrap Mubarak, Assad, Gaddhafi and the Army,” “Scrap the Greeks,”  “Scrap the Euro”!

With the rate of scrapping going around, no wonder the rag pickers (politicians/builders/ miners who thrive on illegal trade ) are making a killing!

On a more serious note, here in Goa we ask for everything, except scrapping the politicians who we know are on a dedicated and declared mission to concretise Goa. They win. They win, they simply and easily win by resounding majorities. So somewhere the math just does not add up!

My educated guess is that with the crescendo against RP2021 building up to a feverish pitch, specially with the Church in the ring, dear old Digamber will get a heavenly vision from Shirdi or Pandharpur or wherever and in his trademark calm, composed non-confrontational style simply junk the plan and “Go with the people”  in 2012.  Moti Dongor was a cake walk. This Goa is a darned “ minefield”

My question is; then what? What is the next course of action? The “people” don’t trust the experts, they don’t trust the political class, they don’t trust even the weather now. So hot are they under the collar.

So, let’s dissect  the options dispassionately

(1) The BJP - the pretender to the throne - admittedly with no legislators involved in illegal mining/construction and with relatively clean reputations are unacceptable to 73/74 because their ideology in post-modern India does not  move beyond the Ramayana. So, even if you support a squeaky clean BJP candidate, chances are you’ll get a secular bullet through your brains.

(2)The Communists lead by stalwarts with impeccable credentials and who reflexely espouse many of Goa’s myriad causes are banned because they don’t suck up to religious causes and that in politics it is an automatic disqualification. Also Karl Marx, Engels and Christopher Fonseca are non Goans. So,  73/74 says “NO”  again.

(3) The Congress – NCP

Very few true Congressmen are like diamonds in the scrapyard. They are very much present, but unseen. Secular; Committed; Liberal; but then why search for diamonds when there is so much scrapping to do?

(4) The Mercenaries and the Dynamic

These are the true torchbearers of Goa’s Destiny, Vishwajeet Rane; Babush Monserate; Rudolph Fernandes; Churchill Alemao; They understand the electoral game so perfectly. 73/74 may say “NO” at Gram Sabhas but come election time the focus is on money, jobs and their skewed, knee jerk the malicious economic agendas. And that they distribute like confetti on their electorate.

They will be more than glad to see the back of RP2021. Because when they seize Goa, they will convert Goa into their Dubais or Singapores and Eco sensitive Zones ??? What’s that ?

(5)The Alternative Political Force

NGOs, the Church, other religious bodies and activists could groom, cultivate, canvass and champion new, dynamic faces that will further the “Goa Agenda”! but do they communicate those thoughts in English or Romi or Marathi? Do they fall in to the cleft of religious/caste traps or is “politics” for the vile and sinful??  And Azad Maidan is for the “pure” and can they form a political party that blends economy and environment a necessary prerequisite for any semblance of governance?

I still maintain that scrapping RP2021 in toto is not in the best interest of Goa given the current political climate.  The demand for rectification and correction must be specific and zero in on  mega projects that have been inserted without people’s knowledge flouting eco sensitive rules. If the government fails to accede  to these demands, then scraping the regional plan or for that matter even this government can be considered.

So tough Questions indeed and no easy answers. But then who said life was beautiful? It is a constant struggle to strike the ball in to the goal even as the goal posts constantly keep changing.    

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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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Rectification and Correction, indeed! Certainly, that must be in a small percentage, say 1%. We could also say that every rule has an exception. But in the latest notified Plan there seem to be more exceptions than the rules. The long deliberations in almost every Gram Sabha, were simply thrown into the ever growing mass of garbage, which has no place in the hugely new settlement zones. The Marine Industrial Zones and the Micro Industrial Zones, without regard to the CRZ regulations, where did they come from? Were they included in the Draft Plan prepared by the Task Force? The new Plan is nothing but, a deception on the people of Goa.

- Ludovico, Old-Goa | 06 th December 2011 17:02


Well said Oscar; You always write form your heart. The people have to be "educated". that is the only way the will assert their real rights.

- Guruprasad Naik, USA | 05 th December 2011 09:40


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