The Pronged Attack

By Dr Oscar Rebello
19 December 2011 12:12 IST

The famous Leonardo da Vinci masterpiece “The Mona Lisa” never fails to mystify and inspire.

However, there are always three types of reactions to the world’s most famous painting when you set your eyes on it at the Louvre. One set of critics absolutely adore it and believe it is the greatest spectacle of them all. The second set  unequivocally hate and reject it.  If it wasn’t encased in a bullet proof frame they’d either shoot it down or burn it with acid.

The third set of viewers, in a vast majority, are the ones who are actually stupefied by what the fuss is all about. It’s a pretty picture alright, it’s various mysteries hidden beneath layers of art and of course many corrections and rectifications could be incorporated in to it.

The RPG2021 reminds me of the Mona Lisa.

Try to probe and comprehend the various levels of opposition to the plan which are demanding its unequivocal scrapping, without any room for maneuver whatsoever. Fundamentally there are three kinds of attack on this PLAN, which still remains a reasonable, sensible plan for the future of Goa, considering the presence of glamorous and sexy criminals who Goans are so much in love with, and whom we keep electing again and again with brute majorities.

Let us then analyze the three kinds of opposition to scrap the plan.

THE EXTREMELY CONCERNED

These are the thoroughly outraged VGGs of Goa. Justifiably, they have unearthed genuine errors in  the plan and completely distrust the Government to correct them. They may be a little too extreme in demanding that every suggestion of a VLC be incorporated  bottom up and another  pitfall is that they will not back genuinely beneficial projects say like an NIT, because it is too “mega” for their villages. Their sincerity,  their passion and their scrupulous honesty can never be in any doubt, but if  they continue to be confronted by corrupt  panchas  and councilors and legislators that their much vaunted  73/74 consistently and merrily elect, their battle for the “ Perfectly Green” Goa will continue well past 2012 and ever after. And the pulpit may exhort for a perfect Goa but does it endorse perfect Goans to lead the state?

THE EXTERMELY CUNNING:

This is another group loudly screaming “scrap the plan” frothing ferociously at the mouth. This is an assorted galaxy of builders, real estate sharks, landowners, and other well groomed pimps who have NOT got their projects passed or whose land may be acquired for roads or infrastructure projects. So, join the genuine chorus of concern expressed by the first group and burn this PLAN. Hopefully in the next one we’ll get our projects squeezed in. Remember this dictum “Everyone loves Goa” is what is loudly and publicly proclaimed “ But I love myself first”  is the little secret that must be kept private and confidential.

THE EXTREMELY OPPORTUNISTIC

This is best exemplified by the likes of Mickey Pacheco who has threatened to jam the streets of Goa and teach Madam G a lesson or two in case the RP2021 is not scrapped. So, if scrapping RP2011 was the political rebirth for his bete noire Churchill and family: RP2021 is fodder for Mickey and his golden trinkets and colorful bandanas.

I can lay a wager that even those legislators now sitting on the fence, will roundly denounce the plan if denied a Congress ticket in 2012. Politics will be politics and opportunism will be opportunism and always will the twain meet.

I am stunned that even the BJP has jumped on to the “Scrap” bandwagon. This after Manohar Parrikar took a nuanced and balanced position to keep the plan in abeyance  till the corrections are made.

There can be no two views that genuine errors have not cropped up in the plan. They have and they need to be physically identified and rectified.

Secondly 16/16A must be immediately revoked.

And thirdly there may be pet projects of pet relatives and politicians which have sneaked in incognito or under duress. The strategy to challenge them is to set some of the disgruntled “EXTREMELY CUNNING” builders to file RTIs and fight these in court. Why must only activists be cattle of labour ???

And finally on to good old Digambar Kamat, who many say will be “liberated” post 19th Dec.

He perhaps deserves to go to Kailash Manasarovar for a long spiritual hiatus but for the right reasons. His inability to check rampant corruption and misgovernance, his abysmal and alleged direct involvement in disemboweling the earth in Eastern Goa and his notorious ability to play all sides and leave everyone in the ditch are good enough reasons to go.

But please don’t throw out the Regional plan only because you want to throw out Digambar Kamat. Goa deserves better!

So, have a wonderful Christmas folks, though I’m sure it will be pretty miserable considering that from the New Year we all will be girding our lions to elect the same, secular, sycophantic, sleazy sexy scoundrels to govern us in 2012.

And the unwavering, untiring battle to “Save Goa” will simply go on ad infinitum!!!

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Dr Oscar Rebello

Dr Oscar Rebello 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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