The war of 'Khashe'

By Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)
12 January 2012 11:10 IST

There is nothing wrong if one person or one family continues ruling a constituency for generations together. If they are ‘really’ doing good work, then they deserve it. But is this the case with Ranes in Sattari? Or is it the feudal mentality of the rulers as well as those who are ruled?

Pratapsing Rane has been the longest serving MLA as well as the chief minister of Goa. He entered into active politics in 1972. Since then, the 73-year old management graduate-turned politician has remained unbeatable. He is the only member who has witnessed nine Assemblies, that too consistently, as a minister in Shashikala Kakodkar’s MGP government, chief minister in the Congress government, speaker during the regimes of the BJP as well as the Congress and also as the opposition leader.

A single constituency of the whole Sattari taluka got divided into two – Poriem and Valpoi – since 1989 election, after Goa attained statehood. Since then, Pratapsing Rane contests from Poriem. He got his close associate Ashok Porob elected in 1989 on Congress ticket from Valpoi. Then came Narahari Haldankar of the BJP in 1994.

Except these two exceptions, even Valpoi has remained with ‘Khashe’, the landlords of Sattari. It was Venkatesh alias Bandu Desai in 1999 and Vishwajeet Rane (son of Pratapsing Rane) in 2002. Now, both Bandu and Vishwajeet are roaring against each other. On the other hand, Vishwajeet Krishnrao Rane – another ‘Khashe’ – has joined the BJP to cross swords with ‘Senior Rane’ in Poriem.

In short, the ‘Khashe’ of Sattari are fighting each other even in election while we claim that our democracy has brought up new leadership from the downtrodden class.

It is the same Sattari which witnessed the most horrifying incident in Saleli, Onda on 28th December 2005. The villagers, in retaliation to the exploitation by the landlord, got together and killed Prithviraj Rane, a young landlord and brother of Vishwajeet Krishnrao Rane. It was nothing but a kind of Naxalism Goa witnessed.

Rather than merely condemning the incident, the whole media as well as the social activists indirectly justified the action as inevitable consequence, rather than terming it as a criminal act. Even then Goa Governor S C Jamir went and met the villagers, to console them. The incident exposed how prevalent is the feudalism in Sattari and how the feudal lords are treating the villagers even in ‘modern and free India.’

In this background, the war between ‘Khashe’ in both the constituencies of Sattari taluka becomes more noteworthy. Are people happy with this war of feudal lords in the name of democracy? Or is it a helpless and powerless exercise for ‘We The People’ of Sattari? Is it a Pride of Goa?

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Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)

Sandesh Prabhudesai is the Editor of goanews.com. He has been earlier the Editor of Sunaparant (Konkani daily) and Editor-in-Chief of Pruden (TV channel). His collection of selective editorials of Sunaparant has been published as 'Goff'. He writes brief thoughts as EdiThought for goanews.com, but not on regular basis.

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