The 'D' gang

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
11 February 2012 20:00 IST

The letter ’D’ is often associated with Dawood Ibrahim, India’s fugitive don, hiding somewhere in Karachi. He, his family and associates control business empires in crime, fraud, forgery and outright war on our nation.

The letter ‘D’ in the Goan context refers to the “Dynasties” ready to carve up Goa, as their own business empires. Sweeping in its scale and brazen in its audacity “Mission Capture Goa” is well and truly underway.

The Dynasties represented by the Alemaos, the Monserrates, The Dhavlikars, the Naiks, the Ranes and the Madkaikars (this conglomerate    consists of all religions and castes presently residing in Goa, so no one feels left out ) are fighting elections neither to preserve one ‘D’ ( Democracy ) nor create another ‘D’ (Dictatorship ).

They are fighting these battles to protect, nurture and preserve the one and only one ‘D’ their lives. THE DEALS – Property, Mining, SEZ, Industry, Drugs and Sex – they and their cronies have cleverly cornered all these years.

So will they pull it off? Will Dynasties trump everything else? Ideology! Merit!  Democracy!  Even Goa itself?

At the outset, it is an acknowledged fact that the Cong – NCP in Goa has abjectly surrendered every ounce of its ideological credibility, by catapulting to the vicious arm twisting and blackmail by the “winnable “candidates – satraps in their own backyards who actually care two figs for the Congress party itself. They’d readily stab it in the back and bite the very “Hand” that feeds it, if the need arises.

Clearly even if the dynasties win, the Congress as a party loses as usual.

I spoke to quite a few political pundits for their inputs. Early days yet but since the lists are out and various opponents identified let me put forth a theory. Let’s do the math

In most constituencies in Goa there are three essential constituents. The purchasable votes; the traditional non purchasable Congress vote (erstwhile U G vote if you will) and the traditional non purchasable BJP vote (erstwhile MG)

The satraps (many who belong to the dynasties) have a loyal, personal unflinching vote bank. Hence in a constituency of 20,000 around 5,000 are thought to be the loyal set - housed, fed, doled and jobbed - by the chronic power chieftains.

The simple arithmetic is that these 5,000 odd votes need to be hitched to either the BJP or the Congress bandwagon of traditional   votes and the chieftain romps home and into the assembly.

Of course in some cases like Taleigao / Valpoi for instance the loyal personal votes of a Babush / Vishwajeet cross the halfway mark, so even if they stand on a party ticket whose symbol is that of a Pig; they are comfortably through.

This time around, the mortal danger for the Congress lies in the fact that its traditional vote bank (specially in Salcete) is livid and visibly furious at the levels of corruption and venal politics the party has sunk to these last 5 years.

And they are looking for deliverance elsewhere waiting to reject the Congress and punish the dynasties.

Before the BJP / MGP starts out their victory march, they must realize that this anti congress vote does not automatically come to them for two reasons.

(1)This vote bank simply cannot stomach the RSS ideology. No number of apologies / contrition / sops or tears will convince them otherwise.

(II)And this second reason is more important. Most people do not forget that it was the BJP headed by Manohar Parrikar who gave birth to many of these very dynasties when it suited them and now oppose them when they are on the other side of the divide.

In West Bengal, Mamta’s opposition to the Left is unflinching, unequivocal and non negotiable hence the landslide; in Bihar ditto for Nitish Kumar who took on Laloo’s 15 year misrule.

In Goa you can never be sure when the dynasties will be friends / foes of either the Congress or the BJP. The opposition to them is always confused and waffling. And that s what infuriates the Goan electorate.

So could the anti Congress vote go to the Trinamool Congress (most people in Goa after 80 develop Alzheimers, in Saligao as exemplified by Wily Willy they get sharper) or to the GVP/ UGDP or to the rebels or perhaps (please please God) to the Greens.

We’ll know all this on the 6th March of course. But suffice to say that the traditional non purchasable Congress vote is up for grabs and he/she who gets it smartly will change many a fortune in Goa’s politics.

P.S. Elections though raucous, loud and apparently life changing are but a blip on the political timeline of a state or a nation.

What will be completely permanent and unwavering in its commitment to Goa are the GBA, the VGG, the SVM, the IAC, The CSJP and all other dedicated activists who will continue to be  there for Goa long after the heat and dust and the sound and fury of Elections 2012 are well and truly over.

We could make their lives easier by electing relatively more honest and transparent politicians for them to interact and negotiate with. Or else “Save Goa” may simply be yet another empty hollow slogan signifying nothing.


Blogger's Profile

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

"so even if they stand on a party ticket whose symbol is that of a Pig; they are comfortably through."

-- I'm a Fan.

- Nikhil Shirsat, Betim | 25 th February 2012 19:30


I like this one ...... ' so even if they stand on a party ticket whose symbol is that of a Pig; they are comfortably through."

Indeed Oscar, they do symbolise the Goan Pigs who thrive on any food that can fatten them , just like these guys along with a few more thrive on any " Deal" that can fill their coffers.

Your "math" is spot on , the only solution to this is a negative vote which can set the precedent for better criteria for candidiates.

Keep your Voice going and hope many of our voters awaken to this warning.

- gerson rebelo, bangalore | 14 th February 2012 17:56


goa in such sorry state, were in the results are predictable in almost 30 to 32 seats. in some constituencies it is really waste of time, money and energy for the opposition to campaign. politics in goa is come like a big corporate business and their is absolutely nothing that can change the present sorry state. unless conscious people really come out and lead a movement.

- yogesh, margao | 11 th February 2012 20:27


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