The 'M' factor

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
10 March 2012 19:37 IST

Well! Well! Well! Elections 2012 are dusted and over. The  dynasties have  been comprehensively defanged.  People’s  power  “silently” overthrew a dastardly corrupt regime. Democracy blushed with pride and may be, just may be, we can see the sunlight peeping out from the dark clouds that hovered above us.

Will and importantly can Goa still be saved?

I don’t  know, but the first firm step has decisively been taken by the Goan electorate. The road gets far more treacherous and slippery now on, but walk on it, together we must.

For starters let’s analyse how the Congress-NCP cookie crumbled. Under its own weight!

Forget about individual, bullying satraps; pillaging dynasties and the razzle dazzle of filthy lucre (admittedly all alliances in the fray are guilty of this misdemeanor).

The Congress leaders will assemble together for their “chintan  baithak” (When did the Congress in Goa  do a genuine  “ think “ fest over the last 30 years?). They will probably deflect the blame for their ignominious debacle on padres, people and the press. And chances are that they will never read the gigantic writing on the wall. The obvious reason why  they ended up in the dog house.

And there’s one and only one reason why the “secular” Congress was upstaged by the “ communal” BJP and others in the pack.

And the reason is this: The Cong–NCP sought to brazenly insult the dignity and the intelligence of the Goan voter. Viciously maliciously and Relentlessly !

They had reached the forgone conclusion that every Goan voter was up for sale and they did their deals, as if our land was one giant ugly bazaar.

Everyone I meet today tells me the same story; that they may have partaken of the Congress banquet laid out over the last campaigning month (which was in any case at tax payer’s cost) but they entered the polling booth with only one thought in their mind, which was to teach the Cong-NCP alliance an unforgettable and unforgiving  lesson.

How a battered wife smiles through the sexual assault but one day picks up the sledge hammer, and smashes her husband’s head to drive the point home!

True a lot of decent, upright Goans continue to vote Congress but purely  because they treasure the wonderful ideology that the Congress party otherwise espouses.

The BJP –MGP alliance, natural beneficiaries of this Hiroshima like nuclear bomb on the Cong–NCP must however remember that this decisive mandate for change can never be read as a mandate for the poisonous ideology of “Hindutwa”. That should not just be on the back burner. It should be burnt to ashes preferably as soon as possible.

The people of Goa were convinced that anyone else but the Congress–NCP could help them turn the corner on the downhill Road to Hell that we were all descending on. Hence the mandate.

Unsolicited as it will be, I offer my two penny’s worth of advice to the now governing alliance of the BJP-MGP. My “saat shapottam”

(1) After the initial euphoria, fireworks and open air swearing-ins, Maintain silence and get on with the job. Let your actions speak louder than your words.

(2) Get everyone – everyone - to follow the Law!! Don’t get into hot pursuit of the small fry. Go after the big sharks through a comprehensive system of justice and accountability like the Lokayukta (tough since many of the big sharks have also financed the BJP-MGP). Also the Law must apply to “Hindutwa” hotheads as firmly as for anyone else if they decide to go on one of their jolly rampages.

(3) Never allow private profit to overrule the greater public good, however powerful the private profit racketeer may seem

(4) Make environment protection, a non-negotiable instrument of governance but make people comprehend that economic growth is not possible if every second coconut tree is to be saved.

(5)Do not unnecessarily antagonize the media. Listen and listen very hard to all well-meaning critics and ignore, completely ignore, the abusive ones.

(6) Do not make individual, arbitrary decisions. Take collective ones. You may have to share the credits but you also get to share the blame.

(7) Good governance is always about systems, systems and systems. Democracy is always about justice, justice and justice.

We in Goa would do well to remember this;

Conventional wisdom tells us that there are three “M”s that  win you an Election: Money power, Muscle power and Media power.   Many who voted BJP-MGP this time round, voted perhaps with an eye also on the 4th “M” – Manohar (certainly not Azgaonkar ).

But I strongly believe that it was the fifth “M” that turned the tide and tilted the balance this Election 2012. To make that humungous difference.

The fifth “M” was this: THE MORAL POWER OF THE GOAN. Brilliant; Luminescent and Triumphant.

And it is this that must never, never be betrayed. Or there will be a price to pay, a very heavy one!

Take a bow Goa!! For now it seems we can breathe easy again. We’ll  review the situation six months from now.

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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Perhaps Shri Oscar Rebello forgot two more 'M' so as to complete his figure of (7) . 6th is "MONIS" and 7th is "MONISPONN", which was and is always with 'GOENKAR'. Cheers!!!

- Damodar Bale, Margao | 16 th March 2012 21:04


Always nice to see and talk big grandiose ideals and miss minute details

What we dont see is the basics or simple things

What the common man requires is water, roads, electricity,garbage clearance, control of inflation and safety.

This can only be achieved through Govt servants/service

However the attitude of most Govt servants is negative to outright corrupt

For eg a sick poor man is rushed to GMC . What happens next? He and his family is verbally abused by the servant to the nurses and junior doctors to the hilt.In their hour of grielf they are treated like scum. If the same man was a rich guy from Miramar then you would have all the top docs bowing down to serve him

What has money power or ideology or muscle power got to do with this?

It is the attitude=simple

In Europe as an immigrant I can walk into any Govt office and demand the same treatment as a local. This is because the govt servants are kept on a tight leash

My advice to Mr Parrikar is to control the middle to low level Govt servants. Make they earn the money they are paid for and make they serve the common man politely and effeciently

That would make Goa truely Golden Goa

However its is a very very very difficult task

There are bankers, land sharks and big time money lenders across the globe

However for the common man it boils down to roti, kapada and makan with bijli, sadak , health and safety

Give these to them and they dont really care for anything else. They would work hard, come home have a beer and switch on the telly and fall alseep--90%



- Neel Fernandes, London | 11 th March 2012 02:59


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