Looking deep inside the earth (& our hearts!)

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
15 September 2012 18:32 IST

Something now is certainly  rotten in the state of Goa. The Shakespearan  tragedy that has hit our tear drop of a state, with the force of  a gale storm, in the form of the Shah Commission report could simply clean up the act or bury us under newer mining dumps and pits forever.

This is make or break for Goa, people!!! Without question!  Either we are on the side of the Shah report or against it. No sitting on the fence.

And as the Venetian Carnival draws to a close in the glitzy ballrooms, and as the chandelier lights brighten the room, the masks are well and truly off. All the criminals who have gouged out our land for petty profits and for the ruthless power to pimp politics stand truly exposed and naked ( even if still brazen and fearless ).

That the Shah Commission report indicts politicians, bureaucrats and importantly the irresponsible mining industry is well known.

That the political slanging match between the Congress and the BJP - both getting themselves suitably “ red” with rage - will smolder on, is also known.

That the Rs 35,000 crore loot may never get back to our people, to rehabilitate  common folk dependent on mining, is  another acknowledged fact.

That this entire murder of Goa, may eventually  be lost in lumbering litigations and deafening debates is also perhaps on the agenda.

So what is the reason, many of our “not-so-red in the face” friends from the mining industry, eventually come out smelling of roses and all lily white, sipping champagne and watching a lazy football game, some Saturday afternoon?

The answer, I guess , is this:

The mining lobby has cleverly and assiduously made an industry of actually running  a parallel Government in our lives since Goa’s liberation or perhaps even earlier.

In the hinterlands, they’ve  raped mother earth but made the coughing and wheezing population out there, totally subservient to them economically, physically and psychologically.

On the coast, in a far more subtle manner, we have all fallen prey to their benevolent benefactor image hook line and sinker.

Look at the evidence. Schools and colleges, art exhibitions and football teams. They have infiltrated (perhaps with altruistic motives) every social, cultural, spiritual, religious, and sporting sphere of our lives. They’ve funded everything from churches to temples; art exhibitions  to literary events; hospital admissions to school fiestas; from fashion shows to stripping us of our underwear.

So, how on God’s good earth (or whatever is left of it), are we the willing and unwilling beneficiaries of all this largesse spurn the cheek that is forever trying to kiss us?

The challenge therefore before us as a people, as so called lovers of Goa, is this:

Let the politicians, the activists, the media and the courts do their job as best as they can and pray all the criminals get their just desserts.

We, as a people however need to continuously, relentlessly and mercilessly tell our mining amigos that they were criminally and morally wrong and it is they who must play their role to  set the canvas right again (that is if they do not see the insides of a jail cell).


As for the political class the only question that remains to be answered is this: “Does Goa belong to her people or to the privileged few who have bullied us for so long?”.

The answer my friends, lies blowing in the wind. You only hope that it doesn’t snuff itself out like a candle with tear drops of resignation and despair.

Is Goa then, YOURS, MINE or OURS?

PS: The crocodile tears shed by the mining barons for their wretched, desperate outsourced workers in case mining grinds to a halt, is mind boggling.

According to the barons themselves the mining boom in Goa is set to end in another 5-7 years. What is the rehabilitation programe at that time for these poor workers??

Ah yes !! May be they’ll give them employment as security agents out side some Zurich bank on the Bahnofstrasse or some where in the Cayman islands.

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

Nothing will come out of the mining scam

We have the River Princess still rocking up and down despite several govts from Dotor Willy,Rane to Parrikar

No one had the guts to do anything except wait and wait and wait, more than 12 years now-in ur face

The mining scam is the equivalent of a 1000 such ships

If they could not touch one will they touch a 1000??

Parrikar, himself an expert in mining with a computer brain and as an ex and present CM knows everything about the scam -a 2 z and he goes on to blurt out that there is no illegal mining--that is the biggest joke

May be they will string up a few low level govt servants and max get back at Diggi Kamat. This is because he brought down the BJP party in the past and they would like to make an example of him to other potential traitors

The scam just reflects that on does not have to be a Laloo or Alemao to be corrupt like a pig

Even the soo called educated, sauve and cultured people are willing to rape the land for their greed

So Indias corruption is between the cultured and the uncultured pigs.At the end of the day just pigs

Shame on them



- Lindon Fernandes, London | 22 nd September 2012 23:26


Gajendra Tari , Ponda Goa & bhushan , panaji

I have read the comments about "Lina Vaz" or "Vaz Lina" with interest.

I recall Lina Vaz aksing me to "prove "that the Ram Sene & Muthalik had committed atrocities in India.

I provided the info from the BBC News website and quoted other websites to Lina Vaz.

What amused me was that Lina Vaz deviated from the topic/subject ,and advised me to look at crimes committed by the Christian clergy to.

Crimes by the Priests ere not the topic.

Further in the comment I was accused of being "Communal".

I advised Lina Vaz, that she/he has no common courtesy...and suspected a troublemaker.

Reading your comment, just conforms my suspicions were accurate.

- n.fernandes, London | 21 st September 2012 23:44


Interesting tp read thoughts.

If mining (with poor quality as per global standard) is viable, the why not "Aforestation" can not be economicaly viable.

Woods and particularily processed wood will find increased usage and more economic value. We need to grow more plants and aforestation need to be priority

It is an excellent idea to provide alternative to jobless truckers for afforestation.

How do we people organize ourselves to rope in these minig barons and government for more forest land. Can Govt forest deptt be more proactive by evolving more creative options than watchdog agency.

lets take this forward

- Doosra Chasma, Miramar | 20 th September 2012 12:21


Thanks Mr. Bhushan for enlightening me. I too had guessed that it must be a bogus ID of some fanatical right wing sanatani. I am relatively new to this website and hence did not know earlier threads posted by this person. I agree with her totally that the Congress party is one of the most corrupt parties but how can she condone crimes of BJP? BJP is even more dangerous because their leaders are fascist by nature along with being corrupt. It is the PARIVAR ideology that makes them so. There are innumerable films on you tube exposing them.

Of course they do find Bangarus among them as scapegoats while Mahajans and Bhagwats in their ivory towers live comfortably.

Now she ( not sure may be HE or even IT) and all others have found MP as a new savior. For them he is not a mere mortal but either a superhuman or God who can never make any mistake or can never be wrong, This is exactly the same kind of loyalty that Congressmen have for the Gandhi/ Nehru family.

And all those fundamentalists of Sangh parivar and Shiv Sena who once criticized Congress of perpetrating the family rule do exactly the same. Perhaps they have accepted the inevitability of this new caste system based on where you are born. They should thank Congress for being their guides in the pursuit of power.

- Gajendra Tari, Ponda Goa | 20 th September 2012 10:39


Mr tari dont waste your time on Lina Vaz. it is a pen name used by some BJP worker. this person is a potential terrorist who is not only a supporter of everything rss/bjp criminal activity but also a supporter of all saffron terrorist acts and leaders such as pramod mutalik, sanatan, goa bomb blast, etc. so don't waste your time on this one. no point.

- bhushan, panaji | 19 th September 2012 18:06


Mr. Tari has every right to defend the corrupt ...its democracy and freedom of expression...he is doing the same thing of diluting the grave issue by bringing in the R.S.S. ...what I am trying to say is ,corruption by ANYONE/ANY PARTY is v bad for us...but ,supposing I am criticizing a BJP minister for his corruption ,and he tries to DILUTE it ,by naming raja,Kalmadi,Kannimolli,Digambar,Rane,Alemaos,Bofors,coalgate, or corruption by any other neta of communist/ Mayawati/DMK, I have equal right,like Mr.Tari,to lodge my protest ...and finally I AM NOT A RABID follower of any party or organisation...to IGNORE all the crimes and ONLY attack and DILUTE the bitter truth and facts...and before I end,I do not find ,any write ups here, that criticize the real corrupts at any given time...its MY opinion ,that the writers DILUTE the CRIMES ....I MAITAIN THIS VIEW !

- Lina Vaz, Goa | 19 th September 2012 14:23


Bai Lina Vaz,

Corrupt are everywhere. Whether in Congress or BJP. But I don't understand your anger against secular folks and your flirtation with Bjp, the political outfit of Sangh Parivar. Don't you feel ashamed of the murder of Graham Stain or attacks on churches by Bajrang Dal? Oscar and Nandkumar, have penned down their thoughts anywhere praising the Congress but with your comments you have shown your sympathy to the saffron terrorists. God forgive them because they do not know what they are doing...... were the words of Gandhi and Christ for their murderers.And here you have clearly displayed whether you stand by the God or the Satan. Amen

- Gajendra Tari, Ponda Goa | 18 th September 2012 20:38


Mining is an industry, it in not government. Industry can influence formation and functioning of government. Government can make or break an industry.

As an activity of its corporate social responsibility it does have an impact on educational and cultural aspects of the land and its people but in its scope it is not Government.

When we buy a plot of land in Panaji city isn't there a limit on extent to which it can rise in the air.


When I buy a piece of land, don't I also buy the block of space above it! Yes....No...I don'tknow

Now when I buy a piece of mining land, do I also buy the depth below it! Or does it commonly belong to people of Goa and India and Earth.

It is very clear that something dangerous is going on unchecked.

- B. Brother, Earth | 17 th September 2012 20:27


Bad luck Dotor, now you will be banned from entering Cidade De Goa and the Marriotts............

- richard fernandes, miramar | 17 th September 2012 00:31


No matter how many commissions HOLD the corrupt congress as a culprit ...there ARE guys like Oscar and Kumar supporting the corrupt practices of this coal blackened corrupt congress...and these supporters ALWAYS bring in the other parties like the BJP to D I L U T E the corrupt practices of the corrupt congress...and these are known as v broad minded gentlemen....secular...

- vaz lina., Goa. | 16 th September 2012 19:59


"But who cares anyway for knowledge centric approach ?".. NK,

And you tell us what happened to your phony claim of 500 tons of gold in Goa, presumably proposed to favor more mining in Goa, and the so-called report that you had submitted to Digamber Kamat--the 'mahafating' then CM of Goa.

- Jagan Kamat, Canada | 16 th September 2012 03:38


Every word in this article has come from Goenchi tamdi mati and we should thank ourselves that God has given Goa at least one Oscar Rebello.

As for the report I have my reservations.

The report is weak on methodology and full of contradictions and inconsistencies and can not be considered as a sacred text. The time given to the commission was also short. The COI should have given the environmental and social cost of mining as well.

Almost everyone is writing without reading the full report which I have compiled as an ebook and uploaded at http://archive.org/details/HowIllegalMiningDestroyedGoa-interimAndFinalReportsOfMr.JusticeShah

There is just one point which has to be made- more than value of total Iron or manganese that has been exported what the miners, importers(esp. Japanese and the Chinese), central and state governments and almost all the geologists/geochemists (perhaps except Mike Widdowson) worth their rocks have not told us is this-the quantity of Gold esp. from banded iron formations and BHQ which got exported since 1946. Shah commission has not looked at this serious lapse despite having access to national labs. If it were to look the figure of Rs. 35000 crores would have become ridiculous....and then ??????. But who cares anyway for knowledge centric approach ?

- Dr Nandkumar Kamat, Calapur_Santa Cruz, Goa | 15 th September 2012 19:20


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