Cry, the beloved Country

By Radharao Gracias
08 November 2012 23:54 IST

Goa and Karnataka are two States, severely indicted by the Justice M.B.Shah Commission, for illegal mining. The loss to Goa is quantified, at Rs.35,000 Crores. The environmental damage is immeasurable, irreparable. Both in Karnataka and Goa, the BJP is in power. And yet, there is a huge difference in the action taken on the report, by the two States.

In Karnataka, the Reddy brothers who were ministers in the BJP Government, were forced to resign, offences registered against them, both arrested and are presently in custody. No Court has granted them bail. In Goa no offence has been registered and each and every mine owner indicted by the Shah Commission, struts around, in full public view.

In fact, one of the major players in the illegal mining business, recently, accompanied the official delegation of the Goa Government to participate in the “Semana da Cultura Indo-Portuguesa” in Lisbon. And this man, had the temerity, to demean the State and the nation publicly by painting a grim picture of the country in the presence of the Indian Ambassador and the Deputy Chief Minister of Goa. If only this man’s surname was Gracias or D’Souza or similar, he would be branded anti national and an offence registered against him for sedition, or at least, the Hindutva Brigade would be on the streets, demanding action!

And this is the same man, who owns a beach resort off Panaji, where all Congressmen converge, the moment there is a crisis in that Party.  And it is the same beach resort, a part of which was ordered to be demolished by the Supreme Court. The then Chief Minister introduced legislation to overcome the Supreme Court Judgment. And it is the only legislation that was not opposed by the Opposition, during the term of the last Assembly.  And the counsel, who drafted the legislation is now among the top Law Officers of the Country.  He may even represent the State, in the petition against mining, pending before the Supreme Court.                                                                                                               

The destruction, wrought in the Talukas of Quepem, Sanguem, Bicholim and Sattari, in particular, is immense. Goa, which forms less than a fraction of one percent of the country’s total land mass exports sixty percent of the country’s iron ore. How long can it be sustained? And instead of being remorseful, the perpetrators are using every tool, legal and political to resume mining and complete the destruction of Goa.

If you look at the list of those involved, you will find one mining house whose scion, a vice president of the Vishwa Hindu Parishad. Another has his wife, a hardcore contributor to the RSS. Another has a grandfather upon whom Padma Shree was conferred by the Government of India. And yet another one is the descendant of a Viscount. And these are the people who condemn the Portuguese, with little or no provocation. And yet, these same people are relying on the mining concessions issued by the Portuguese, three quarters of a century ago to continue to over-mine and undermine Goa, at the same time. Why should these mining concessions, not be abolished altogether? If the Portuguese were bad, so are their mining concessions. After all, they were exploiters, we are regularly told.

The Hindutva Brigade, does not spare an opportunity to cry, for Bharat Mata. The entire mining belt, is currently under the political stranglehold of the BJP, with each constituency being represented by that party. All the sarpanchas, in these areas owe allegiance to the BJP and all the sarpanchas and all the MLAs are cumulatively working, to resume mining on the ostensible ground, that the livelihood of the people is affected. But, how long will the mining last? At the current rate of exploitation, perhaps not more than ten years. And, after that where will the livelihood come from? And where will the people live, after the land is destroyed? And the Hindutva brigade is only demanding resumption of ‘legal’ mining. But, where is the scope for ‘legal’ mining after the Shah Commission has confirmed that all mining in Goa is illegal?

Consider, what happened in 1962. The Chinese attacked India on the northern borders and are since occupying, several thousand square kilometers of our territory. Today, our ‘patriots’ are demanding, that they be permitted to continue to export, iron ore to China. It would be an irony, when (not whether) China attacks India again. The planes, tanks, howitzers and whatsoever will be made from iron ore exported from Goa, by our ‘patriots’.

The difference between Goa and Karnataka, is that the illegal mining barons in Karnataka, are languishing in jail. But in Goa, we deal differently with our law breakers who have amassed huge wealth. Sometimes we make them members of delegations to foreign countries. But if you want to see who they are, please stand outside the gates of Raj Bhavan, 19th December late afternoon. All these ‘patriots’ whose surnames mostly end in ‘kar’ will be driving their fancy cars into the Raj Bhavan, and to be treated as VIP at the tea party hosted by His Excellency the Governor, to celebrate liberation day. And if you, good hardworking honest citizen tries to get in, I may have to move a bail application for you, if you have not already ended up in GMC Hospital.

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

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Radharao Gracias

Radharao F.Gracias is a senior Trial Court lawyer and ex President of the South Goa Advocates Association. He is also former independent MLA of Goa. He has been an activist on issues related to Goa for more than three decades.

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Radha, the custodians of Goan morality were recently seen together at the centenary celebrations of a mathagramasth organization, kudos to their their solidarity

However, some elements from bhoujan samaaj among Hindus and Catholics in Goa , trained by them may turn against you now as they still prefer to live in a delirium resulted by generations of subjugation.

The moral custodians lured youth from OBC, SC and ST to provide them name and career in their own institutions immediately after the conquest of Goa in 1961 and today the third generation these socially and financially stable ' lower castes' sing raises of their masters through the media even more vehemently.

The patriotism of Sangh Parivar was always pseudo. Most of these elements were known agents of British in India and every child in Goa even today knows that 'these ube ani adve ' janvenkars wove the fabric of of Portuguese rule in Goa.

Keep writing but remember that you had also embraced these rotten zealots at one point of time for your own political gains. A bit of confession could add a sharper edge to your writing.

- Rupesh Jhalmi, Malbhat, Margao | 13 th November 2012 16:41


Mission Navelim. Last Sunday during his visit to Navelim, Mr Parrikar informed the Rawanfond farmers that they may not get back their agricultural fields forcibly acquired by previous governments, as there’s no rule or law which empowers the government to return back acquired land to the owners. Dear CM Mr.Parrikar I would ask you if Digambar Kamat could introduce a legislation and save part of Cidade de Goa (owned by leading mine owner) with no respect to Supreme court order for its demolition, why you cannot bring similar type of legislation and return back the land to those farmers. Is the legislation can be bent only to support powerful mining lobby and not to poor farmers?.

- Goa for Goans, Goa | 12 th November 2012 16:46


As always what you say has the truth in it, however, as always, i doubt if comes from the 'HEART', or something somewhere has gone awry with your sly moves in the political circles. Writing is one thing and doing something is another.

The fact remains that Parrikar will do nothing on this issue, Interestingly, it is this same person whom you covertly mention, who has been dictating terms to the Goan politicians for the last few years. After the lesson learn't the last time, Parrikar will not take a chance to antogonize this Russian Roulette expert once again this time because, by doing so he may be out of "PAWAR" again. Some of his cabinet colleagues are involved in the "mining muck" too???. Does one have to give names?

I agree with the all the facts you mention and good that you brought to light the "Lisbon Fiasco". and yet the same person will be the leading light of many a Goan delegations and may even be rewarded with some State awards, since, now this smart person has made inroads into the final frontier ---the 4th Estate.

I have repeatedly said that parrikar (who is currently a wolf in sheep's clothing), has made fools of the Average Goan and especially the Goan Catholic/Minority, not to take away his credit on various developments which the goans had never even imagined in their dreams under so many years of the Congress misrule.

Mind you, as much as we should blame Parrikar and the Catholics/Minorities for this situation , you and your partners (the Humpty dumpty's of Goan politics) in crime are equally responsible for this state of the State of Goa. Please write something about how you have connived at different times with all these people who have destroyed Goa.... and the faith and hope reposed by the Goans in you and your Humpty Dumpty's.

Sometimes it will be good to do some introspection and think of how you and your party have let us down.

As for 19 Dec, why should the average Goan believe that you will not join the Tea Party if invited. will you join the people by standing outside the gates?

Though all that you wrote is very proffesional and well thought, your point on exporting ore to China, and the 'emminent' attack on India does not augur well for a analytical lawyer like you. This is plain and ordinary "Gauntti" substandard thinking. Trade and politics should not be messed up together.

Last but not least, Thank you for writing- You always make interesting reading and listening.

- Jaret Chandrapurkar, Chandor | 12 th November 2012 09:03


Fact is i cant comment here, coz if i did then people will say that i m catholic. But i have a moral to understand this letter.

- Joseph Menezes, Goa | 10 th November 2012 14:52


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