My Way

By Radharao Gracias
04 January 2013 15:27 IST

I started my legal practice more than three decades ago. Among, one of the earliest cases that I remember was a murder charge against a bus driver, from Aquem. He absconded, for about two weeks and then approached my senior late Adv J F Borges, to defend him. He was advised, to surrender. As the police officer in charge of the Police Station was personally pretty hostile towards me, I requested a common journalist friend, to sound him about the surrender. When I approached him later, he suggested that the accused should not come to the police station, but wait under a banyan tree near the Borim Bridge. I accordingly instructed the accused, who was then picked up by the PSI, as pre arranged.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       The news report the following day, drew my immediate attention. The report graphically detailed how the accused had been hiding in the jungles at Borim and how the particular police officer single handedly tracked him and after a dangerous chase through thorn and bush, arrested him. For me it was an anti climax and a revelation. But what the police officer told the journalist the following day still reverberates in my mind. “Tell Radharao, not to be disturbed. He will see a lot of this in the years ahead”. He spoke the absolute truth.

Again in my early years, I was approached by a group of people from what was then a remote tribal hamlet. The dispute pertained to the blocking of a traditional access by construction of a Holy Cross along the path. Such practice is not uncommon in Salcete. I decided to have a site inspection. As I reached the spot there was a crowd, engaged in loud talk.

I soon realised, that both groups were known to me, and the dispute was more of ego, than of access. Neither group, wished to budge, from their stated positions. I felt, that the dispute was not worth, a fight. All the protagonists were Catholics and I tried a different approach. My discussions, with them went as follows :

            “Do you go for mass?”

            “Yes” was the common response.

            “Why did Christ come down to earth?”

             Murmurs. No particular response.

            “Do you know that Christ came to clear the way?”

            “Yes, Yes.”

            “Then how is that your Christ is blocking the way?”

             There is no answer.

I then, told them that I did not desire to represent any of them, since they claimed to be Christians, but did not follow the tenets of the religion. I suggested, that they should sit together and if they are really Christians, and find a way.

Several months later, I was pleasantly surprised, to see members of both the groups, come over to my house, this time on friendly terms. The pathway issue had been satisfactorily resolved, without recourse to law. They came, to thank me for my advice. And they brought with them, roasted cashew nuts, ‘khandam’, ‘chunnam’. And these tasted better, than any I have tried before or since. Times have changed now. With money all around, it is litigation with no scope for settlement. Clients, no more, bring cashew nuts. Instead, whiskey, chocolates, perfumes, are the preferred gifts.

By my very nature, I often find myself standing up for the underdog, a trait which I may have picked up, from my late father. And this brings me in conflict, with the established order. The fight, against the establishment, is always tough and difficult so one has to resort to unorthodox tactics, to overcome a hostile situation. Victory is not assured, but when it does come, it is sweet. The hurdles are sometime too many and too steep.

I have these last few years, reduced my activism. “A person like you is needed in the Assembly” I am told by a few genuine friends, that I have. Honestly, I would very much like to be an MLA again, but I see no chances of ever winning another election.

“Look at Mathany. He gave up his struggles, his Jesuit connections, his links with comrade Christopher Fonseca, his ideology and joined the BJP of which he was an incessant foe, all his life. He got elected and became a minister. Why don’t you join the Congress?”, chimes in a former Sarpanch of Nuvem.

It is a pertinent question. In moments of such temptation, I turn to Frank Sinatra’s rendition of ‘My Way’ and listen. The song goes:

            ...........Yes, there were times, I'm sure you knew

 When I bit off more than I could chew

 But through it all, when there was doubt

 I ate it up and spit it out

 I faced it all and I stood tall

 and did it my way………………

 For what is a man, what has he got?

 If not himself, then he has naught

 To say the things he truly feels

 and not the words of one who kneels

 The record shows I took the blows

 and did it my way! 

 Welcome to the New Year!



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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Previous Comments

i am sorry radharao in accusing you for supporting churchill. it was meant to be for aires.

- john mascarenhas, goa | 17 th January 2016 22:56


people like you should came back to power to show the RIGHT WAY

- orlando, mississauga.canada | 15 th January 2013 05:49


This site is not people friendly. Mr. Sandesh Prabhudessai why are you suppressing people's opinion and not passing comments. I hear people talking on the streets of Panaji that if you were given power you would defeat even Salazar of Portugal. Supporting a scoundrel like Radha will not help Goa and Goans.

- Chandrakant Naik, Siolim | 11 th January 2013 14:42


thank god u know this


- Rubber Stamp, Ponda goa | 09 th January 2013 13:32


Regular visitor at Goa News, but, i normally close it after a quick glance, since there is nothing much of substance, however, contributions from personalities like Radha, Timble and a few others appear, one cannot simply close the page. Nice piece "Radha". As i have suggested before, i still feel, that if you put down your musings in print, it would be a best seller. For once you have accepted the truth-- that you would not win another election. whoever is bloating your ego by saying that you are needed is just destroying you and you are too smart to fall for that guile. Really speaking, you and more over Goa is better off without you in politics. You have not been able to convince law makers when you were elected, and off late, i don't see you being able to even convince judges in the court, however, you have opened another window of opportunity --- try to be a "BROTHER". Looks like you have a tact to convince people in the religious way, and believe me- Goa needs someone to convince its people about the teachings of Christ. You have also mentioned about the Jesuits, and Mathany. Trying to covertly malign Mathany, will not pay you much dividents, as it hasn't the past. Mathany did what he was convinced about, so do likewise that means do not try to contest elections since your are convinced that you will not win one.

Maybe you should get some more of the Jesuit angle... after all you are a lay Jesuit (look for the meaning in the dictionary)

- Jaret de SIlva, Chandor | 04 th January 2013 22:52


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