Debar Goan from selling land to ‘outsider’

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
16 April 2013 00:10 IST

It was totally heartening to hear all our 38 good men, one woman and one lady who carries the burden of legacy, so admirably rise in one voice to demand Special Status for Goa in the Assembly  today. Well begun is indeed half done.

But this isn't over until the fat lady sings and unless  New Delhi gives its consent, the rainbow will still not peep from behind the clouds.

We can talk of Nehru’s promises, our unique predicament where we were not part of the Constituent Assembly, our one of a kind Common Civil Code, our fragile land mass and all kind of other arguments till the cows come home. But I'm not convinced it will convince Delhi's babudom.

And there is ,a genuinely valid reason and fear of this at the centre.

And the fear is this: If Goa is allowed to debar Non Goans from buying land in Goa, what stops other states e.g. Mumbai making similar demands? And hence the safest bet at the centre would be to refer this to some select committee and freeze the issue in cold storage.

I may be wrong; but can this legal premise be explored?

Instead of saying that Non Goans or more derogatorily Migrants can't BUY into Goa; can we put in a legal proviso that Goans [and that includes all domiciled residents and non-resident "blood" Goans] are henceforth prohibited from SELLING their land to anyone but a Goan?

Let the onus be on us, Goans, the owners of the land.

This clearly shifts the responsibility on to the seller {presumably a red blooded Goan who loves his/her land and is at the heart of every Save Goa agitation}. Also it does not demonise the Non Goan buyer and makes it easier for the centre to accept our argument.

There can be only one species against this line of thinking: The Goan, who has no qualms about selling his land to the highest bidder and still complains about the deteriorating quality of life here.

These characters must be shamed in the public square ruthlessly and mercilessly.

As they would say in Hindi: “loha garam hai mar do hatthoda" or in Konkani "Vel Ailo, Kator re bhaji"

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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

Let aside selling land to non Goans, land cannot be sold even to Goans as there is no scope to sell any parcel of land in Goa. Goa is defined by its independent village co-operative (republic) characteristics with clearly demarcated boundaries and there is no scope to isolate any piece of land from such co-operative structures.. as far as sale of land and revenue collection is concerned that is happening presently, it is a fraud being committed by the illegitimate government itself.


- Aldrin Dsouza, Porvorim | 23 rd April 2015 14:12


Well, just a small observation!

Special status is given to states of speacial significance! 1. Tribal, 2. Seperate entity like kashmir where Leagally speaking the state could go to either Pakistan or India depending upon the whimps and fancies of the Maharaja! And dint the Nijam of Hydrabad want to align and join Pakistan? Logically and appropriately speaking a plebisite should have decided the fate of Kashmir and it is more than likely that it would opt to be independent more so in present times seeing the tragic state of affairs in Pakistan.3 Some other special state as Goa.

Let us now discuss Goa!

Goa was part of portugal until in mid 1970s, (it was no way a colony) the Portuguese government accedeed to the the anexation of Goa but was it right for the priminister of Portugal and the Government of Portugal to decide the fate of Goa particularly when the representative Parlianmentary seats we had been sending to Protugese Parliament for over two hundered years, were vacant! leagaly speaking No Ram Jatmalani or Palkivala is needed to argue the case of Goa for a Plebisite and a Plebisite can be held even today provided only those having citizenship rights as on 1961 and their decendeds should vote! But I am not on that, My Uncle Prof Marcos always told me when I was a child(in school) and later that India could not allow a pocket of foreigh rule on its western shores, and let us adopt this view and justify "liberation of Goa" But has it to be such that we 'Goan should be completely annhilated, decimated and Margianalised. So it was More that India needed Goa rather the other way round that goa needed India. It is for this reason that any specail status given to Goa cannot be a reason for any demand by any other state and should be stictly supressed!

The special status should be with these twin principals:-

1. That No Non Goan should be allowed to own property in Goa. Any Non Goan who owns property as on 19th December 1961 should be adequately compensated in excange and the expenditure be borne by the India Government or they should be alloted appropriate properties elsewere in the country!

2. That only Goans should be allowed to hold dual citizenship of India and Portugal (only)

That all other issues and especailly Mopa has no weitghtage in front of this gigantic issue! More over we can allow Mopa in exchange for especial Status! Mopa may even be stategic for India in case of a national agression and defence issues cannot be transperaent!

Kindly note that it has been projected that, 25 years hence, because of the Economic and cultural boom and prosperity in India during the next 25 years 40 lakh non goans are likely to enter into Goa and settle here!

- JUDAS CHAGAS SILVA, MARGAO | 08 th June 2013 20:00


Mr. Barbosa, at present you're just rambling.

You're contradicting your own point. Just a few days ago you said it's okay to sell land 'for economic purposes' and now you're saying that Monserrate, Vishwajeet etc can't sell land 'for economic purposes.

By your esteemed judgement, what these Ministers are doing is absolutely right. Think, Mr Barbosa.

Dr. Rebello has been criticising Mr Monseratte for eons now. Where were you during the 'Save Goa' Movement? The PINC Movement? The State Elections? Sleeping? Babush was battered left, right and centre by the Doctor and other activists (including my good friend, Dr Martins).

Why does the Doctor or Remo need popularity? They've got quite a lot of it already. At present, it looks like just five or six people (including you and me) have read this article and are debating its each and every clause.

How is he getting popularity Mr Barbosa? Are you going to be visiting his clinic anytime soon? Or is Amey or Dr Martins or Satya or John. If they have to go to him, they will. This article doesn't change anything.

Dr Rebello has clearly stated that he isn't going to enter politics. What's the point of all this, then? Because he's doing his role as a dutiful citizen.

I agree that economy must flourish, but I also agree that that doesn't mean that you can destroy Goa. If Goa is destroyed, we'll just have buildings all around us, covered by the red dust of Ferric Oxide from the mining. What's the point of economy at that point?

Priorities have to be set. Goa or Economy?

For me, at least, Goa would win that battle hands down.

P.S. Dr Martins is a PhD holder in Chemistry, not in English Literature.

- Paul, Panjim | 23 rd April 2013 10:35


So per you and OScar it is OK for Goans such as Monsarat, Viswajeet, and other land sharks to destroy Goa by illegally converting Goan land into Concrete jungles, because they are Goans?

Why your hero Oscar has no guts to criticize MonsaRat who has practically converted the beautiful Taleagao into a concrete Jungle.

Non-Goans, Migrants are soft targets and nice way to deflect attention and gain some cheap popularity by fooling people like you-- guys like Oscar, Remo are quite adapt at it-

- Anthony Barbosa, Goa | 23 rd April 2013 05:09


Mr Barbosa......from the land of concrete the name of economics one cannot be raping Goa per you.... tomorrow for the sake of getting best deals..... u might even go to sell a part of mandovi or zuari river.....

yes you have to consider economic growth of the state.... but that doesn't mean you don't leave even a tree or a free land to appreciate what trees look like..... or what sand is all about (((a la taleigao.....)))

since we all belong to civilized generation we owe something to mother nature too....and just to make some bucks u need not sell everything that u have.....

and with regards to the un utilized posterity....

yes it did be a smart move to keep it unutilized than to sell it off to the bikini clad Europeans and Russians.....

all the more smarter to preserve our love for nuste...feni.... rather than surrendering to National drink of Russia Vodka (thanks to the goons n mafias from russia)

and yes dance to the rythm of ghumats and sing yo yo moga moga.....rather than wearing a white robe and dance to wallla habibi....... (Panjim is already turning into mini UAE)

if the goypon - kars wont work towards this...... ECONOMIST and thinkers like Mr Barbosa will be wearing a white robe....dancing with perfect russians walla walla song..... at some remote island off the goa coast....having sold off all their Goypon - ness.......

- amey, vasco | 22 nd April 2013 19:01



Not parting with land? what do you mean? It is economics, if there is a price people will sell. Can you stop people from making profitable deals (leagal) for the sake of abstarct love for Goa.

May be Oscar Rebello and the likes could buy all the available Goan land and keep it unutilized for posterity for the love of Goa, Goan Identity, Goan culture, Goypan, love of Konkani Language, Goan Kaashti, Ghumat, Nuste, etc. etc.

- Anthocy Barbosa, Talegao | 19 th April 2013 18:35


I agree with Amey. I do not want to get into personal discussions.The main issue is of ownership rights. The experiences of states who have special status will give an insight of how the laws are followed/not followed.How women/men who have married "outsiders " have been deprived of their rights. Large projects of local owners can bring in perpetual influx of people through rent back scheme.


- Sabina Martins , Panaji | 19 th April 2013 18:27


Paul, Sabina Martins is a PhD holder. I think in English literature from Goa University.

- Anthony Barbosa, Talegao | 19 th April 2013 02:45


Can Ms Martins, Mr Fernandes and Paul stop discussing issues like gender insensitivity ? the thrust of Dr Rebelo's article is how to sensitize the Goan on not parting with his and of course her land; this is the nerve center of the article.

- amey, vasco | 18 th April 2013 23:38


My dear Mrs. Martins, when Dr. Rebello says 'good' men, he doesn't actually mean that they are 'good'! It's a way of saying things.

When I said 'my dear Mrs. Martins', it doesn't mean you are dear to me in any way. It's a way of saying things!

I do not completely support Mr. Fernandes' views. One cannot question anyone's past, man or woman. But one can certainly question his or her present and future.

Mrs. Monserrate has seemingly adopted Gandhi's policy of Satyagraha. Peaceful protest by boycott. Because the people of Talegao didn't elect her with absolute majority, despite all the 'gifts' of 200 rupees a week, she's decided to teach them a lesson. Now she's stopped even talking and listening to the people. She's only seen strutting into the House, otherwise, she's our Mrs. India: invisible.

Is that how an MLA is supposed to behave?

No. So we question her etiquette.

Mrs. Saldhana, has managed to recover from the loss of her husband, has suddenly been thrust into politics to satisfy the needs of Mr. Parrikar and the BJP and the people expect her to live up to Mathany. Yet she's working tirelessly to keep his legacy alive!

So we compliment her.

No one cares (at least, I don't) about either woman's mother, father, brother, sister, half-brother, step aunt, son, daughter or anyone else. We are bothered about them as MLAs and the work that they are doing as MLAs.

The men of the House, have been spoken about. We speak about them everyday. Call them bad words. Shout slogans against them. I have seen you yourself, Mrs. Martins, protesting against them.

But when we come to judge the women, then people like Mrs. Martins start feeling offended? Where is the gender equality???? Men can be judged, but women are above-board?

What kind of democracy do we live in?

So, Mrs. Martins, have you copied this language thing from Wikipedia? Well, then I suggest you Google 'It ain't over till the fat lady sings'.

This is a colloquialism.

In an opera, especially Richard Wagner's Grand Opera, there are many twists and turns. But the audience cannot assume anything until the final act, when a woman, wearing full body armour, a winged helmet, carrying a shield and spear, comes up and sings her 'Aria'.

ONLY after that does the audience finally say,"Yes, the opera's over" and then they rise and clap.

The woman always sings last, because she has the most powerful voice and it gives the audience one last thrill.

Thus we use the phrase, to indicate that one cannot say that any event is over, until the 'fat lady sings'.

It is not derogatory, but in praise of women, and their much more powerful voices than men.

Don't jump to conclusions, Mrs. Martins. Think a little. I've already said that, haven't I? (Looks like it was of no use and it isn't going to be!)

Oh, Mrs. Martins, forgive me for committing such a grave mistake. You are not an English teacher. I apologise. I've already said ten Hail Mary's.

But, you will surely feel that saying Hail 'Mary's' are not right, because it's 'gender stereotyping' and 'discriminatory'. Why should you pray to a woman to forgive sins?

Because from what you're saying, these are the levels to which your paranoia rises!

Ha! Are you trying to say, that because you use sensitive language (only towards women, mind you), you are a broad-minded person?

I think it's time to wake up and smell the coffee, darling. You are NOT a broadminded person. You are a very, very narrow-minded person !!!!

- Paul, Panjim | 18 th April 2013 23:21


SabinaMartins , Panaji :::

In the context of the article, the 2 "women" refered to ,indirectly,are Alina Saldanha & Jennifer Monserrate .

The term "Lady" has been used to denote, that one of them has refined qualities, manners and a sense of class & nobility.

From the :

1. A well-mannered and considerate woman with high standards of proper behaviour.


a. A woman regarded as proper and virtuous.

b. A well-behaved young girl.

3. A woman who is the head of a household.

4. A woman, especially when spoken of or to in a polite way.

Jennifer Monseratte, is certainly not known & will never ever be known, for her "Lady"-Like qualities.

Addressing Jennifer as a Lady ,would beggar belief.

- n.fernandes, London | 18 th April 2013 19:45


Oscar refers to 38 good men,a woman and a lady who admirably spoke in one voice for special status.

My point is that the statement is discriminatory because when the male MLAs spoke they were good men and when the women MLAs spoke their backgrounds became relevant.

Even the comments on women MLAs were with reference to them being wives, mothers as well as their backgrounds, while remaining silent about the 38 'good men'

Mainstreaming equality also includes non usage of discrininatory language /stereotypes whether they are terms,phrases, figures of speech etc.

And yes,even as non language teachers we have to implement it. For example in simple English "Chairman' includes any one chairing a meeting but now due to consciousness on women's rights 'Chairperson /Chairwoman ' is used world over. Slowly, but surely the language is improving . Even our rural women who are aware will not say in konkani 'put bangles for men ' which means women are weak and weak men are like women.

Using sensitive language reflects broadmindedness

- SabinaMartins, Panaji | 18 th April 2013 18:45


I agree with Paul , Panjim & Dr Oscar Rebello expressing/using the subtle difference between a " LADY" and a WOMAN".

The references are precise and truthful.

As we all know there is a difference between a CAKE & a TART.!!

For additional meaning of a TART ,please refer to ..

From what is known & proven, Alina Saldanha comes from a Noble family with a noble profession . whereas Jennifer Monseratte comes from a tribe, with questionable intergrity & a shady past.

If Children are cast in an image of their parents, then the acts of Rohit Monseratte ,proves this point.

- n.fernandes, London | 17 th April 2013 13:22


My dear Mrs. Martins, I think it's time to understand that the entire world isn't conspiring against you and the rights of women.

When Dr. Rebello says 'one woman', he means Mrs. Monserrate, who has less scruples than most men in existence. (Of course, in general, women are believed to have far better etiquette. Not in the case of the Talegao MLA).

When he says 'lady' he means Mrs. Saldhana, who is beautifully carrying forward the memory of Mathany.

When he says 'fat lady' it is absolutely no reference to a woman or her size. It is a figure of speech, a saying of sorts and does not mean any harm to the delicacy of any woman whatsoever.

I believe you are a teacher. I think you would be aware of such simple English?

You must also realise that there is not one person who does not want gender equality. It must be the very foundation of our society. Woman can do everything as well, if not better than men can.

I believe it is not proper to go into paranoia about it, thinking that every sentence with the word 'female' in it is directed solely against women.

I agree fully with the good doctor and with Mrs. Martin's demands. Not with her narrow-mindedness.

- Paul, Panjim | 16 th April 2013 21:25


Oscar Rebello has raised some important concerns, but I feel the current issue dominating our mind space regarding 'Special Status for Goa' is just a Red Herring being thrown by our politicians to emotionally charge & fool the good people of Goa, in the run up to the General elections in 2014!

This approach of granting 'Special Status for Goa' requires a constitutional amendment, which needs to be passed with a 2/3rd majority in both houses of parliament and ratified by at least half the States!

Can GOA, with just 3 MP's in both houses of parliament ever hope to get a 2/3rd majority ?

Considering that major land deals in Goa have been funded & blessed by local & national politicians, will these politicians ever go against their own personal interests?

The present law facilitates the sale of land to people from other parts of India as well as other nationalities with no legal obstacles whatsoever.

'SPECIAL STATUS' through a constitutional amendment in parliament is IMPOSSIBLE in Today's or Tomorrow’s political scenario, as I have elaborated above

The only way forward to further save GOA from being sold to the highest bidder, is to put deterrents within the present legal framework of law!

1) Ban sale of Agriculture & Orchard land to non agriculturists!

2) Limit the increase of 'Settlement' & 'Commercial' zoning based on the requirement of local population

3) Govt should become major developer of plots & social housing & auction the same to people or groups having a domicile of at least 15 years in Goa.

4) Charge stiff 'Non Occupancy' tax for houses which remain closed or non occupied for more than 10 months in a year.

We have to realise & work within our limitations, quickly if we want to save the little bit of GOA that still remains!

- Ricardo Rebelo, Candolim | 16 th April 2013 19:15


What about people other than 'Goans' holding vast land and built up properties, obviously bought for investment?

They do not get covered .


The distinction which is made between 'woman' 'lady' and ' fat lady' to explain the context is discriminatory and gender stereotyping.

The real issue of women is ownership rights of land and built up properties. What happens to the rights of 'non Goan' women who marry 'Goan ' men . What will prevail? identity rights or women's rights?

Will a "non Goan" man married to a "Goan" woman have the right to hold property in his name?

There should be clarity on these issues before framing laws or marching to Delhi .

Sabina Martins

- Sabina Martins, Panjim | 16 th April 2013 14:23


I would suggest government make provision as "whoever wants to sells property, needs to take collector permission, and let collector verify Tiltle". Many properties Title is not clear, but still people sells property ... till special status we get...

- Satya, Pernem | 16 th April 2013 08:16


Could you define who is Goan? What is Goan Identity?

The issue is not about buying and selling of land but allowing people to abuse land and other resources.

Babush Monsaratte has ruined Talegao and now he is a hero for you, because he is Goan.

- John, Goa | 16 th April 2013 06:14


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