The Spider's Web

By Dr Oscar Rebelo
08 July 2010 12:19 IST

If you haven't noticed it yet, Goa is struggling to extricate herself from the complex, strangulating and confusing spider's web, she finds herself enmeshed in.

What's that ???  Let me deconstruct and explain.

Goa is presently in a relentless tug- of - war between two fiercely opposing forces. On one side is the force of the SELFSERVING & POWERFUL and on the other the GOOD AND POWERLESS.

The SELFSERVING & POWERFUL boasts of members who are hell bent on ripping open the bowels of our earth, engage in a race to the death exercise of mining and building and showcase this devastation as some kind of mirage of economic growth. (Nice to see that the recent "Bharat Bandh" is a resounding slap in the face of the Manmohan Govt responsible for the economic vandalism in the country)

These lobbyists are embedded with all political parties, oil their machines regularly and influence every policy that benefits them and only them - the rest of Goa be damned.

Both our principal political parties, the Congress - NCP and the BJP are servile supplicants to this powerful economic force, if only to keep themselves in power.  Therefore dirty money pays for dirty politics pays for dirty money pays for dirty politics........ you get the all embracing drift.

So witness how the Congress in Goa and AP and Maharashtra must lie prostrate before the money bags and the BJP comically is held hostage by the illegal mining lobby in Karnataka or even the suave Naveen Patnaik is held to ransom by the Poscos of the world. The intricate pattern is the same all over. All dyed in the same soot.

At an individual level however I have met many politicians of both these parties in Goa who privately swear at and curse all these slime balls who hold them at gunpoint.  Perhaps many of them may love to implement the "Goa Agenda", but the moolah has to come in and the money lender is menacingly at the door. So frankly for them, there is just no way out.

Also, the people of Goa, naturally gravitate to this POWERFUL force. So a Babush or a Vishwajeet, a Mickey or Churchill are absolutely certain that they will only get re-elected and eternally rewarded if they continue to provide patronage and handouts to their constituents.  At any cost. Even if they need to sell their soul to the devil.  And thus the swamp only gets deeper !!!!

Now what about the other force of the GOOD AND THE POWERLESS then ?

This force is comprised of decent, hard working ordinary Goans [and non-Goans], who want to live by the rule of law, who dream of a safe future for their kids, who are content with a measured sensible march of economic progress, who realize that the poor must have a shot at life and who just want to seek a modicum of happiness in their humdrum existence.

Unfortunately this group is further divided into two opposing camps - into what I call the erstwhile United Goans (UG) thinking group and the erstwhile Maharashtrawadi Gomantak (MG) thinking group.

Divided on the faultlines of religion and caste and language and script, the yawning chasm between these two groups prevents them from coming together to mount an all out assault on the first force.

So even if this group is right and good and sensible, they are inherently powerless because they can't dictate an economic agenda to the current batch of our politicians. And therein lies the tale.

So is there a way out ?

To get out of this spider's web, there is only one slim solution. The force of Good must identify, seek, nurture and propel some of their own into the seat of power. THEY MUST BACK THE CANDIDATE & NOT THE OTHER WAY ROUND.

Rumblings of this are already being felt in Benaulim with the advent of Hubert Gomes throwing in his hat in the ring. Way to go, guys! One way to hopefully break the vice like grip of the extended family party zone.

In the meantime, until this pipe dream of ours crystallises let us continue to deliver our sermons from the mount (like this one) and indulge in abusive fore play. Let us continue the hair splitting between the "WE LOVE GOA" types with all the gusto and gale force that Goans are famous for. Vive La Goa!!


Nowhere in the annals of medicine is a patient kept in ICU for a mild rise in his Blood Pressure or a mild rise in his liver enzymes (also grandly called "jaundice") as it happens in Goa / India.

I must admit that during my tenure at GMC, even we were coward enough to be arm-twisted to provide sanctuary to many politicians in power on the bail run. We ran the risk of losing our jobs or be shunted to remote postings if we didn't. Mercifully, the courts were more lenient then.

The good news is that a mild rise in B.P / "Jaundice" in no way, affects your libido and you can merrily continue on your screwing rampage.  However it does render us in the medical fraternity and the law enforcers completely and shamefully impotent.

I do earnestly hope the judiciary takes a dim view of this miserable charade being played out in goa.


Got this wonderful SM.S from a friend, who holds me in good stead.

‘When you rise up, your friends know who you are. When you fall down, you know who your friends are'. Touche.


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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

What I read between the lines here is that there exists a third force.The Good and the Powerful...the breast beating , ("do good-ing" would describe it better if you'd pardon the term).wonderful thinkers and moralizers who never hesitate to screech about the corrupt others and then tango with them when it suits the purpose. Amongst the many distinguished others a certain ex IIT ian (thats another term for genius in Goan parlance) comes to mind here.

- Rico, Margao | 20 th July 2010 07:29


One question ,

Do we really need road widening ? with every new Govt, Mapusa - the fields are slowly being occupied by high rise buildings but the tiny road opp the bodgeshwar temple is flooded with rain water for ages , so are the Roads are a major source of income for all the ministers ??????1. How do these roads contribute to the improvment of the Goan economy overall? Our international exposure is due to mining and tourism , we do not need wide roads seeing the size of our state , but smooth good roads with dividers wherever required , Can we instead have a new engineering colleges, since childhood i am seeing the same power grids electric wires dangling all over now is the age of smart power grids, wind turbine farms , the PWD dept should not be under any minister , precious goan talented staff is reduced to slaves of ministers and then they harrass the public, there should be constant courses to develop their intellectual skills , public realations , uniforms , neat and tidy desks , and proper coordination between the internal depts , Its my dream to see every goan saving power , investing in solar power , harvesting each and every field , organic farming , plantations , and be self sufficient , I dont think we need politics for achieving this .

- Carol, Calangute | 19 th July 2010 21:51


Truly well said! You too should not shy away from taking the leadership role just like Dr. Hubert Gomes for the sake of Goa. The mining lobby, real-estate, hotels, and other vested projects that are being pushed through all have their pay-backs to our dirty politicians. They know how profitable it is to loot from Goa and Goans. That is why not one or two but even three from the same family are so eager to become MLAs and subbsequently Ministers in Goa. In there a shortage of good people in Goa - No! We need to stand together to take this forward and ensure that clean, honest and non-communal forces are promoted in Goa.

- Nilesh Dessai, Banastarim | 09 th July 2010 10:10


Doctor, you have nicely analyzed the political scenario in Goa. To fight against the corrupt ( who are always powerful), in the present democratic set up, with a section of the voters already corrupted and accustomed to accepting money and other gratification from the so called servants of the people, makes dislodging them from seats of power extremely difficult! That is why we see them winning the elections repeatedly! More over these corrupt so called servants of the people swindle the public funds shamelessly through cuts/commissions/percentages while in power and give back a meagre percentage of this,- in return for votes! And may be that is the reason why we see the dynasty rule not only in Goa but also in India!

And again when the honest and right thinking people are divided over many trivial issues like religion,caste,rich and poor,, the problem gets compounded!

When you see the darkness all around with no signs of dawn, may be the honest and law abiding intelligentsia migrates to other countries- leaving their motherland at the mercy of the corrupt and criminals!

- vishwas prabhudesai, loliem | 08 th July 2010 17:12


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