The “3 Idiots” of Goa

By Sandesh Prabhudesai
04 February 2010 00:09 IST

It was a first week of February. A group of young students from a city college bumped into my cabin.

"We are organising a state-level festival and we would like you to be our media partner."

"Sure, but what're the programmes?', I asked as usual.

And came the usual answer: "very interesting programmes, sir. A quiz, treasure hunt, elocution, fashion show and even a debate, sir."

"Yes, but what's new?

They were puzzled.

"These are the usual things everybody does. Give me something new and we are your media partner," I assured.

They had nothing special to offer.

I had just returned from the 15th Goa Yuva Mahotsav, organized by the Konkani Bhasha Mandal. This time it was in Bicholim. The 90 x 60 mts of pandal was overflowing. Over-energetic students and youth from villages and cities had charged the whole town for two days - 30th and 31st January.

They come with our traditional dholl-tasso. They tie innovative bands, wear T-shirts with freakish but meaningful slogans. Each group has a punch line... sort of a mission statement for their group.

They participate in many competitions. From folk dances to Konkani pop. From a street play to mobile shooting. Oratory, singing, dancing, theatre and all such things... but in an innovative form.

In fact there is one competition called Mushtaikee (Costumes). A couple comes dressed in traditional costumes, acts and speaks the language of that character and replies to even tricky questions asked by the organizers and the crowd, in a most surprising but spiky manner.

But more interesting are sideshows in the whole arena. Suddenly you find a married couple moving in the crowd, taking blessings from the elders. A Poder comes on a cycle, selling Unde. A fisherman selling fish. Shivaji Maharaj with his Bhavani sword. Lord Krishna with his Sudarshan Chakra.  

A perfect combination of Goa's Carnival and Shigmo... yet, it's much more than that.

And even the whole group sometimes starts moving in the pandal in a very creative formation. The participants sing on the stage and they dance in the audience.... in different creative forms, with their eyes wide open....

The creativity simply floods at Yuva Mahotsav. The innovativeness has no limit. Most of them are village youth...

And here are the city students, organizing state festivals of the same routine stuff in a very monotonous manner...

I find Yuva Mahotsav much different from all these monotonous city festivals, for yet another reason. These students and youth just don't enjoy and go. You find them fighting on the road when Goan identity is threatened. You find them shouting slogans to Save Mhadei. You find them working in Canacona when floods demolish hundreds of families. You find them holding banners of Mission By-pass in Curchorem. And you even find them fighting with elderly 'religious fanatics' when riotous situation is created in their locality.

On the other hand, you ask "those" festivalites and most of them (not all) don't even know about these social issues. 

I am not against city students. In fact, I now live in a city. My kids are grown up in the city. But village has its own advantage. You intermingle with the Mother Nature there. The nature has lots of innovations hidden in it. You go on observing it, studying it and it provides all kind of fodder needed for our innovative mind. Mere surfing on the internet, going to gyms or watching movies in the multiplexes cannot make you as innovative as the Nature does.

That's the reason the village students are found more innovative than the city students. Obviously, they shine at the festivals like Yuva Mahotsav. They also struggle a lot in the villages. The social consciousness thus becomes a natural outshoot...

The result? At such Festivals of Novelty, the creativity, innovation and intelligence is found to be blended perfectly with social consciousness and social obligation. A real citizenery indeed.

I remembered Dr Raghunath Mashelkar's speech at NIO hall on 27 January on "Shaping India's Future Through Indian Talent." Three of them were real quotable quotes:

"Innovation in all the fields is the key to country's growth. We need expansion, inclusion and excellence with a major thrust on innovation."

"The 21st century is of the minds. And the quality of Indian minds is undisputed. But first of all, we need to create opportunities to harness the ideas from these minds."

"No doubt we need to adopt new concepts. But before that, we need to give up the old concepts."

Concept does not mean tradition. The core could be the same, but the concepts could differ and improvised upon.

India has a great tradition. It's not a religious tradition, as is being always portrayed. It's a tradition of Innovation. A tradition of Creativity. A tradition of Talent.

But, sadly, we are still encircled with the British system of exam-oriented education. The education that calls the memory-testers as Scholars and the marks-performers as Intelligents.

3 idiots

"3 Idiots" was a real blow on this so called education system of crammers. If we need to prove Dr Mashelkar right, then we need Ranchos and not Chaturs. We need to identify this talent, which is still being rusticated from schools and colleges, just because they don't listen to monotonous traditional style of the teachers but want to do something "out of box".

At the same time, we need to come down heavily on those, who boast to be scholars but in reality are just imitators.

In fact imitation mentality needs to be India's number one enemy. I say India, because it today consists of 55 per cent of youth. They are the majority. The YOUTH represents INDIA today.

To channelise this Rancho talent, we need such out-of-class festivals for a real talent search, just not classroom-based and exam-oriented bogus talent search.

And not just festivals of imitators (who could not tell me one innovative specialty) but festivals of Innovators. Festivals of Creativity, where minds flow freely and sky is the limit for imagination.

In fact, even Konkani Bhasha Mandal needs to re-think and re-design its Yuva Mahotsav with more and more innovations every year. And all the colleges (especially the students) need to also think on these lines, while organizing their own state festivals.

Goa is a land of artists. Innovation and creation is the integral need of Art. To think creatively and innovatively, you need a tension-free relaxed mind. Compared to other states, Goa definitely HAS it.

But as Dr Mashelkar says, "we need to create opportunities to harness the ideas from these minds".

Who will create these opportunities? The parents? The teachers? The students themselves? Or a perfect combination of all the 3?

Shall we ALL become these 3 idiots?

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

Blogger's Profile

Sandesh Prabhudesai

Sandesh Prabhudesai is a journalist, presently the Editor of, Goa's oldest exclusive news website since 1996. He has earlier worked as the Editor-in-Chief of Prudent & Goa365, Goa's TV channels and Editor of Sunaparant, besides working as a reporter for Goan and national dailies & weeklies in English and Marathi since 1987. He also reports for the BBC. He is also actively involved in literary and cultural activities. After retirement from day-to-day journalism in 2020, he is into Re-Search Journalism (पुनर्सोद पत्रकारिता), focusing on analytical articles, Video programs & Books.

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Previous Comments

We the youth of Goa, must take some initiative to prove that, we have the power to take our state to the peak of succes. We must not miss a single opportunity to do something for our people, our state and our country...

We must think on how to handle the challenges before us, think positively and do the right thing..

we all must be proud that we can do something for our state,our country as youths....

- Mangallya Kamat, Margao | 13 th February 2010 21:33


This was my first yuva mohatsav !I just wanted to witness what exactly Yuva Mohatsav is... so that i can ve my take on it.. Well, it's all fun and a typical youth festival.. but on a personal front, i did not like it that much..i feel it just sets best example of how energetic our youth is.. but is that all we want from our youth? Dancing around, shouting..n rowdy things? All these things they anyway do ... but in such fests, there is a need to be bit serious.. the aim should be the empowerment of youth.. as Dr Mashelkar had said ”India is a land of opportunities.”. but our main problem is we do not highlight these opportunities. Instead, we encourage our youths to take strides into fun field activities.. can't we come up with a youth festival that will empower our youth?

- Ashwini priolker, Mangeshi-Ponda | 13 th February 2010 20:38


The youth now have all the potential to put up a good any field thy what ever,,,,

But we accept defeat soon...this is what we lack... we should take up challenges...and fight them... not just because we have to win... but because we should put up a good any field....!! Youth now have to take up this initiative to take the prove that we have the power to take our state..our country...ahead....!! we should be making opportunities...rather than waiting for 1......!! It's important to do the job properly... rather than just doing it...because we are getting something out of it....!! we should give our best....n we will get the best..!! cheers!!

- harsh kamat, madgao | 13 th February 2010 17:59


As Dr Mashelkar says, "we need to create opportunities to harness the ideas from these minds". But i think we need one more idiot to create these opportunities and that is the govt or politicians. If we have politicians whom we can look upon as role models and a govt which is "youth friendlly" then definately youth would get opportunities to come up. Very nice article sandesh bhai. Just loved it! Want to read more from you.

- tanvi, ponda | 13 th February 2010 17:53


all this is well.. u have made some valuable points.. but where is the inspired political leadership to guide our youth towards innovation.... the only political guidance offered gleefully to our youth is how to break the law.. thrive on religious and caste prejudice..and how to make a quick and easy buck.... how can this challenge be handled????

- oscar, goa | 12 th February 2010 20:56


First of all, a very very interesting and insightful wrietup. But I am left with a mixed bag of emotions after reading it. As a young boy, who has spent 99 percent of his life in villages, I am absolutely elated and firmly support your views about villages and cities. True to the core!!! I still have few students in my class (I am a 3rd year student of Goa Medical College), who after being born and brought up in Goa can't speak fluent Konkani, which I consider a shame. And their excuse is quite a lame one that WE HAD STUDIED IN ENGLISH MEDIUM SCHOOL BECAUSE OF WHICH WE DID NOT HAVE CHANCE TO SPEAK IT.... Sometimes I really feel they are trapped in some alien environment.

But.....about your comments about inter-collegiate fests and its comparison to Yuva Mahotsav is like comparing apples to oranges.

As a cultural secretory in charge of organising an inter-collegiate event, I know about the hardships and difficulties faced by the collge students' union to organise such events.

1) Yuva Mahotsavs are conducted and organised by a village or a city as a whole and not by an one college. So obviously they are more resourceful. By meaning resourceful, I mean being able to amass the sponsorships and the financial aspect, which are quite difficult for the students.

2) The inter-collge events conducted by VILLAGE colleges also have same set of monotonous programmes. So where does all the creativity flows at that very precise moment from the village urchins??? The answer is the lack of interest shown by most of the college authorities towards such inter-collegiate events.

3)I would like to cite an example of WAVES, an inter-collegiate event organised by BITS GOA CAMPUS...I know if you have attended this event, you would not call it a monotonous one..

4)And last but not the least, the very itinery of an inter-collegiate event is prepared by keeping in view the mindset of colleges participating in order to garner maximum crowd. The events, which proved their mettle in some place may not show the same glitter in every event. And for showing creativity, we need not have different events. It just depends on the management of age-old event in a new way.

Anyway, it was fun reading the article...beautiful piece and I am sure I am going to visit this site constantly and regularly to see any updates from your pen (or should i say keyboard?)

- swapnil salkar, bicholim-------bambolim | 11 th February 2010 16:36


Very Practical Blog.

In fact the liveliness from all city youth festivals is no more. These are being organised only for the sake and as a part of tradition of respective Institutes. Uniquness and Innovation is lost from these festivals. Moreover many 'unwanted activities' are mushrooming. On the contrary,we can stiil see vibrance and many more creative and innovative 'CHEEZ' in Goa Yuva Mahotsav. Very interesting and realistic blog.



- Milind Paidarkar, Mumbai | 10 th February 2010 12:07


Very nice Bhai, well done.

I am talikng about a photo you put on your article. Because this group is ours. Omkar Sanskritik Mandal, Loliem, Canacona.

Also like to add little in lovely article.

Restructuring the quotes of Mashelkar

"No doubt we need to adopt new concepts. But before that, we need to give up the old concepts."

I would prefer Savarkar's lines "JE JE UTTAM UDATT UNNAT MAHANN MADHUR TE TE"

- Vasudev Pagi, Canacona, Goa | 09 th February 2010 11:54


A Perfect combination of all – parents, teachers, students & society at large is highly essential to discover our talents. However, it is advisable to create the opportunities on our own in an innovative manner instead of waiting for someone to create the same for us. This will surely uplift Farhan Qureshi, Raju Rastogi & Rancchoddas Shyamaldas Chanchad "Rancho" and also Chatur Ramalingam or "Silencer” in the long run.

Dr. Soniya, Pradnya, Pooja & Udesh, Govt. College, Pernem

- Dr. Soniya Sirsat, Pernem | 09 th February 2010 11:17


Very thoughtful blog.

The 3 Idiots have to be integrated in such a way that each one has a fresh look to the future. No pressures whatsoever on each other as what each individual likes to do.

Education is not about marks and grades, it is more of experiments, discovery, freedom.

Only then we will be able to say proudly...Aall Izz Well :)

- Pankaj, Panjim | 06 th February 2010 13:41


Yes, I agree with you. All three have to work together for the success. But I feel for creating opportunity, you need a visionary government that is missing in Goa.

- Sanjay p Sawant Dessai, Curchorem goa | 06 th February 2010 12:29


There are plenty of onlookers around, but what we need are owners. People, who would own the problems, are existing around. Only when you own a problem, you can find a solution to the problem.

- Vivek Mordekar, Margao | 04 th February 2010 13:56


Nice article Sandesh bhai…

I would like to read your views on Goans working outside Goa, especially in the IT field. A Goan engineer student, who passes in Goa, never finds any job in Goa. He has to run in IT hub like Pune & Bangalore…

- Kalanand, Goa + Pune | 04 th February 2010 13:02


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