Target missed; or misguided?

By Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)
04 March 2013 22:30 IST

Every action has a purpose. Obviously, the protest of mining-dependent people in Margao on Saturday must have had a purpose. Either it could be sheer anger against the activists fighting illegal mining, prohibit them from what work they are doing or help start legal mining. Because – none - even the mining dependent people would say that they want illegal mining to start. The real sufferers want legal mining to start, so that they don’t starve. Did their action serve any one of this purpose?

Let’s talk about the sheer anger against the activists fighting illegal mining. Why are mining-dependent people angry with these activists? Did they stop mining? Who stopped it? Chief minister Manohar Parrikar, while receiving the CNN-IBN Politician of the Year Award in New Delhi, said: “It is neither the Supreme Court nor the Central Government; I stopped mining in Goa.” In reality, all three institutions acted within their jurisdiction – first Goa Government suspended mining operations, then union minister for Forest and Environment Jayanthi Natarajan suspended all the environment clearances and then the Supreme Court stopped ALL the mining operations in Goa.

But, in the Assembly during winter session and then in Goa government’s affidavit in the Supreme Court, chief minister Parrikar gave an impression that mining would have not come to complete halt if Dr Claude Alvares had not rushed to the Supreme Court. Does it mean that Dr Alvares is supreme than the Supreme Court? Is he that influential to impress (actually the word used by Goa government is ‘misguided’) the Supreme Court? Has Supreme Court acted without any strong evidence? Or is it the Justice Shah Commission report that has prompted Supreme Court to act? Doesn’t Parrikar want Supreme Court to act on the Shah Commission report? At least on the findings of his PAC report on illegal mining? Or has he simply provoked the innocent mining-dependent workers against Dr Claude and Ramesh Gawas? Was that the ‘inspiration’ with which the Margao action was initiated?

Now, let’s talk about prohibiting Dr Claude, Gawas or other NGOs from what they are doing. What did they do? Shah Commission described the whole illegal mining in one simple word – THEFT. Well, there cannot be theft without a thief. Who robbed the iron ore? Dr Claude? Ramesh Gawas? RTI activists? Or any other NGO? Or did they simply point out that somebody was robbing something? What do we do when he or she helps catching a thief? Shout slogans against them; or reward them? Who will cruse the thief-catcher? And who is cursing Dr Claude, Gawas or other NGOs? Did they commit a mistake by calling spade a spade? Should have they also turned blind eye towards the daylight robbery? And let the robbers scot free? Why is nobody cursing the thieves? And who is protecting the thieves? Dr Claude? Gawas? NGOs? Was the Margao protest against the robbers? Or at least their protectors?

Now, let’s talk about starting legal mining. Can the NGOs start legal mining? Isn’t it the court and the respective government authorities who need to play a positive role to start legal mining, as fast as possible? Whether it’s mining-dependent people or the general public, all want legal mining to start. But definitely in a legal manner, restricted manner, without polluting our water bodies, the greenery or the environment. Ultimately, we want to save Goa as well as our hard-working Goans, including the mining-dependent people. But definitely not by starting illegal mining once again. Can it start if the NGOs stop talking? Or will it start only when all the legalities are put in place? Whose responsibility is it to have all the legal requirements in place? The NGOs, or….. ?

It is true that mining-dependent people are frustrated. But is that frustration targeted in a right direction? Are they targeting the right people? Or shouldn’t people talk about illegal mining? Will everybody talking against illegal mining be targeted now? Is that the message of Margao action? Are mining-dependent people really interested in targeting those who created this whole crisis? In that case, Digambar Kamat’s old house is not even 100 metres away from CD Blue Chip, where the protest was held. Why all those politicians who created this mess not targeted till date? Why no outcry at all against any businessman who created this illegality? Or even the trade unionists, including Comrade Christopher Fonseca, were misguiding us all these years about the real looters? Are they innocent? And are the real culprits Dr Claude, Gawas and the NGOs?

In that case, the mining-dependent people are absolutely right!

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

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Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)

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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if cm gives a threat and nephew of his parties MLA attacks than whose guided missile is this?

- Peter, margao | 06 th March 2013 15:48


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