Kadamba glorification at Kranti Maidan?

By Sandesh Prabhudesai (EdiThought)
08 October 2014 12:03 IST

Ponda has suddenly become politically volatile, this time on the issue of constructing four lions, as a part of beautification of Kranti Maidan, the symbol of Goa’s freedom struggle. The controversy is simple. Opponents feel that PWD minister Sudin Dhawalikar is constructing Lion symbol of his Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party under the guise of beautification. Dhawalikar dismisses this allegation, claiming that the four lions belong to the Kadamba dynasty. While local BJP activists are opposed to it, BJP MLA Vishnu Wagh supports Dhawalikar, stating that it’s a great job to remember the Kadambas instead of the Portuguese.

Let us not discuss politics of Parliamentarians here. More important is the political line Goa needs to take on such issues. Do we need to recreate the past dynasties and glorify them? Or preserve the past from archaeological point of view to know the history – good or bad? Goa had almost 16 dynasties in the last 1700 years. The longest among it were 450 years of Portuguese rule over Salcete-Ilhas-Bardez and almost 350 years of Kadamba rule, from 960 AD to 1310 AD, with almost 17 kings ruling over Goa.

Dhawalikar says it’s a matter not to worry since the lions have nothing to do with the MGP, but Kadamba dynasty. But Sudin-bab, it’s a matter to worry more since Kranti Maidan has nothing to do with the dynasties that ruled Goa. It’s a proud symbol of establishing a democratic rule in the state. One of the first meetings to begin freedom struggle was held at this historic place. The freedom fighters did not fight to throw out the Portuguese and get the Kadambas back. They fought and even laid their lives to establish a democratic rule in the state by embracing the India Republic that was established in 1947.

All the kingdoms, with an exception of Chatrapati Shivaji Maharaj, were oppressive in nature. While Salazar was a dictator, the kings were the autocrats (emperors). There is nothing great to glorify about the Kadambas. They expanded their boundaries from Uttar Kannada to Goa, as they allied with Chalukyas and conquered Goa by defeating the Shilaharas. Why should this autocratic dynasty rule have a place at a symbol of a struggle for Democratic Rule?  Like the ‘colonial hangover’ of the Portuguese era, we also need to give up the ‘feudalism hangover’ of the 16 dynasties Goa faced, from almost second century till the 20th century. And mind you, none of these kings were Goans. In fact naming the public transport after Kadamba itself is a sign of the feudal mindset we exhibit proudly.

We may not be proud of these dynasties, but it’s important to preserve the remnants of the past, to know the history, so that the future is not recreated on these lines. But it is hard to believe that the PWD and its minister Sudin Dhawalikar is all concerned about the history and the heritage these dynasties created. Otherwise, the heritage lovers needed not to come on the street, decrying destruction of pre-Portuguese arsenals by the PWD at Old Goa while widening the road for St Francis Xavier’s Exposition. Is it logical that the PWD destroys one history in Old Goa and recreates another one in Ponda?

Keep aside the petty politics of political parties, but let us have a firm political thought of what Goa should recreate and what it should not. Isn’t it contradictory otherwise that the MGP, supposedly the party of the downtrodden Bahujan Samaj, is glorifying the historical rule of the oppressive feudal lords over the Bahujan Samaj of Goa? Do the MGP cadres approve it? And do freedom fighters endorse it?  

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 goanews.com, 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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नाक खंय आनी आदोळी खंय? I am on recreation. Kranti Maidan or Public Transport. Continuing with legacy is altogether a different issue.

- Sandesh Prabhudesai, Panaji | 09 th October 2014 21:30


Sandesh bab appears to be averse to the dynastic and autocratic rule of Kadambas and name to be used for a state run Corporation. Fine. What about his views on continuation of name of Vasco-da-Gama to the port town of Goa? Was Vasco-da-Gama not responsible t laying of 450 years of autocratic rule and decades of religious persecution?

- Madhav Bastodker, Ponda, Goa | 09 th October 2014 03:46


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