Monday, November 2, 2009

Bleeding Hearts for Goa Inc

I was wondering the other day, what would happen if all these bleeding hearts that come to Goa offering deals and opportunities for Goa and Goans actually told the truth. The flavour of the season is for every Tom, Dick and Harry coming to Goa to set up some business, institute or establishment, to talk of the benefit for Goans and Goa. It is getting predictable and tiresome. Just the other day a seminar for making Goa the Education Hub of the West Coast was held in Panjim. Two of the speakers had come in from outside and all puffed up with the great deeds they were planning for the state and “improving” the lot of its people.

Their plan is to turn the entire state into an educational hub, with clusters of educational institutions in every taluka. Why? Because the culture and climate and type of people in Goa are perfectly suited for providing the right ambience for the setting up of educational institutions. Because Indians spend $10 billion on foreign education and if those institutions were set up in Goa, all that money will stay in the country. Really? Would those educational institutions be doing this all for charity?

Another speaker described how he used to come to Goa for a holiday every year. He now comes here on business every month. This brilliant analogy he says is proof of how far Goa has progressed. The education hub would help Goa and Goans immensely he said, because the “parents of the students would come to visit them and your travel and tourism industry would get a boost”.

Everyone wants to do everything “for Goa and Goans”. Even the Sanatan Saunstha. Their aim is to make the people of Goa aware of the “special responsibility” they shoulder. They want to re-establish the divine kingdom. This they will do through kshatradharma which “spiritual” practice will protect seekers and destroy evil doers. By this logic they should recognize their own seekers Malgunda Patil and Yogesh Naik as evil doers, because the bomb they were carrying exploded inside their scooter, comprehensively destroying them. This surely must be Divine Retribution.

By the same logic the 40 young people in the truck carrying the Narkasuras were protected by the alertness of the truck driver who found a bomb planted in the cab of his truck and threw it away. He saved the lives of all 40.

Take anyone, liquor barons, casino operators, beer manufacturers, five star hotels, motorsports, construction companies, mining companies. Each and everyone of them holds a press conference telling Goans that they have come here, because they want to “do something” for Goa. They want to “put Goa on the map”, like as if all these centuries, Goa has been hiding like some insect under the map.

And we get carried away and believe them. We sell them our land, our children, our birthright to this one small place we can call our own. They put down roots, bring in armies of labour from all over and push us into a corner.

So I was wondering. What would happen if they actually told the truth. If they said straight out: Friends, locals, yokels, lend me your ears. I come to make money, not to give it. If I own huge tracts of your land and you have nowhere to live, tough cheese, you and your elected reps allowed me to own it. Yeah, verily I say unto you, I will fill this land with concrete buildings and cover the earth with paved pathways and flowerpots. No problem if you have no sewerage to speak of. We will buy bottled water. You can have the sewage cocktail we will liberally contribute ingredients to. I will give you jobs, yes to tend my homes and gardens, anything further up the professional ladder will go to my country cousins from back home. You locals can tend to their homes and gardens too. That’s the kind of job opportunities I have in mind for you. Yes 80 percent of those jobs will go to you locals. And when I am tired of Goa, when it is nowhere near the Paradise it is touted to be, I will sell off everything and move somewhere else. And when you struggle with the new owners, you will remember how I was the better option.

Would it make any difference?

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