Born of the Opinion Poll

There is an unbreakable bond of a Goan with Goa and Goan-ness. Someone said that one may take a Goan out Goa but no one can take Goa out of a Goan. Goan-ness is territorial but it transcends it and lives with Goans everywhere in the world. It is like air we breathe. It is everywhere around us. Maybe we can see it as like light. We see everything in the power of light. If there is no light the world around us is in darkness. Goan-ness is both within us and around us. It orients us. We display some embodied dispositions and tendencies that are specifically Goan. These dispositions and tendencies organize the way we see us and our social world and respond to it. This means Goa, Goan and Goan-ness belong together in a profound manner. Goan-ness becomes the grid that illuminates what we view as Goa and Goan. Without this perspectival lens of Goan-ness, we cannot recognize Goa and see ourselves as Goans. Being Goan is being intertwined with Goa and Goan-ness. Like every Human, the being of Goans is profoundly marked by inter-being. A profound relationship with Goa and Goan-ness is the life-breathe of a Goan. This means being Goan is a relation of inter-being of Goan and Goan-ness. The inter-mingling of Goa-ness is that which makes us Goan and leads us to goanize authentically.

There are several repeatable truly Goan modes of goanising that we can trace from the dynamic history of our people. Among them, the choice to save Goa and its uniqueness during the opinion poll certainly stands tall and shining. This choice for Goa and Goan-ness is repeatable and liveable in our times even after fifty years of this great event. Although the event of the opinion poll is foundational in the making of modern Goa, the fact that our Government has not initiated any steps to celebrate its golden jubilee is appalling. How are we to interpret it and understand this careless and un-goan attitude of our Government? Does this great event not matter to our Government? Does that tell us that Goa, Goans and Goan-ness are not the priority of our Government? This choice of the Government appears hash and heartless. Maybe the Government owes explanation to all Goans about this choice of not celebrating the jubilee that is central to Goa and its unique Goan-ness. The trivialisation of the golden jubilee of the opinion pool is already disconcerting several Goans among us . This forgetting to celebrate an event that saved Goa and its uniqueness tells us something of our Government. It manifests that we have a government that is happy enjoying the fruits of the opinion poll but is foolishly cutting the branch on which it is sitting.

What could be the repose of an average Goan in this scenario? We may have a Government that has put what children may have called ‘ambet’ to bring a pause in their play in the course of a match. The Government may have put an ambet on the celebration of the golden jubilee. But can Goans do the same? The abdication of the Government has placed what we as children called ‘kho’ on us. If Indians are largely called children of the mid night, we Goans are children of the opinion poll. We cannot forget our mother Goa and trivialize the opinion poll. Time as rolled on and someone has said the time immemorial ‘apti dpati kavche pan, gal go babi mhoje nanv… apo zinga po taddi meddi po’ and the ‘kho’ has fallen us ordinary Goans to celebrate our unique Goan-ness , Goa that our ancestors have saved for us. We cannot take ambet like the Government. The responsibility has directly come to us not just to celebrate the great event but continue the protection of Goa, Goan-ness and Goans in even more resolve. The fifty years of the opinion poll missionizes us to save whatever little that is remained of Goa. The abdication of the Government from the celebration, seems to indicate that the Government will not be our partner in this noble task of saving Goa. We may have to struggle and even fight our Government to save Goa. This is the best tribute that we can give our people who are saved for. We who are born of the opinion poll have the imperative to save Goa for posterity with or without the Government. The ‘kho’ has definitely fallen on us. Are we ready?

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao