Goans Between Desire and Drive

Most of us have a sense of being blown away by a nameless force that embeds our mass culture. Goa is no exception to this predicament of humanity in our country and the world. We seem to feel that the ground under our feet is fast shifting and Goans, Goa ad Goan-ness are in an exile right in front of us. A sense of alienation is growing by the day. It seems to have killed our joy of being Goans and discontent has fast taken us captive everywhere. This sense may be viewed as the pain of a symbolic castration that anticipates the death of everything Goan. The reining degoanization makes us acutely feel that loss of something pure, valuable, original and precious. Goan-ness is felt as a lost object and is pushing several among us on a loss-recovery mode of living. This loss-recovery dynamism has pushed us to look for substitutes that complexly stand for Goa, Goans and Goan-ness. Some of these substitutes have acquired political incarnations raising emotions and expectations high. These political substitutes being what they are could not satisfy the thirst of Goans and we are now looking at villains and heroes that we deem responsible for our plight. This gap that separates the pure and the original Goan and Goan-ness and its present state that threatens its degoanization in all directions cannot be filled by messianic substitutes who may have the best of intentions to save Goa for all Goans. In the regime of substitutes, we are always haunted by a sense that conveys us a troubling insight that seems to persistently maintain the gap as we get more and more convinced of that fact that ‘this Goa is not that Goa’.

Our being-in-Goa with our being-with-Goans appears to be ‘out of joint’. We feel disgust and fear induced by Goa felt as an object that has become out of place in its own home. We have a strange feeling of being estranged and rendered into a state of objects lacking a proper place. We can take some courage that our sense of dislocation and displacement may not be as acute as some people to have taken up arms to regain their lost space. Yet dislocation and being rendered placeless informs all our people’s agitations and discontent with the Government and other vested interests differently. This sense of disillusion is based on an encounter with the ugly residing in what we deem as Goa and Goan-ness. We are faced with the death drive that threatens to devour Goa and Goan-ness. This is the moment of reckoning. It is a time that can transform our desire into a drive. Desire remains shallow while drive profoundly involves us with full responsibility. When our desire to save Goa becomes a drive to save Goa, we no longer depend on surrogate or substitute messiahs (both in political or cultural hues) who appear to represent our desire. These surrogates may appear to replicate our desire to save Goa but will always remain wanting. We cannot save Goa by surrogating our desire. We need to transmute our desire into drive. It is only through a collective and individual drive to save Goa we can succeed.

Desire is oculocentric. All that desires want is to see. It expresses the language of seeing. ‘Hanv tuka dakoitolo’ or ‘Hanv poita tum kitem korta to’ in our mother tongue expresses the visual thrust of desire. Enslaved to seeing, desire marks a distance from its object. There is a subject of desire. This subject bears a narcissistic interest. Drive has an object. The subject exists but is at the service of its objective. When we as Goans would be driven by a drive to save Goa our egos will not stand as a stumbling block. As long as we only desire to save Goa, we have a noble goal but the achievement of the same is wrought into our ego battles that would divide Goans among themselves. We are placed in such a scenario today. Unfortunately, our ideal ego and ego’s ideals conflict and we stand divided letting Goa, Goan-ness and Goans fade in thin air. Hence, it is time to take full responsibility for Goa and Goan-ness. This would require us to maintain the primacy Goa and Goan-ness above everything. Just like a patient undergoing psychoanalytic treatment heals him/her self by rejects its dependence on the Big Other and takes charge of one’s life so also a Goan taken over by a drive to save Goa shuns aside his/her dependence on the surrogate other and takes full responsibility for Goa, Goan-ness and Goans. This becomes the first step in our struggle for Goa, Goan-ness and Goans.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao