Imaging Goa – IV

It would be interesting to ask a difficult question. Do we have a desire to see what Goa would be like in the absence of Goans ? Perhaps, we do entertain such a desire. It is an obscene desire but some of us may be happy to indulge into this obscenity. Some may even positively hope to see the disappearance of the Goans belonging to the minority religions. Maybe the Portuguese passport nurtures such a hope of some Goans leaning towards a narrow exclusive nationalism that is not national enough. This nationalism excludes even liberal Hindus and embraces only sanskari Hindus. We cannot fall prey and be seduced to an imaging of Goa where Goans disappear. Such an imagery of Goa is diabolical. Its seductive force makes us forget Goa, its specific history and legitimate absorption into forms introduced by the right wing as national. Such a nationalism images Goa and Goans as contaminated because of pollution. We have explored this political economy of signs with a special reference to Goa, Goan-ness, and Goans. It produces dissuasions and we cannot fully embrace Goa, Goan-ness and Goans as it disassembles it from India. Such an image of Goa as contaminated becomes a site of disappearance of Goa and Goan-ness and produces mimetic violence of seduction where to be an Indian, Goans have to de-goanise themselves and metamorphose as Indians in the matters and forms of the right wing. This is a real contamination of Goa and Goan-ness.

The charge of Goa being contaminated vis-à-vis pure hindutva implodes upon itself and it becomes clear that it is hindutva that is itself most contaminated and contaminating Goa as well as Hinduism. The Demand on Goa and Goan-ness to resemble AN hindutva imagined Indian-ness is diabolical to Goa. This demand of conformity operates as a force of seduction for some as well as a source of alienation for others. But submitting to these demands of conformity would be a fatal strategy for Goa and Goans. It is important to delve into the dissuasions that imaging of Goa as contaminated by its past causes to Goans. It loosens our embrace of Goan-ness and renders us cold about Goa, its unique past and its hybridized culture. Goan-ness is original and does not need the nationalism promoted by the right wing to improve it or purify it. This is why it is important to theorise dissuasion and understand how it afflicts Goans. Dissuasion is chiefly used by security studies to promote deterrence. But the manner in which it is employed by Jean Baudrillard might assist us to understand how it operates in Goa.

The imaging of Goa as contaminated and polluted humiliates Goans and dissuades them from being proud of their identity. Such a positioning of Goa has its own ephemeral logic. It is a logic of extermination of Goan-ness by accusing it as a source of denationalisation. Such logic legitimates all attempts to exorcise a demon of its uniqueness out of our Goan-ness. The Hindutva ideology becomes a black-whole that eats up uniqueness in Goan-ness and Goan-ness is tamed, domesticated and put in forms that are deemed to be Indic which are actually right wing leaning and therefore (h)indic . This means Goan and Goan-ness has to be imaged as a copy of Hindutva driven apparatus of images. But there is a definite loss of uniqueness of Goa and Goan-ness. This is why it is important to resist hindutva. We have the obligation to stand up to it because it is not just a medium of dissuasion but is violence to both Goa and India. It is leading to us to inaugurate a Goa without Goans and Goan-ness. What would be Goa without Goans and Goan-ness? What can be India without Goan-ness and Goans? Will our submission to hindutva a bill for our own disappearance as both Goans and Indians? It is indeed a steady implosion of Goa and even India. It is because this hindutva is pathological to Hinduism itself.

The Immense power of hindutva cannot be underestimated. Just like secularisation and westernisation may be viewed as a threat to Goa and Goan-ness by some among us, hindutva does have the power to degenerate Goa and Goan-ness. It can put Goa, Goan-ness, India and Hinduism into a mode of disappearance. This is why we may have to ask: what would be India without Hinduism? Liberal Hinduism itself is a contamination for hindutva . Hence, a Hindu Rashastra without Hinduism that we all know and appreciate would be only a Hindu Rastra by name. There is a yawning gap between Hinduism and hindutva. The same can be said of Goa, Goan-ness and India vis-à-vis hindutva. But there is a bridge between Goa, Goan-ness and India, Indian-ness and authentic Hinduism. Hence, we have a grave task. We have to prevent the sunset and engulfing of darkness onto Goa , Goan-ness , India and its plurality and Hinduism itself. Authentic Goa-ness is related to India and enriches our Indian-ness.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao