Standing Up for Goa and Her Children

Image Source: Business Traveller

The name is the most beautiful sound that every person likes to hear. It being essentially a sound image that is also rendered alphabetically legible naturally belongs to the world of images. Though the name represents us and becomes intimately linked to ourselves, there still remains a gap between the self and its name. Images have a representative function and are part of the imaginary dimension of our life. Besides the imaginary, we have the symbolic dimension of our life. Perhaps, if we consider the body as a symbol, we might be able to understand the symbolic dimension of our life. Our embodied experience leads the self to understand the body as its symbol. Hence, the imaginary, the real and the symbolic are intimately intertwined in our life. We experience the real but register it in the imaginary and the symbolic order of our society. Both the imaginary and symbolic represent the real but cannot exhaust it entirely. That is why, in what we say, there always remains the unsaid and the (un)sayable or in what we think there always persists something (un)thought and (un)thinkable. Since we experience the real in the mediated way through the imaginary and the symbolic registers of our life, it would be important that we understand this complexity to be humanely responsive to issues that emerge in our Goan society from time to time.

It would be interesting, if we consider the loss of the real in the context of the discourse concerning the Catholic MLA taking up the cause of the Catholic community in the educational field. There is certainly a voiding of real that seems to be filled by the imaginary and the symbolic. The real issue remains shrouded in an image of the Catholic Church and the Catholic MLA’S through the symbolic lens. Somehow, the real seems to be lost on both sides of the divide. As a sense of loss has triggered the gathering of the catholic MLA’s as well as the sense of being left out, (another kind of void) felt by the other side triggered a sense of recovery of the lost new real. Moreover, the complexity increases with many good meaning citizens feeling another void where in, they saw the absence of the no-catholic MLA’s in the gathering of the Catholics counterparts. This means, there remains something absent, a void on all sides of the discursive formations on the said issue. In the long run most of us are looking for different versions of the real. While the primary real (the real real)issue is the education of the underprivileged in the remote areas of Goa. We can already trace how a dynamism that these gaps generate produces a desire to fill them. But unfortunately, desire cannot be fulfilled (only needs can be fulfilled) and we end up creating a chain of voids, absences and nullities that take us away from elusive reality.

The gaze of this discourse has to return to the real. When we say the issue is of the Catholic community, something remains unsaid. Something remains absent. Something remains (un)thought and forgotten. In fact, the higher secondary schools and a single primary and one secondary school are all temples of learning that serve everyone, particularly the majority community. Certainly, the issue is Catholic in its fuller sense. That is the issue is universal. This openness to all is the only true meaning of catholicity. This means the subject at stake is the issue of the Goan Children, particularly from less privileged backgrounds. Can we truly become open and stand for these children. Let the void that is constructed for these children trigger us to fight for them. The closing of the educational possibilities for these innocent souls is the real that is hiding under the cover of the imaginary and the symbolic. One may have an issue with the means that the Catholics have used. The end being noble cannot be allowed to be lost. Hence, instead of getting trapped in the imaginary and symbolic gaps, let’s try to stand up as Goans and open the educational infrastructure to the children of Goa. Let’s not see the absences like the absent other MLA’s in the gathering of the catholic MLA’s or the absence of an ideal meeting of all MLA’s in the meeting of the catholic MLA’s, or even the absence of the interest of other communities in the catholic cause. The reality being, it is the cause of our Goan Children. This is all that matters and this cause cannot be allowed to be voided at any cost. That is why, we must rise above the line that sides and slides over the voids that have opened up in our discursive practices around the issue and stand up for Goa and her Children.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao