Susegad Goan Under Acceleration – I

The speed of life is accelerating by the day and it has radical impacts on us Goans. We might measure this speed of life at the rate of computers processing tons of information. What does his high speed do to our life as Goans? It certainly has a marked impact on us and Goan-ness. Velocities of trains, planes and cars are increasing and the speed of life is further accelerated by those involved in travel planning who schedule the flights, trains and buses in and out of Goa. This speed of life is also noticed by the way we can trace how we have been captured by fast food, fast holidays, fast political change, fast money and even fast death. Our life span of Goan males is decreasing. We are living our life by pressing the button of acceleration of life. The social processes in Goa like other places have entered the high speed lane. Life is speeding up on the wings of revolution in communication technology all over the world and Goa is not insulated from its effects. The increasing speed of life has put a big crunch on time. Almost everyone complains of lacking time. Multi-tasking has evolved as a way of coping with accelerated life.

It seems the regime of linear time dominated by the clock is breaking down. We seem to experience an excessively intense time. To understand it, we have to recognize its driving forces in a fast paced society. We cannot simply think that scarcity of time is a result of growing technology because paradoxically technology actually saves us time and gives us free time and leisure. Something more fundamental has happened to us and we have to understand it. We seem to be on a track of social acceleration and technology is a means and not the cause. Maybe we have begun to equate time and money. Time has become money and we are all on a spree in a hurry. This is because the capitalist form of development that we have embraced compresses time and space. This empties time of any other meaning. Time becomes secularized and becomes open for anyone to trade on it. Thus, the Goa tourism industry invents holidays on weekends, public as well as religious holidays. This means time once emptied of a singularized meaning can then acquire multiple meanings. Industry, politics and even religions introduce their specific meaning to time. We are actually experiencing an intensification of time that offers us several possibilities as a result we get distracted and feel that we lack time for everything. The temporal dimension of our experience has transformed and we feel that we are left behind by a running time.

The fundamental core of our being in time and space has changed. As speed overcomes or compresses distance, space becomes more and more irrelevant. Time gets privileged over space. This is why we Goans may have gone on to sell our land to the highest bidder because we are haunted by the fast paced time. For once our territorial or special relations to Goa became weak and we, being obsessed with time, sold our land as if we had competition that offered the first prize to someone who did it first. Maybe our plight can be explained with an analogy. When we are in a ferry in order to cross a river, on reaching the bank of the river, we take off as if we are hell bent to become the first before others. We are captured by the urgency of time. This means we forget our relations to space and only get preoccupied with time. Our dynamic relation with time without reference to Goa also seems to fire an exodus to London from Goa. Hence, we have to understand how the wheels of time are fast transforming us all Goans. It may be the same privileged temporal relation over space that also increases the gulf between the two dominant religious communities in Goa. This may be because in the fast lane of life our roots and identities begin to be on the road to death. As a result we feel the imperative of recovery as fast as possible as the speed of life is not waiting for us.

The accelerated speed of life breaks the inertia of tradition, customs and morality. The political dramas that are erupting in Goa exhibit that we have become an accelerated society. Our tradition, morality and Goan-ness / culture are not strong enough to de-accelerate our society. This is why we need to be concerned about the driving forces of our society and try to slow them down. The acceleration is threatening to out-pace our capacity to integrally synchronize our shared experience of time and space in Goa. The high speeding society is leading us to confront the non-simultaneity of the simultaneous. Just like digitalization of money brings about the non-simultaneity of the simultaneous, we experience the non-Goan in the Portuguese passport holding Goan. This means we are facing the paradox of a biological and cultural Goan-ness in the Goans as simultaneously Goan as well as alien. We do not understand our changed relation with time , nothing can stop us from being a violent state nature Thomas Hobbs. Our conflicts as well as communal bigotry have its roots in the change in our relation with time. We may need to develop new ethics of kinetics to cope with the fast paced life.

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GREETINGS

Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao