Think Goa: Centre for Alternatives and Public Discourse

Think Goa takes a Goa-centric perspective which puts Goa as the primary locus of discussion without leaving India from its critical embrace.  It is a matter of emphasis. Thinking from Goa is from local to global. It is glocal! It is rooted in Goa yet open to the global and indic perspectives.

There is no disincarnated thinking.  Thinking occurs from a locus, from ‘a where’. Moreover, thinking occurs as a response to external provocative stimuli. Thinking Goa is thinking from the privileged position or primacy of Goa. Goa and Goan interest is primary and above everything else. Therefore, Think Goa will (un)think about everything that affects and afflicts Goa and Goans and will seek to propose alternatives in a dialogical mode.  ‘I am a Goan, therefore I think Goa’ remains fundamental to Think Goa.

The Goan – ness that we share collectively and individually informs us (self/identity) as Goans. It leads us to Goanize ourselves and become fully Goan. Hence being a Goan is a dynamic process of individual and collective self creation as well as it involves the shaping of Goa. This means we shape or make Goa as much as we are shaped by Goa. Therefore, we Goans have a double project that has to enable Goan – ness in us and Goa to co – blossom. Goa-ness is both dynamic and plural and therefore, Think Goa will resist all forms of homogenization of Goan culture as well as Goa itself. The diverse ways of being Goans stays close to the heart of Think Goa.

Our Goanness is a storehouse of all that we Goans consider sacred. It is a social archive that holds everything that Goanizes us. It consists of the meaning of the universe and values that bind our society together. It includes our past history, our land and our institutions, our language, our vibrant literature and diverse art forms like tiatr, our craftworks, our religious traditions, our culture, our natural beauty and precious heritage etc. Our social archive becomes the womb that socializes or Goanizes us as well as leads us to take Goa to a new level of growth. Within this imperative to let our being – in Goa become a relation of mutual actualization of the potentials of Goa and each of us as Goans, we need to be acutely concerned about the process of degoanization of Goa.

Several Goans have raised the alarm of degoanization of Goa and Goans. Some seem to have sealed the fate of Goa with the slogans that proclaim the death of Goa which says: Go Goa Gone! Therefore, Think Goa has been launched to seek ways of arresting the accelerated rate of degoanization of Goa. Hence, we do not pessimistically accept our fate but initiate thought, dialogue, research, advocacy and debate on all issues affecting and afflicting Goa and Goans and seek to arrive at viable alternatives that will try to address our issues. Think Goa remains open to all who wish to contribute to this process and does not necessarily look for consensus alone but would strive to follow an ethics of dissensus that keeps contrary views in its embrace. Indeed, the contrary views are only alternate perspectives which it proposes to debate and propose for their viability and practical applicability for Goa. Think Goa welcomes dissent, dissidence and dissidents for the sake of Goa. That is why Think Goa opens itself to the plural form of thinking Goa. It is not merely a broad term that masks the diverse and concrete Goan issues but would like to approach specific issues in their concrete contextual situations. In fact, it will strive to provide a platform to all Goans to project their issues, afflictions, and concerns and would strive to provide intellectual support to the issues, problems and concerns raised by different sections of Goans.

Being a center for alternatives and public discourse, Think Goa would primarily engage with the public discourse in Goa and would try to counter and change the discourse that is anti-Goa and anti-Goans. Positively, it would try to set the discourse taking proactive positions for the sake of Goans and Goa. Above everything, Think Goa aims to stay away from Party politics and engage, interrogate and position Goan voices to all political parties and quasi-political institutions like the RSS to promote the good of all sections of Goans As well as Goa.

Hence, Think Goa would do the following to achieve the above Goals:

  1. Stay focused on the issues, concerns and afflictions of all sections of Goans and Goa from primarily academic perspective. Stay true to Goa-centric perspective in all its diversity, Intensity and vibrancy.
  2. Engage the public discourse that is set in the Goan society and lead to the evolution of counter-discourse that would try to bring the good of different sections of Goans as well as Goa as whole back into public discussion.
  3.  proactively set the discourse that will respond to different issues that afflicts different sections of Goans.
  4. Organize seminars, conferences, public lectures, debates, awareness programs, programs of advocacy and women empowerment programs etc., for all sections of Goans that would include school children, youth, Adults, women, and senior citizens.
  5. Strive to promote dialogue and work to mediate to bring about understanding and peace among different sections of Goan people that may conflict or take contrary positions on vital issues that are central to Goa.
  6. Strive to bridge the North /South divide, Old conquest/ New conquest and the Religious divides that afflict Goans and informs and influences every Public Goan issue.
  7. Engage Mass Media In all its forms to push the agenda of Think Goa.
  8. Engage, interrogate and position Goan voices before different political parties without directly/ indirectly supporting any political outfit.
  9. Remain open to learn from all Goans and everyone else who will assists to actualize the goals of Think Goa.
  10. Listen to different sections of Goans and network with NGOS and other institutions in our society to achieve the goals of Think Goa . Dialogical and not confrontational approach would remain the chief mode of working culture of Think Goa.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao