Denial of Democracy

Image Source: Youth Ki Awaaz

Democracy is said to have brought self-determination to the people. The will of the people is understood to be paramount for an active running of any democracy.  Today paradoxically, there is a denial of democracy in the name of democracy. The will of the people has become insignificant as our political leaders and their parties appear to bow down at the altar of crony capitalism. People in Goa have no option but to hit the roads to actualize their fundamental right to self determinism. In recent days, the Mopa airport, Tiracol golf course, and MOI struggle demonstrate how a denial of democracy is forced on innocent people of Goa. Under Colonialism, we did not enjoy self-determinism and now in a free India, we are steadily experience a strangulating loss of democracy. The free market economy and the policies of IMF and the World Bank have imposed several un-freedoms on our duly elected Governments leading to the weakening of democracy and consequent growth of the corporate colonization of our country.  We seem to have forgotten the politics of re-distribution of the yester years. The politics of ‘Roti, Kapda and Makan’ and ‘Bizli, Sadak and Panni’ is long forgotten. The poor are forgotten and do not seem to count in our country.   

Therefore, the denial of democracy to the people has to be studied with profound attention. The chief issues that concern us in Goa today can be viewed within this tragic denial of democracy to the people of Goa. The doors are closed to the vibrant will of the people. Such a closure indicates the rise of totalitarianism. The spirit of democracy remains open to the will of people while totalitarianism remains closed to the good of the people. Totalitarian tendencies opt for the primacy of culture over its people.  In the context of struggle for MOI, we can clearly trace the denial of democracy. The parents do not enjoy freedom and self-determinism to choose the medium of instruction for their children at the primary level. What is happening in our society seem to mimic the colonizers. Like the colonizers, there seem to be some self-appointed cultural police who are out to civilize the ‘barbaric’ masses. They pose as the guardians of our national culture and languages and opine that the poor who flock to the government aided schools have to opt for regional languages. Paradoxically, this civilizing mission only targets the poor who also nurture aspirations like their rich counterparts who study in the English medium private schools. This appears to be a cultural imperialism of those who are already intoxicated on English and push the burden of looking after the national language on the poor while the rich can freely educate their wards in sophisticated and pedagogically scientific private English Medium schools. 

It appears that we have decided that poor has no right to educate children in English medium schools. If they dare to ask the government, they are dammed as anti-nationals. While the rich can transmute and appear nationalistic, the poor have to prove their national character. Our society seems to bend forward and forget the rich people educating their children in the medium that is deemed by the mimic men of the colonizers as anti-nationals. But because they pay for their education, their act that is otherwise an anti-national is washed clean of all stains of anti-nationalism. Their double standards become visible because they bend backward and force the Government to deny the opportunity for educate the children of the poor in English. This new politics of re-distribution tilting towards the rich, seems to deceive us that English taught in private schools in Goa transubstantiates into patriotism while the same when taught in the government aided school is anti-national and will promote the death of regional language. Language does not need schools to survive but it needs the speakers. If the speakers go away from the language, no school can save it.   Hence, it is important to understand how our issues are complex. We need to examine how a denial forced on the poor of all religious persuasions is construed    as denial for the Catholics and thus milked to feed the libido of communal forces as well as cultural police that mimic the colonizers. There are several problems with our education policy in Goa. Education in the local languages has the problem of the bridge. One cannot easily move with English education at the secondary level as well as it does inspire confidence that it will provide opportunities to make a living on the future.  Hence, we have no option but to view the denial of freedom of choice of the medium of instruction is nothing but a denial of democracy. Hence, let us understand the complexity of the issue at hand and save our democracy in Goa.  

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao