De-Bhumification of GoaPutras?

The word Bhumiputra has brought pain and agony to Goaputras. Every Goan felt let down by our government. The pain is not just in the nomenclature but also in the possibilities that the bill opened for anyone who has 30 years of domicile in Goa. It has brought about a deep sense of loss of the present and the future along with an underlying sense of being cheated. The bill has acquired a meaning of treason and betrayal by our Government. It also appears to be siding with our non-Goan others and appears to have a secret plot against every Goan. Goans of all walks of life have felt de-goanized and delegitimized by the new bill passed in our legislative assembly without any discussion. It has brought memories of the merger politics. This time it seems to make Goa implode from within. It seems to have written destruction of Goa, Goaness and Goans all over it. Some may even imagine that it has opened us to colonization but this time it is from our very own Indians. There is very real danger of Goa becoming a slum with legal weaponization of land encroachments. The fears are that it will dilute everything Goan is haunting us today. The situation has become complex with real and imaginary fears crossing each other.

We have lost our innocence and feel anguish, angry and agitated. The use of the term to name the nefarious bill has called into question everything that we stood for as Goans. We feel that a grievous injustice is done to us. It is not just the violation of the meaning of the word Bhumiputra but that manner in which it was used and the context in which it was used has added injury to the insult. It has challenged our unnameable but precious ways of belonging to Goa. It seems to have almost exiled Goans in Goa. The character of Goa that we know appears to be in danger. The meaning that is introduced into the already in use word Bhumiputra has challenged everything that the word stood for and evoked among Goans. It has washed clean and squeezed out the meaning of the word Bhumiputra that was close to Goan hearts. Thus, the Government touched the raw nerve of every Goan when it sort to hollow out our collective sense of belonging to Goan and Goans. In several ways, it has denuded our many ways of being Goans. Each of us feels let down and humiliated by both the content and how the bill was passed. It has almost vapourized all that we a Goans together hold as sacred and priceless to us.

This emptying of the connotation and denotation of the term Bhumiputra has brought a cancelling effect on us. He has erased and cancelled our Goan-ness and multiple ways of being Goans ( goansing). We have the troubling sense that our very Being as Goans is being snatched from us and is being given to non-Goan others. This alienating sense of being othered from Goa and ways of being and belonging to Goa and Goans has brought a kind of pain of being uprooted from Goy, Goykar and Goykarpon. Although the bill introduces new regulations about ownership of houses, land etc., It cannot be simply reduced to a status of simply being a law. It has become a Damocles sword that is dangling on the head of each Goan. It is threatening to de-goanise us. Something beautiful about us seems to be dying. This painful sense of impending death and annihilation of everything that we together consider as the good life of a Goan has set us all on the road to save Goa, Goans and Goan-ness from sinking into a vanishing point.

The bill thus has become a black hole to us Goans and has trapped within it all that we as Goans live and die for. The damage is done and a change of name may not bring about any kind of healing as it can only further fuel the sense of alienation. It may become even worse as the change of name of the bill cannot change the condition. It may give us a feeling that the new name has simply put the fearsome possibilities that it has opened into invisibility. This sense of a secret plot has several unfortunate lines of alienation and can produce a movement to recover the lost. Fortunately, for the Goans the naming of the bill as Bhumiputra has visibilized the deterritorializing possibilities of the Goans and re-territorializing possibilities of the non-Goan others. Now a mere changing of the name can only reinforce the sense that may make us think that Government is attempting to rub salt over our injuries. It can only mean that the Government who was found out by the error of its nomenclature is now trying to hide the process of de-territorializing and dis-inheriting Goans. Thus, the Government is caught in troubled waters and can only opt to dump the bill for the sake of all Goans failing which there is a very real danger that the Government itself will be dumped in the next electoral husting. Goans have lost the comfort of distance with the Government and there is a danger that perception level our very own Government will begin to look like our enemy. The new Goa that is designed by the bill has become synonymous with the destruction of Goan, Goans and Goan-ness.

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