Trapped into Back to the Future Syndrome?

Image Source: The Quint

The political clock is ticking fast. We all feel the heat. We are drawn into the battle against the clock. The time is running out and we are also running out of ideas and visions. We seem to be almost trapped into a frozen time and are being pushed to the future much like the famous science fiction of the 1980s, Back to the Future. The illustrious science fiction depicts the hero Marty McFly as thrown back fifty years behind the time when an experiment by his scientist friend, Doc Brown goes awry. Marty finds that he is placed fifty years behind time and has to make sure that all events that brought him into being have to fall in place so that he can safely return to normal life. His time travel tying of the knots and bolts that will bring him back to normal life is the dramatic plots that unfold in the mind-bending fiction under our consideration. Travelling through time in a modified DeLorean car, Marty meets the younger versions of his parents, his father, George and his mother, Loraine. The plot thickens and shows that he has the task to make sure that his parents fall in love so that they marry and he is born. Otherwise, his very existence is in danger. Besides, Marty has an even more daunting mission to return back to normal time to save his scientist friend, Doc Brown.

We in Goa seem to be trapped like Marty. All political parties and politicians understand our condition and are promising us a future. There is no one future that is placed before us. There are competing futures. Each of them is almost promising the moon so to say. Much like the hero Marty of the science fiction, the Back to the Future, who is condemned to a life that is fifty years out of time with normal time, we too feel that time is out of joint. Marty who has to align the events of the past that had brought him where he was before being trapped by the time machine, also feel that we have to align everything so that our precious Goa is saved from destruction. Our plight seems to align with the fate of Marty who has to engineer events to make his parents meet so that he is born and is set free from the trap of the time machine. Unfortunately, much like Marty who inadvertently prevents his from parent’s meeting, thus jeopardizes his own birth and existence, we in Goa also seem to be setting up a politics that seems to threaten the future that we all like to belong to in Goa. Our condition is akin to the famous Shakeschilli of our Hindi textbook of yesteryears who we know happily sat on the branch that he was cutting. Therefore, without being cynical we have the challenge to introspect whether we are digging the grave of our own future.

We seem to have refused to learn our lessons from the past and are only mesmerised by the glitter of the promised future. Our plight is that of the hero of the science fiction trapped in the past in as much as we desire to get back to the future that we imagine as safe for Goa and us. What we lack is the scrutiny of the promised future and the critical ability to separate the grain from the chaff. Our desire to alter the present is praiseworthy. We have been struggling to get back to a future for a long time. Like Marty, we have been trying to join the dots so that the future of promise dreamed by us becomes real. Drawn by the weight of this future, we had put faith both in the Congress and the BJP in the past but the future of promise that we all aspire seems to remain a distant dream. Unfortunately, even when we tried to change things and tried to send BJP packing during the last election, we had to put up with a rude shock when BJP robbed people’s mandate playing the number game faster than the winning horse of those days.

Everything that we try to get back to the future of our dream seems to go awry. The Congressification of the BJP through the import of the Congress MLAs applied salt on our already bruised wounds. Things do not seem to align for the future of our dreams and like the hero of the fiction, we are in desperation. The Goa of our dreams appears to be more threatening than ever before. Everything is fast aligning only for the destruction of Goa, Goans and Goan-ness. What masquerades as development has reduced Goa into a corridor for the economic elite to prey on our natural resources to accumulate wealth. Unfortunately, Goans are not just facing a development-induced development that leaves us behind as it marched ahead, we are indeed facing prospects of a tragic extinction of what is left of Goa. Hence, we feel the imperative of a lost future. Several among us are claiming that this is the last real chance that we have to save Goa. We can clearly discern that this sense of loss and urgency of shaping a future that will save Goa is felt by the right-thinking Goans. We cannot see the same in all the political parties. Several among them are offering freebies like water and electricity and jobs but only a few are trying to save us from a development that is de-Goanizing Goa and Goans.

It has also become difficult to see how what is masking as development is a hiding place for all destructive forces of Goa. The nationalization of the rivers is cover for privatization and ‘coalolization’ of our rivers. Hence, it is important that we find ways to reverse this destructive tide through active socio-political resistance. We indeed have the challenge to resist the social engineering and brainwashing of the political parties that do not carry Goan interest. What Goa needs for now is a good alliance among the political forces. Only an alliance might block the anti-Goa forces that are preying on our resources. We do not just have to blindly embrace promised freebies and jobs. What we need the most is a politics that will save our Mhadei, save Goa from becoming a coal hub, save our coastline as well as river banks from going out of our hands in the name of private interest that masks as national interest. If the political alliance fail, maybe all that we as people are left with is a challenge to build a profound unity among us Goans so that we can truly act as enlightened voters. We have the challenge to choose unity on the essentials, liberty on the non-essentials and charity and honesty on everything else. This means we have to unite around Goa-centric issues and have a large heart to allow liberty for everyone.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao