For a long time, Goa was saturated with a rich experience of silence. Today that silence seems to have been broken. We are drawn into noisy politics. It was a silence that determined who were Goans. How we are Goans as well as who are not Goans. This silence was not one of absence. It was one of the presence of harmony, confidence and self-assurance that marks our susegad culture. Today we are plagued with anxieties based on the calculus of losses. We are afraid of the loss of Goan-ness, Goa and Goans. The good old days exhibited harmony with one’s state of being and manifested contentment of life. Today we are made restless by those who police, instigate and silence our memories, relationships as well as our faiths. This noisy politics seem to have diminished and impoverished our sense of Goan-ness. This is why such a politics, it might have to be said even in its moderation is always carries a trace of excess. There is more to Goa, Goans and Goa-ness even as we can see that these days Goa-ness is defined arbitrarily by counterposing it with the migrant, the demonized non-Goan other by the likes of RGs. Like lamenting children, the RG only complains and see darkness everywhere without offering much clarity of light that they wish to bring in Goa. This play of light and darkness is also visible in the discourse unleashed by the new entrant TMC that is promising new dawn to Goans.
The darkness that has covered Goa is sought t to be dispelled by all and sundry. It is thought to be having a hyperbolic voice and is thought to be prone to violent irruptions. This darkness, therefore, is deemed dangerous for Goa. All political players are promising the end of the darkness that is afflicting us and are nurturing an expectant hope of coming to the light in us. We can also trace this coming to light in the discourse of the villain in chief, the ruling BJP. For now, we seem to have no proper place in the scheme of things in our society. It is the political parties that are promising to give us all things proper including our proper place. But this promise is yet to come to reality. We have been given these promises in the past as we are given the same now. Probably, we will be given these promises in the future too. The new promised land that we Goans wish to enter in Goa is still in the coming. Faced with the cacophony of political voices, we have begun to feel both out of time and out of place in Goa. This sense of being exiled in our own place makes us feel as if are falling on the edge of madness and reason.
Our condition paradoxically has led the measureless Goan-ness to be felt as measured. We have begun to measure Goan-ness by the noise and we have lost our old affirmative silence. Goan-ness is measured negatively by opposing it to non-Goans. What is there absent becomes the standard of measurement of what is Goan-ness and as a result, a sense of loss and anger grips us forces us to initiate a process of recovery. We seem to have become afraid of the silent silence that made us live and embrace each other as Goans in the past. Today to feel more Goan, we seem to need to listen to the noisy hate ridden politics that names the non-Goan as the scapegoats much like what Hitler did to the Jews as a source of all ills. We may find this clearly articulated in the political discourse of RG and the BJP. There seems to be very little to choose between both these players. Hindutva also appears to make us feel more Hindu by hating the minorities while RG also appears to render us more Goan by hating our non-Goan other.
With the death of this meaningful silence, we Goans are now living and breathing a meaningless hateful noise. It is spreading like wildfire. The image of fire is engulfing several among us. We enjoy being fired by the hate of the other. The same may be said of us all Indians. Somehow we have come to love high decimal debates on the television at a prime time every time. Thus silencing the positive silence, we are now lost in Goa and have become disposed and ready to be manipulated so that the one who rules by dividing us succeed. We are thus rendered atopos (without our place) as well as apolis (without city in Goa). We are certainly de-goanized and feel exiled in our own place. Some of it is because we have come to enjoy the noise that defines us by our binary other, the non-Goan who is deemed as anti-Goa and Goans. But there are also economic, social and ecological abuses that are destroying the real Goa. He cannot take this destruction of Goa and Goan-ness in silence. This is a silencing silence and has to be addressed. What we have lost is positive silent silence while what is reining amidst the noisy hate ridden politics is silencing silence. We have the challenge to distinguish between positive silent silence and negative silencing silence. We have to take the silent silence forward.
There is much truth is the sense of alienation. But it cannot be overcome by the noisy hate ridden politics. The noise of this politics not just destroys our original affirmative positive silence, it also has become a cover for the corporatisation of politics. The corporates that fund our political parties take more than their pound of flesh while we are all caught by the fire of hate-filled noise. This is why we have understood that the coalolization of Goa through the ruling regime has put some of it on our face and we are only made black and hence may be not able to value the positive, affirmative silence that made us Goans welcoming people. Goy, Goykar and Goykarponn bring us the challenge to live up to the measure of the measurelessness of Goan-ness. Hence, we need the courage to resist the politics that terrorises us by portraying and crafting and demonized enemy. We do not need an enemy to hate to be Goans. What we need is our ability to regain our disrupted, positive and affirming silence. The silent silence of the yesteryears is inundated with Goan-ness. It is secular in character. It exhibits God’s welcome to all. Goan-ness is not so poor to be defined by what is its other. It is a positive way of being human in Goa.