Goa and After Life of Colonization

The battle for Goa is turning murky on social media. Battle for Goa has become a battle to control the narrative and build perception. It is fast becoming a battle of perception. The distinction between the real and the perceived is fast blurring and we are happily settling down in favour of the perceived. With the advent of social media, the perceived has become the new real. We seem to care a hoot to the fact that we have lost our touch with the real. We are happy with the filtered reality. While we can trace several instances of this ongoing battle of perception maybe what happened at Sancoale around the site of the novena and feast of St. Joseph Vaz did depict the ugly side of our politics. We can notice that several semiotic mechanisms were used to claim legitimacy for the protest as well as invent a sense of victimhood of the majority around the site of the celebration of the feast. The interpretative logic that is produced continues the general narrative that Hindu’s Khatre me hai that has somehow proved successful elsewhere in the country. Such a construction of victimhood leaves no arbiter for the masses to discern the real from the one that is constructed to suit a vested interest. Hence, it is important to contest the architecture of deception that is being built to foster and mobilize politics of hate to milk votes and garner notes and usurp power.

Thanks to several enlightened Hindus in Goa, the voices of the hate mongers fell silent though the Government did little or nothing to bring them under the stranglehold of the law. Besides, it came in the open how the entire drama was staged to support a vested interest that has its eye on the Church land where the feast is celebrated and thus opened the eyes and minds of several doubting Thomas amidst us. The fact that the hate events of Sancoale came on the heel of the Chief Minister’s statement by which he seems to call for the regeneration of temple Sanskriti by re-building of the temples that were pulled down by the Portuguese during the colonial period raised several eyebrows. This reckless statement aimed to polarise our society and thus generate votes in the name of hate was also contested and rejected by several right thinking Hindus. The divisive dividend has so far never really paid the BJP so far. Yet given the pressure of the anti-incumbency, BJP that had wisely kept their divisive Hindutva on the back burner is brought forward by a nervous Chief Minister.

What are we to make of these two distinct yet interlinked efforts to mobilize hate and polarize our society? These two efforts manifest imperialism that exhibits an image and likeness with colonial imperialism. How can we reproduce the imperialism of the past that disrupted our society during colonial times? Does this tendency to embrace imperialism that mimics the colonial imperialisms at several levels in our society today indicate that our minds still remain colonized even after several years of our liberation from colonial rule? We reproduce several forms of colonial imperialisms. This reproduction is no monolith. This is why we need a sustained decolonial effort. Unfortunately, we seem to reproduce several shades of imperialisms that image its colonial counterpart. In the name of exorcising the demons and ghosts of the past, we seem to produce s mimicked imperialisms which is a politics of blame that invents new villains for the sins of the colonizers and generate a dialectics of us and them. This politics of blame sanitizes and civilizes violence and employs it thinking that we are exercising emancipative options. We need a critique of violence as well as the deconstruction of mimicked forms of imperialisms that plague and afflict our society today.

We have to therefore give up the logic of colonial imperialism and delink ourselves from the colonial matrix of power. To let the decolonial clock run its full throttle, we need to deal with the pain and the trauma of colonization. The several forms of imperialisms that mimic colonial imperialisms are cries that seek therapy to the colonial trauma. In fact, these imperialisms are nothing but loss-recovery dynamisms that try to recover that which is deemed as lost under colonization. While we remain sensitive to this cry for healing, we have to embrace the decoloniality of power. Decoloniality of power employs power to contest mimics of colonial imperialisms of our time. This means has the power to burst the bubbles of mimics of colonial imperialisms that afflict our society today. Decoloniality of power does help us to employ power to bring about emancipation and defend the freedoms of our people. Indeed, decoloniality of power will enable us to dismantle the afterlife of colonization in Goa. This will bring about new ways of being Goans. We have achieved decolonization. What we need is to usher in decoloniality. Decoloniality of power generates decolonial praxis that disobeys and delinks from the colonial matrix of power and constructs paths and praxis towards an otherwise of thinking, sensing, believing and living. Goa is uniquely placed to usher in these other ways of thinking, sensing and being in India.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao