Is the honourable CM Pramod Savant speaking under erasure when he expresses his desire to wipe away the signs of Portuguese from Goa? Does he really mean what he says? Or is he politicizing shades of history to satisfy the angst of the right-wing? Writing under erasure was a technique of Martin Heidegger that he developed in the context of the forgotten meaning of Being in the West. Heidegger alleged that Western Philosophy had forgotten the verbal meaning of Being and favoured the noun meaning of Being. This reduced Being to thing. This is why he wrote twice Being. The first Being to him was verbal but he also wrote the nominal meaning of Being which he wanted to set aside and crossed out the term Being and wrote it alongside the Being that he wrote to mean becoming. Jacques Derrida used this technique of writing erasure extensively and used it for several terms.
By calling to erase the signs Portuguese in Goa, has our CM put Goa under erasure? Does that mean that Goa is in need of purification? In doing so has put Goa, Goans and Goan-ness in a tensive relationship. It seems that he doubled up Goa. There are now two Goas. One that is in need of change or purification and one that is already pure. Thus, by putting Goa under erasure the CM is appeasing one section that self-authorises itself as custodian of Indian-ness and identifies that Indian-ness as Hinduness while the other section is one that is summoned to reformation in the image of what is deemed as a Hindu India. Thus, Goa is put against Goa. Goans are pitted against Goans and Goan-ness is threatened to become de-goanized . With one stroke the CM has succeeded in dividing Goans.
By putting Goa under erasure, our CM has put Goans and Goan-ness under erasure. The community divide that he has craftily fissured has marked a line between majority and minority communities. This politics of erasure pushes the burden of guilt of the dark sides of history on the minority community while simultaneously freeing the upper caste and majority community. In doing so, he unknowingly has orphaned the minority community as his politics of erasure renders the minor communities as communities without a community. Will the majority that is made to feel a legitimate heir of India forget or cross out the minority community with whom it shares cultural, as well kinship bonds? It is said that blood is thicker than water. Will Goans truly stand together and become a community with communities embracing India as well as Goa with its dark as well as bright shades of history? This means the Goans have the challenge to save. Goa, Goans and Goan-ness from the vested interest of dividing rule of its own Government.
The politics of erasure unleashed in Goa has disabled our ability to utter a ‘We’ that offers a sense of belonging to Goa, Goans and Goan-ness. We, therefore, have the challenge to support our fractured ‘We’. We indeed have the Imperative of our Goan -ness to see through the divisive agenda of the vested interest and put the lines of division drawn by the CM under erasure. Thus, by putting the lines of division under erasure through a conscious decision, we will be able to save the Goan-ness for all Goans. India will be impoverished if Goa and Goans are deionized. Under the Portuguese Goans were denationalized, But today 60 years after liberation are we to demonize to be nationalized? We can be Goans and Indians at the same time. Therefore, we have to defeat the politics of erasure with all our might.