Thinking in Goa

Is there anything like Goan philosophy? Before answering this question may be we have the challenge to answer another question. Is there anything like philosophy of a territory? Does philosophy unlike mathematics and science has local features? I think there is some connection between philosophy and territory. Geographical boundaries do characterize ways of thinking. Gilles Deleuze teaches that thinking takes place in the relationship between the territory and the earth. There are also ethnic and anthropological roots to thinking. Humans territorialize and transform a space into a place. They infest life, meaning and fulfilment in that place. But we face different forms of deterritorializations in the place where we territorialize. Deterritorialization is outward turning movements that we face. These deterritorializations trigger thinking.

It is the oscillation of the inward and outward movements that generated thought and constitutes its privileged object. Goa is the privileged object for us Goans. It has generated our values , ideas, and things that we hold in high esteem. But thought does have ways of transcending local boundaries and overcome its locatedness. We do not absolutize our belonging to the earth but are able to think of life beyond this earth after death. In some real way thought has a spacial as well as temporal dimension. Territorialization of the thought has a dialectical relations with deterritorialization. This complex dialectics in Goa can be named as goanization. Our goanizations goanizes our thinking. Goan thinking is not ahistorical or atemporal, it has constitutive temporal dimension. This is why it is not fixed or frozen in time and space but is evolving in response to the territorial and deterritorial movements in Goa. It is in the context of this dialectic we construct our privileged objects of our thought. This means there is no one singular thinking in Goa. We have several modes of thinking shaping in Goa. Goan thinking produces our philosophy of life. This philosophy is marked by plurality. It has introversions as well as extroversions.

At present Goan thinking seems to be triggered and produced by a sense of estrangement and a loss of Goa and Goan-ness. Unfortunately, the deterritorial movements have brought us to a point of exhaustion. But this does not mean that Goan thinking is pessimistic and fatal. It is passionate, critical and resisting the outward movements of deterritorializations. Resistance to a continuous deterritorialization is a living feature of our thinking in Goa. It is longing for a Goan fulfilment. It arises from the threat of loss that Goans feel in the present where Goan fulfilments or flourishing seems to be in great danger. This quest for Goan fulfilment generates Goan thinking . There are several orientations coloring Goan longing Goan horizon of fulfilment. They run between total identification with Indian nationalism by way of cultural Hinduism and cosmopolitanism of the catholic minority that embrace India as well as stay open to the world at large.

This double orientations are because the land of Goa was cut off from the nation ( if we can grant that such a nation existed in its fullness when Goa came to be) but simultaneously opened to a larger world for a long time because of colonization. It is withing this spectrum, that we have plural modes of thinking churning in Goa. What we can clearly notice in Goa is that Goan thinking is not inward looking although it has an inward thrust, it also has powerful centrifugal force. It is perhaps this out-reaching energy that makes Goan culture hospitable to the all visitors to Goa. There is a constitutive alterity of Goan thinking that is running parallel to other Indic ways of thinking. The epicenter of this alterity is located in the colonial past. Colonization was indeed a rupture but also in several ways constructed modern Goa. Similarly, Indianization of Goa was also disruption that also went on to construct modern Goa. The territorial and deterritorial movements that generate our thought in Goa is shaped by these dual disruptions. It is through the creative process of coping with these ruptures that Goans produced Goan-ness and goanize themselves and Goa as well as India. This is why Goan thinking is marked by these constitutive raptures.

Often some Goan do not think of these foundational moments of Goa and Goan-ness. But whether Goans accept these foundational moments or not, Goan thinking is shaped and structured by them. It also brings about immanentization of antagonism mainly among the Hindus and the Catholics who share kinship or blood relations. It has been craftily politically used by vested interest for votes and notes in Goa, especially in our post-colonial times. Goan thinking exhibits several seeds of Philosophies. They remain unarticulated for the present. It is left to the Goan thinkers and philosophers to bring fulfilment to these unvoiced philosophy. The invisible thoughts of Goans are waiting to be visibilized in the coming future. As long as there are movements of territorialization and deterritorialization Goans will think with and for Goa and Goans.

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Hypocrisy is the tribute that vice pays to virtue.

- Fr Victor Ferrao