PANJIM ELECTIONS WILL DECIDE THE FUTURE OF INDIAN DEMOCRACY

BATTLEGROUND: The battle for Panjim is a classic David and Goliath fight. Manohar Parrikar, like Goliath, is a powerful, almost legendary figure in the history of Panjim, having been the MLA for 20 years now. As chief minister of the BJP party in power, he has tools and advantages that his challengers do not. Girish Chodankar, an underdog in this battle, is fighting with limited resources, and with many of the local Congress bigwigs watching from the sidelines

In a blistering editorial in the latest issue of the Renovação (Renewal), the bulletin of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, Dr F E NORONHA reminds people that freedom, democracy and secularism are more important than corruption, and says, “Let us not vote for persons who hurriedly make dozens of promises everyday with dates and deadlines and violate them at leisure. This seems to be the speciality of some people. Also people with innumerable u-turns do not carry any credit .”

THE issue in India today is no longer corruption. Not even secularism. It is freedom, pure and simple. There are rare occasions when a single bye-election can have nation-wide repercussion: such is the one on August 23, 2017. If the present Goa Government formed by dubious methods goes, it will be a watershed in the attempt to stop the down slide of our country’s democracy. It is the moral responsibility of Panjimites to stem the tide.

Different elections call for different attitudes. There are times when we have to look at the candidates, their character and capacity, there are times when we have to look at the parties, there are times when we have took look at the development of the constituency and there are times indeed when people merely look at their immediate issues like local leaders who tell us for whom to vote and worst still when petty social considerations prompt the voting.

But there are rare occasions — and August 23 is one — when the future of a State and of the whole nation depends on a single election.

In 2012 everyone thought in terms of having a corruption free Goa; this thinking continued till 2014, but from then and increasingly everyday, what we are witnessing in India is nothing but a constitutional holocaust. Corruption is very bad, communalism is worse but Nazism is worse than both.

Anybody who read William Shirer’s “The rise and fall of the Third Reich” or Allan Bullocks “A study in tyranny” or Hitler’s own “Mein Kampf” will find an extraordinary identity between the growth and rampage of Nazism in Germany in 1933 onwards and India in 2014 onwards.

You talk or take a stand against the Government and you have the Income Tax, CBI, ACB, ED knocking your door at midnight. You are also likely to have a big mob of people claiming to be honest patriots and tender lovers of animals with knives and sticks in their hands. TV anchors disappear from the screens. TV owners themselves or very vocal political opponents are found to be corrupt and events are dug out which took place 10 or 20 years back. Editors are sacked. On the other hand lest anybody thinks that the other side is honest: no, of course it is not. But nobody touches them. A person is lynched and the case is filed against the surviving family members not against the murderers. The extent of abuse and oppression is matter for full books. Strangely documentaries are made of events of 42 years back when much worse horrors are going right on your face.

The country is being ruled by one or two men and the rest are mere henchmen and running dogs. Please don’t vote for a person who is a mere subaltern of such individuals. We should not vote for persons who show no sign of a distinct backbone or character and evidently agree with the nationwide fascism.

Freedom, democracy and secularism are more important than corruption. Corruption was better. Let the corrupt rule if they allow us to talk, to eat and to be politically free. India is nobody’s backyard it is one of the greatest nations in the world. Freedom is our birth right and we shall preserve it.

Let us not vote for persons who hurriedly make dozens of promises everyday with dates and deadlines and violate them at leisure. This seems to be the speciality of some people. Also people with innumerable u-turns do not carry any credit. Navy could have moved out of Dabolim. At least the disgusting military garages and workshops unnecessarily occupying the central places of Panjim could have been moved out. I see nothing patriotic in abusing civilian public places.

If Goa falls it will be a turnaround in the entire course of current Indian politics.

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