WE’RE ALL IN IT TOGETHER! The Goa Trinamool Congress announced its third poll promise called “Mhaje Ghar, Maalki Hakk” at a function held on January 11, 2022. The promise includes a bonanza package of land ownership rights,100 sq mt of land for subsidised housing for 50,000 homeless families, 250 sq mt of land to tenants whose cases are pending in court, etc. Picture has TMC cheerleaders in togetherness…Deepak Dhavalikar, Luizinho Faleiro, Churchill Alemao, Kiran Kandolkar, Yatin Naik amongst others, including Rajya Sabha MP and AITC Goa in-charge Mahua Moitra, with Sushmita Dev (also Rajya Sabha MP and AITC GOA co-incharge).
IN politics anything is possible and anything can happen, but the question is should it? It’s been yet another week chasing Goa’s pre-elections happy family games or merry-go-rounds if you wish and I am no longer sure about which politician belongs to which party now…so and so was hard core BJP, no, praying and eating at the chief minister’s home? No, he has joined the Congress now. And what about so and so and so and so, where are they now? The party hopping continues from Congress to Trinamool, from Trinamool to BJP, from BJP to Aam Aadmi party and what, so and so is with the Congress now?
At any given point of time media people are hustling to double check which politician has joined which party in a near midnight drama, all the political to-ing and fro-ing and unbelievable compromising in various confabulations of our politicians is making me dizzy as I try to keep up with the speedy Gonsalves!
Then for good measure there are the more or less new parties preaching their niche value politics of how to save Goa or Bharatdesh! There’s the Revolutionary Party, the Goa Su-raj Party, I rather like the sound of Roshan Mathias of the Goencho Swabhiman party from Calangute who would like to “split the political wolves from their sheep clothing!” There is the Sambaji Brigade and the Bhagawan Anandhavishnu Deva Prabhu’s Jai Maha Bharath Party which wants to contest the Assembly elections for all seats (says he has got no shortage of anything)…one niz Goenkar is now crying hoarse that it is innocent and a breakaway group is spreading lies about its funds bona fide and mala fide, please check your facts and be sure to give it your political blessings. Only they can save Goa!
Everyone is seeking political blessings. So much some in the fray have decided to shun parties and do their own private campaigning as Independent candidates. Very often it is the Independent winners who call the shots after the elections if not before. There are presumptions galore and the promises continue tinkle away with the Goa Trinamool Congress announcing yet another one of its promises to do with a housing rights scheme.
As usual it was yet another one of trip out to the balmy wintry sunshine-filled lawns of the Laranja Lawns of the International Centre Goa on January 11, 2022 where all the TMC heavies from Deepak Dhavalikar to Churchill Alemao to Luizinho Faleiro were present, vowing that within 250 days of forming government — the TMC will grant title and ownership rights of land to Goans who had come to Goa before 1976. This is the Mhaje Ghar, Maalki Hakk scheme being promised in this third round of TMC promises which will surely touch a chord in many hearts.
For who doesn’t want to legalize their homes on what is really illegal squatters rights in perpetuity. Even the BJP Pramod Sawant government tried to illegally legalize this through a hastily passed bhumiputra bill — but such was the hue and cry from Goans that it had to withdraw it. Maybe if it returns back to power after the Assembly elections now scheduled for February 14, 2022 it will return to the bhumiputra bill anew.
AND if Mamata Banarjee’s TMC-MGP alliance comes to power it will do the needful in making the required alteration to the Goa Daman & Diu Agricultural Tenancy Act of 1964 and the Goa Daman & Diu Mundkars (Protection from Eviction) Act, 1975 to give 100% ownership rights to Goan tenants who to date have not processed these rights legally for one reason or another. It’s a kind of freebie promise really, something you want for nothing! Something for nothing?
Well, if I may say so there have been cruder ways of creating perennial vote banks by politicians in Goa chasing the hot seats of power — as we have learned in the past, the path to hell is always paved with good intentions, no? Maybe, maybe not. In fact I am sure the BJP will do this land ownerships transfers if it returns on the saddle; if not, there’s always this third promise of the TMC of “My Home, My Right” to look forward to. That is if by some fluke it captures power in Goa and makes history of sorts.
By way isn’t “Mhaje Ghar, Maalki Hakk” Marathi sounding? It sounds more like Marathi to me…poor Konkani-mai, how it gets side-lined by these bhaile parties! Though I like the chutzpah of the TMC family and all its go melodious ditties about giving Goa a new dawn with “Navya Goeank.” The party is also promising subsidized homes for 50,000 homeless families by way of plus, plus promises. Promises, promises.
BUT then if you’re asking me my dears, I bet if the Sudin and Deepak Dhavalikar brothers have anything to do with it, they will also try to parcel Goa off to Maharashtra because their party was and is all about Marathi and Maharashtra zindabad (before better sense prevailed). Correct me if I am wrong, I’m not a terribly political person, my dears – but these days politics is rubbing shoulders with me courtesy some die-hard Goenkars who love Goa from the inside out and not outside in superficially.
(Sigh) Next came the news of seasoned and tempered BJP politician Michael Lobo and wife Delilah being garlanded by the colourful Congress party sash and inducted like a long lost son of the party. With this one of BJP’s core MLAs has said goodbye to the BJP brand of politics which is now popularly being perceived in Goa to be driven by the double engines of corruption and communalism (with talk of reviving Goa of old as the temple town of Kashi of the Western coast)!
Also there are these mega dreams of mega development so that may be Goa will turn into another Dacca port in Bangladesh in the not so distant future. Tell me am I imagining it all up as Gautam Adani’s grand dream come true for Goa? Life is always about Gujarat and Gujaratis in India these days…I’m not sure if I don’t prefer Bengalis to Gujaratis, seriously.
Like it is one round of dizzy merry-go-round of press conferences from morning to midnight in Goa for poor media people, toing and froing from the BJP offices on the third floor of Navelcar Building before which stands some rare silver oak trees to see in Panaji, to the brightly lit new campaign offices of the Congress at Patto, to the hole-in-the-wall AAP offices at Mahalakshmi temple vicinity and in between various wannabe Independent candidates in the fray hoping somebody would offer them big money to withdraw — so that they may not split the votes.
I anticipate a grand paise feko tamasha dekho scenario post-elections — and the wrong party coming to power again this time, my dears, for I specialize in being pessimistic and depressive with good reasons. In my heart of hearts of course I pray, please, whatever gods there be, no repeats of 2017 any more for the Goa that I have come to love. Goa deserves better.
On that note it’s avjo, poiteverem, selamat datang, au revoir, arrivedecci and vachun yeta here for now!