Saturday 03 June 2023

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed


Let Opinion Poll not be a Tomb of Asmitai


The new saplings of communal hate and discord planted and nursed by fanatical groups and irrigated by political elements is the major threat to Goa’s identity. These regressive forces attack Goa’s diversity as appeasement of minoritie, says PRABHAKAR TIMBLE.

Opinion Poll, 1967, the event that shaped Goa’s destiny was actually spine chilling borderline arithmetic which kept the tiny region Goa separate to graduate into an independent State in 1987. The final outcome could have gone anyway if the opinion poll was fought and perceived only on language. It would therefore not be correct to reduce the results of opinion poll as a linguistic victory. The Goan community is a unique cultural group rooted to the soil, sharing common lifestyle irrespective of religion. It was the triumph of this human geography of the petite land which can boast of being a brand known worldwide for being a community manifested in secular traditions, liberal mind-set, unique cuisine, festive spirit, zest for life and a tolerant outlook.  Against the backdrop of Goa’s demographic disadvantage on account of the relative disability of numbers it was imperative for Goa to be maintained as a separate democratic unit.

The debate on whether Goa could preserve the uniqueness of the Goan community and guard its identity (asmitai) may not end with a clear affirmative answer. But definitely, Goa and Goans had access to all the democratic tools. Failures to make the best of opportunities are discernible. At the same time, the balance sheet of 51 years also record gains of opinion poll though accompanied by damages. Goa’s merger with any neighboring State would have been a wash out of Brand Goa and the pride of the  macro community.

On Goa’s way forward, migration and immigration are turning out to be threats and challenges. Both these are not new as Goan’s have the tradition of migration from early times. This microscopic minority has excelled in art, architecture, music, philosophy; sports etc. at international levels and have strong presence overseas. Despite migration what differentiates Goans is the sense of belonging and love for the land. Migration continues to be a means to escape from poverty and for a better quality of life. There is no conflict between migration and attachment to the soil. The reasons for immigration into Goa are also the same. Goa is perceived as the land of opportunities by the poor and unemployed from neighboring states. The vacuum created by migration is occupied through immigration. In the years to come, these less privileged sections of immigrants could be those who preserve the language and culture. I would submit that those who immigrate to satisfy their basic needs would serve Goa in future as opposed to those who storm Goa for speculative investments in land and real estate or motivated by Goa as a retreat destination.

The new saplings of communal hate and discord planted and nursed by fanatical groups and irrigated by political elements is the major threat to Goa’s identity. These regressive forces attack Goa’s diversity as appeasement of minorities. There are attempts to project Christians as anti-development because of their worry that development results in influx of Hindus. Gullible Hindus fall easy prey to such propaganda little knowing the loss to Goans as a whole. The fundamentalist tuned elements are competing to match “every Cross on the street with a Tulsi Vrundavan and every chapel with a temple” and both these forces would join together to deny even a burial place to Muslims!

During the days of the Opinion Poll agitation, the forces who espoused merger would describe Goan Christians as pro-Portuguese and today the Hindutva political brigade is making similar claims and dumps those who oppose coal and river nationalization as anti-national and unpatriotic. It is this positioning and implant of social venom that poses irreversible damage to Goa, Goemkar and Goemkarponn.

Finally, ''Asmitai'' is the greenery spread over the four corners of this land; the companionship of the sea, the rivers, the streams, the rivulets and the flowing waters; the lifestyle of the people inhabiting this land; the diverse foodstyle; folklore; the festive spirit in every Goan and Goa’s poly-culture. To live in harmony with nature and people respecting the freedom and privacy of individual comes naturally to a Niz Goenkar.

The way forward is to ensure that development and politics which works to the detriment of the above is dis-allowed as it is an anti-thesis of the struggle of the Opinion Poll. Goa is still known as a pious, peaceful and tolerant land. Goans are respected and known for their respect to diversity and individual freedom. The ugly clouds of pollution, social disharmony, drugs, prostitution and greedy nationalism are hovering over this land. They should not be allowed to crystallize into rain on the soil of Goa. Otherwise, 16th January would be the date to light candles on the tomb of ‘asmitai”.

Disclaimer: Views expressed above are the author's own.

@Jagan , GOA.

Agreed with you.

GFP is using Statute politics to hide its Betrayal.

Jack De Goan |

@Vishvesh Kamat.

Agreed with you.

GFP is using Statute politics to hide its Betrayal.


(1) 24x7 Water & Electricity to each Goan houses in Goa.

(2) Free Education & Free Health Care for each Goan in Goa (same like AAP’s Delhi model).

(3) Scraping of Mopa Airport.

(4) Recovery of Rs.98,000/-Crores from Congress.

(5) On-Time & Home-Delivery System of Government Services (same like AAP’s Delhi model).

(6) Demanding Ballot Paper for Goa’s election.

(7) Best & Free Facilities for Farmers & Fishermen.


Jack De Goan |

Opinion Poll is history. Even though pro-merger MGP could not merge Goa into Maharashtra, the very next election held the same year brought MGP to power again, with more seats than 1963 elections.

Bandodkar's age was truly golden era for Goa.

These "Asmitai Mogi" people like Vijay Sardesai are flogging a dead horse- to gain votes esp. of the sentimental Christians,

Vishvesh Kamat |

Deep Thought on reality and probable future of Goen, penned in very simple words.

Jaret de Silva |

Jack De Goan , GOA

BJP didn't even exist on that day!

Opinion poll is history, even Bandokar accepted the results and moved on and defeated Jack Sequeira at the next hustling. what about statues of Indian Army Soldiers who liberated us from tyrannical Portuguese?

I agree with Alka Damle, there is no point turning the clock backwards.

Jagan |

Everyone is talking about the OPINION POLL but no one is talking about the defeat of MGP+BJP+CONGRESS on that day. Winner is Dr. Jack Sequeira. No one is talking about moving MGP+BJP+Congress out of GOA. If Dr.Jack Sequeira would have been loses then today Goa would have been one of the District of Maharashtra like Pune, Raigad, Ratnagiri, etc.

Jack De Goan |

Very well written article . Nation should really think if it really does any good to the society celebrating events & days like Bheema Koregao battle or Asmitay din? Brits divided & ruled us . Is it not that in free India politicians are doing the same by refusing to learn anything from history .

Alka Damle |

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Prabhakar Timble

Mr Prabhakar Timble is an educationist and a legal expert. He has served several educational institutions, especially as the Principal of Government College at Quepem, Kare College of Law in Madgao as well as couple of Management Institutes. He was also the State Election Commissioner of Goa.


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