Friday 19 April 2024

News Analysed, Opinions Expressed


I was an atheist till...


Yes, I said that. I am an atheist. But there can be no other explanation for the present state of affairs in Goa. God has to be playing a hand. Ergo, God exists. And I believe. Without a shred of doubt, God has to exist.

I was not born an atheist. But somewhere down the line, I became one. I believed that the universe was a perpetual clockwork machine that ticked without any divine intervention. The rise of fundamentalism all over the world redoubled my belief in non-belief. If there was a God, he would definitely have struck down all those who executed the most murderous and violent deeds in His name.

In our own glorious country, God, if he exists, must surely have been on vacation, or at least AWOL, when the Sikhs were butchered in Delhi in 1984, when the Babri Masjid was demolished in 1992 and again when Gujarat was supposedly cleansed in 2002.

I was convinced that God was a myth.

But the state of the Government administration in Goa today had made me rethink. Visit any Government office anywhere in Goa today. From the Secretariat at Porvorim to the tiniest Police Outpost or Forest Checkpost in any remote corner of the State. With a few honourable exceptions, and thank God(?) for them, it's a wonder any output, useful or otherwise, emanates from any of them. Each office seems to take pride in aiming for the highest levels of incompetence, inefficiency and corruption. Accountability has gone for a toss, sycophancy and chamchagiri rule the roost and proximity to politicians is the ultimate aspiration of each Government servant.

It is estimated that virtually every 25th Goan is employed by the Government. And with such a large band of Goans working - or rather sponging on public money - the way they do, it is a miracle Goa progresses. It is said that development takes place when the Government sleeps. But what about a Government whose employees have abdicated all responsibility to the people they are supposed to serve and abandoned their allegiance to the Constitution of the country?

If the state progresses, and I am told it does, only GOD can be responsible.

Yes, I said that. I am an atheist. But there can be no other explanation for the present state of affairs in Goa. God has to be playing a hand. Ergo, God exists. And I believe. Without a shred of doubt, God has to exist.

This epiphany inspires me to suggest a new initiative for Goan tourism. We can write a new chapter in Devotional Tourism for the state. One that will not have Hindu or Christian shrines on its itinerary. Goa can be projected as a destination for the Tourist Who Does Not Believe. The itinerary would start with the tourist's arrival in Goa. Overnight stay in a Government run hotel. The next day would be a tour of 4 -5 Government Offices. I bet the guy or gal would shed his or her atheism by the 2nd or 3rd stop. One more conversion achieved.

On a serious note, it is high time we, as stakeholders in the State of Goa (and it is a very sorry state), took steps to tackle this issue. We blame the politicians, both the ruling and opposition benches, for Goa's myriad problems. They definitely are, but we have proved ourselves incapable of voting them out of power. They seem to come back, in spite of, or is it because of, their innumerable misdeeds.

But, if every 25th Goan is wedded for life to the principles of incompetence, inefficiency and corruption, there is much to be done. For every Government servant who does not work, there are 24 Goans who should be demanding his accountability. Because if every Government servant refused to kowtow to his political bosses' illegal commands and demands, if every Government servant were not fazed by threats of transfers and suspensions, if every Government servant did not have skeletons in his cupboard, there is very little the politician can do to loot the state's coffers.

I do not think our democracy has not failed us. We have failed our democracy. We have steadfastly refused to reject the politicians who have let down their voters. We have achieved such a level of subjugation that our politicians buy us whenever they feel convenient or necessary. This point of no return has come about because of our total lack of vigilance over the last many years. It is time to change tack. Let the politician alone for the time being. Let the political parties fight their battles and stew in their own juices.

We should focus on the 60,000 Government servants of this state. Let us punish the culpable among them for the crimes they have committed. The crimes of betraying the people of the state for the interests of a few should now come home to roost. Judicious and widespread use of the RTI Act to expose scams and frauds can fix the blame on officers who actually put their signatures to the files. A few examples would instil the fear of God in the rest.

Maybe, then, they will refuse to be cowed down by their political bosses. Maybe, then, in this holy land, miracles will happen. Maybe there is some light at the end of the tunnel.

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

Dilip A very well sorted out and written article, I think many if not all would agree upon your points in the article. Especially the point of the new tourist packages. Priceless, just amazing satire there

Although I want to congratulate you upon your writing style, your selection of words is an inspiration to noobs like me who have just started penning down our thoughts. It was an education reading your article.

keep writing

and keep inspiring

Nikhil Pereira |

Mr. Chetan, i don't agree with you on point of offering good candidates because in Goa at present stage the only qualification required for candidate is about 2 to 3 crore and good candidate cannot fulfill that requirement. Secondly political parties also give top priority to the financial capabilities of the candidate at the time of selecting the candidate

Sanjay p Sawant Dessai |

A players hire A players, B players hire C players, and C players hire losers.

Let your standards slip once and you're only two generations away from death.

Denzil Fernandes |

I doubt our patriotism. In general, our selfishness claims superiority over patriotism. We, the so called stakeholders, never give a try neither to awake the people at the time of election nor offer a good candidate or political party.

Chetan |

In a (so-called) democracy, people get the government they deserve. The problem as I see it, is, the people.

I feel, that people have to be honest and courageous to cast their vote for the candidate that they feel is the right one, and not for the one that will do or promises to do them personal favours.

My hope is that the next generation of voters and the elected will have the interests of the country, state and people ahead of their own gain. That, to me, is the beginning of real independence.

Pride in being honest and fair, is what needs to be inculcated in the young.

Of course, God does exist, your consciousness is part of The Omnipresent God. It is only through Maya, that The Inseparable appears separated. I don't think you are too serious about being an atheist, Dilip.

How are you anyway, besides being fed up of the deeds of the government servants? My regards to yourself and to Bhushan.


George Fernandez |

Yes, I totally agree with you. You have highlighted a serious issue that needs to be fought by each and every individual of this small sate of Goa.

Sanjay p Sawant Dessai |

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Dilip Prabhudesai

An electrical engineer by profession and social activist by compulsion, loves the wild, dabbles in theatre, and is a cine buff.


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