Goa in the Gutter

November 7, 2015

rajanparrikarRAJAN PARRIKAR  |  A few days ago, I received an ominous message from my dear friend Dr. Anil Desai, the distinguished surgeon based in London and one of Goa’s great sons. Upon hearing that I was visiting our homeland he inquired about my personal safety. It was an odd query as I have to this day never ever felt the slightest bit of concern as regards my own physical safety in Goa. The missive from Anil-bab was disconcerting since I know him to be an incisive mind not given to flippancy in these matters.

The very next day I briefly dropped by Hotel Fidalgo for the “Smart City” symposium where I heard the Panjim MLA, Shri Sidharth Kuncalienker, rail against “activists,” who, he said, were obstructing Goa’s development (‘development’ is the politician’s codeword for loot of the public treasury).

Today we received the terrible news that Bismarque Dias was found dead in his village of St. Estevem. He and I worked alongside Matanhy Saldanha during the anti-SEZ movement in 2007-2008 and I saw his passion for Goa from close quarters.

Was foul play involved in Bismarque’s death? We don’t know yet and I won’t be jumping to premature conclusions. Only a thorough forensic investigation can shed light on the matter. However, given the record of high corruption in the Goa Police and the political interference in every aspect of their operation, Goans have cause for skepticism on whether there will be an honest reckoning.

And now to this gutter climate of lawlessness and corruption (Rane, Churchill, Ravi Naik, Digambar, Manohar Parrikar – all are founder-members of the stinking swamp we enjoy today) we have politicians casting “activists” as villains. That should make all of us Goans stop and think carefully.

Bismarque was fighting the powerful builder-politician nexus against their destructive designs in Tiracol, Vanxim, Mopa and elsewhere. Surely there were people who would have liked nothing better than to see the last of him. He was one of the “villains” in their eyes.

Will Bismarque’s survivors get justice? A little girl was raped in the early days of the Manohar Parrikar administration and that case went nowhere. As I like to remind my fellow Goans, the Indian sewer is upon us.

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