SUDEEP DALVI | Today is a day of mourning or me. Today is a day of sorrow. Today is a long, never ending moment of grief for me.
A little more than a year after the assassination of my Guru Martyr Father Jose Desidorio Bismarque Dias, today I have lost my mentor who tempered me since my childhood, Commandante Alexandro Fidel Castro Ruz, former President of Cuba and King Emperor of billions of hearts all over the globe.
More than half a century ago, students’ leader Fidel Castro, a rich Cuban bhatkar’s child gave up the luxuries of life and along with his student supporters took to the streets against a crony capitalist banana brand dictatorial regime. When every measure failed, he attacked Moncada Army Barracks in Santiago De Cuba with the support of a handful of youths and stolen, smuggled and borrowed rifles. Attack fails, many die and the rest, including Castro, arrested.
After serving an incomplete prison term, Castro flees the nation only to return back as a revolutionary guerrilla army leader and begin his war against the corrupt and kleptocratic regime.
After many years of protracted battlefield struggle, Castro enters Havana as a victor with his rifle on his shoulder.
The first thing he orders is the closure of all the casinos and deportation of all the casino owners. Next to follow was Nationalisation of Cuban economy and appropriation of Cuban businesses that were under the iron grip of American muliltinationals. What followed then was communitization of Cuban economy from the clutches of landlords and redistribution of land to the tiller, being the first one to appropriate the land holdings of his own family and distribute it to the farmers, setting an example of no nonsense non hypocritical state machinary.
Soon, trouble with the big brother Uncle Sam living next door started which continues till this day.
Having faced several assassination attempts all his life, Castro managed not only to survive ten US Presidents from Nixon and Kennedy to Obama and Trump and fight back, but extended his struggle across the continents, from Congo and Angola in Africa to Bolivia, Chile and Argentina in South America and Nicaragua and Grenada and Dominican Republic in Carreibeian, in short wherever capitalist imperialism had dug it’s claws into the flesh of poor.
Today, Cuba boasts to be the only Nation in the world to provide free health services, free education and free civic aminities to all its citizens calling them the basic human rights, and has “exported doctors, engineers, technicians and teachers along with technical experts all over the globe to the nation’s ravaged by wars, conflicts and natural calamities”.
As the President of the Non-Aligned Movement, his friendship with Nehru and Indira grew up from formal diplomatic relationship to bear hugs and loud and long chatters and laughter over Cuban rum. Till his end, he remained the best friend and we’ll wisher India ever had in this selfish world.
A friend of friends, a liberator of the exploited and supporter of natural justice across the globe, a survivor and a fighter par excellence, a struggle across the lifespan and winner at the end of life, Commandante Castro will occupy the same space in my heart, that his Goan counterpart Father Bismarque.
It’s said that imitation is the best form of flattery, and as I try to imitate Martyr Father Bismarque by copying his style of talk and diction, I have tried all my tricks to imitate Commandante Castro with my military jackets and caps that I don.
I will not shed a tear today, just as I didn’t shed one when Martyr Father Bismarque achieved Martyrdom last year on my birthday.
Goa today needs a Castro. Goa needs a Bismarque. More than ever. More than ever.