DR OSCAR REBELLO 20th Nov 2023
As another lazy Sunday unfolds and the nation has already bitten off half its finger nails before the first ball of the World Cup match has been bowled, my Inbox has been inundated with the earth-shattering news that Nilesh Cabral has been dropped as the P.W.D. minister (see title). Aleixo Sequeira, the last of the "loyal true-blooded Congressmen”, who has predictably defected, will take on the post, matching size for size.
O nosso Aleixo!!
(And so mourn the faithful who Aleixo represented, and do not quite know if he reflects them, or they him…Ouch!! )
Thus the messages are pouring in by a breathless citizenry!!
Breaking news (or wind) is the war-cry of the print, electronic and social media.
My friends Raju Nayak, Pramod Acharya, Kishore Gaonkar, and all the Jolly Good Fellows who had just finished their pineapple juice over the weekend, are now anxiously debating the issue over the airwaves.
This piece of “stunning” news has the same magnitude in Goa as a hospital being blown away in Gaza.
So the village tintos will be awash with the gossip.
Reams of newspaper columns will be filled with analysis of the sacking of Cabral.
Cocktail parties and dinner outings will be filled with whispered conversations about midnight knives in the back and who could be next on the guillotine.
Frankly my darlings, WTF!!
Why on earth should Goa and Goans even care about this absolutely ridiculous, worthless and brainless game of musical chairs??
Why should we even be pro-Hamas— oops Nilesh—or pro-Israel—oops BiBi— oops Aleixo??
The question that must pop into our minds is:
How are our services going to change, with this monkey business??
Will our roads be motorable??
Will our water supply improve??
Will our street lights function??
Will our pavements become walkable?? (Everything spruced up for IFFI of course, but after that, go fly a kite).
The resounding answer is NO!!
Of course there are some wonderful, conscientious officers in the department who burn the midnight oil to keep services operational.
But a change from Tweedledum to Tweedledee at the top….??
Does it count??
Does it matter??
Should it even register??
Not a whit.
Because let's call out this reshuffle for what it really is.
It is nothing but a cynical game of vote-hunting for the big LS 2024.
The equation is simple.
Nilesh represents the Curchorem constituency, Hindu-dominated.
And Aleixo is the “tall” (how they love the word!!) leader of Catholic-dominated Salcete.
So, in the bird-brain of BJP calculations, the Hindus are their property in any case.
They mindlessly vote BJP.
(Though there could be a jor ka jhatka in assuming that the Hindu votes nothing but BJP in the forthcoming state elections).
So Nilesh is dispensible.
They might even make him a Governor somewhere.
But Aleixo is important to smile and woo and charm the doubting Thomases in the Christian bastion who, with the right allurements and correct noises, may switch their morally dubious wagons to the BJP star.
But tough luck for poor old Aleixo. Unlike in the 70s and 80s, when he was cutting his political teeth, Christaos no longer live in their bubble of Salcete.
They are complete environmental, knowledgeable citizens of Goa.
Aleixo may have to grow some fresh canines to cut through the resistance.
My earnest appeal therefore to everyone is to dismiss this whole joke for what it is:
A Pitiful Charade.
All smoke and fire, signifying nothing but hot air.
So go out there.
Holler Chak de India.
Watch a movie.
(If you haven't seen “12th Fail”, the best Hindi movie to hit the screens this year, go see it).
Walk on the Miramar beach barefoot, get pierced by some carelessly strewn metal and get tetanus.
But do not delve on this piece of non-news for more than 24 hours.
Dismiss it for the contempt it deserves.
The only person who should be alarmed, devastated, distraught and completely shattered by this news, is Digambar Kamat.
He has conclusively missed this gravy train.
Last seen he was on a bus, in some weird robe, heading off to the Himalayas to invoke the assistance of the gods.
He hopes to be blessed with the Lok Sabha ticket.
Of whichever party.
Including that of the Goa Forward, in case Vijay is in a charitable mood and his two diplomats Prashant and Dilip Blinken pull the correct strings.
Goa, My Goa,
When will we finally all just die…
And be rid of all this chicanery, double- speak and utter devastation of our lives.
DR. OSCAR REBELLO