DR OSCAR REBELLO 15th Mar 2022


March 10 was quite a kick in the solar plexus for all of us. Right??
The mood in the electorate was so decidedly anti-BJP, and yet in the final analysis, what happened was that Ukraine voted Putin in.
The magic of first-past-the-post politics.
But Jo jeeta wahi sikandar.
So c'est la vie and we have to plough on regardless for the next five grueling years.
There are a few lessons that can be gathered, however, from the brutal boomerang that hit us squarely in our faces.
1. The Congress, which should have been the natural default option this time around, missed out completely on a coherent, let's-go-for-the-kill strategy.
No alliances, no spotting chinks in the opponent’s armour.
Just a lazy stroll by the beach and expect a wave election to turn in your favour.
Not just Rahul Gandhi, the entire Congress party has this smug notion that they are born to rule.
That the BJP will just roll over and collapse. Not happening folks.
Simply not happening!!
True, the Congress worked very very hard in some pockets and were up against a compliant media out to destroy them, but the congress had no muscle or money power to out-manoeuvre them.
2. The BJP, which in their wildest dreams, must not have dreamt of hitting 20, did just that.
Some of their loyal votes stayed and the satraps romped home.
But they can simply not be happy with the slender, anorexic victory margins they garnered.
So close that even Ravi Naik's 33-vote victory felt like a Matka score.
It is these slim victory margins that will spur local opposition against the BJP's tyrannical and megalomaniac devil-Opment models they will unleash in the next five years.
3. AAP, my eternal heartthrob, finally finally hit pay dirt.
Not pan Goa.
And certainly not the ones who wanted to take the Parrikar legacy forward.
They were roundly rejected.
But valiant, gallant Venzy, who built a hyper-local Benaulim model in Benaulim for five tiring years, was indisputably the star of the show.
A captain who led from the front and who wasn't necessarily a Bhandari.
Cruz was a bonus.
But the AAP presence in the christao south tells you the level of disillusionment and suspicion of the Congress in their traditional fiefdom.
To the extent that even the BJP openly supported candidates like Reginaldo and Antonio Vas who romped home.
Girish-bab, you are a decent, civilised, loyal Congress-man, but sad to say, in today's cutthroat politics, your lack of cunning and ruthlessness, and your Rahul Gandhi-like moral grandstanding, was an albatross round the Congress’ neck.
4. MGP, this should be their swan-song surely.
The family enterprise is in its dying throes.
If they want to reinvent, the D-Brothers must hand over the reins and finances to Jeet and Sawal and Ketan, who lost the poll by a lion's whisker.
Or else it will be pack-up time.
And this is where we Goans need to seriously wake up and smell the coffee.
10.6% in their first outing.
Santa Maria and Mahalaxmi.
What a knockout performance, guys.
Yes, there is crap on social media about how you were fielded to split the vote of the holy cow the Congress.
Bull shit.
You took votes in every constituency in Goa.
And a sizeable one.
You gave every traditional, entrenched politician such a serious run for their money, that many of them campaigned against you, using tight belts and suspenders, in case they were caught with their pants down.
They were terrified of your guerilla tactics, your strident cornering them on every issue affecting Goan youth, and your ability to go to jail and face batons for your cause.
That’s a bloody revolution.
No ifs, no buts.
If the Congress was to win because you had eaten into the BJP vote (which you emphatically did), the secular brigade would have been singing your praises and the saffron guys would have been lynching you.
So if you have pissed off both the behemoths of Goan politics, you must be doing something right!!
Of course, your nativist ideology (which usually finds emotional traction the world over) may come back to bite you in case your supporters descend into violence against hapless migrants.
Maybe you won't seriously challenge the property sharks and illegal mining brigands and go only after the small fry.
Maybe you will discover that delivering as a legislator is tougher than disruption.
So many May-Be’s.
But for now, take a well-deserved bow.
You rocked, and how
I always thought the youth of Goa was a lost cause.
From my elitist bubble, trust me, it warms the cockles of my heart that I have been proven so emphatically wrong.
Go for it Manoj Parab and gang.
We will have your back, unless you screw it up once power goes to your head.
Utterly butterly not so delicious after all !!!
This is the huge elephant in the room which has never been addressed post-‘61 Goa.
Goan land has predominantly remained in the hands of BOTH Christian and Hindu elites.
And it these elites who have sold, squandered, mined, and generally screwed up the land bequeathed to them.
The great Bhau Bandodkar (I call him Goa’s Nelson Mandela for transferring power from the elites to the bahujan in a peaceful manner) changed the land dynamic a little by his various ground-breaking acts.
But accept we must that, more than the outsiders and Delhi money-bags, more than the drug-barons and the pimps and prostitutes, it is the Goan elite that sold off Goa.
No arguments.
That game may now be well and truly up.
If the elites (and they will try to do so desperately) fail to co-opt the RG and AAP over the next five years, and the AAP and RG come to an electoral understanding NOW, and now means NOW: the elite goose in Goa will well and truly be cooked in five years.
To the elites, my friendly advice, since I also attend your wine and cheese parties:
Don't stockpile your privileges, learn to share them.
The revolution may be a false start and may never materialise, but it is coming.
And when the ghantees (bells) toll, they toll for thee my friends.
Do take care of your ghantees (bells).
That's the only positive I could discern from this election.

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