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DR OSCAR REBELLO 07th Jun 2024

WE CAN BREATHE

In May 2020, in Minneapolis Minnesota USA, a white supremacist cop, Derek Chauvin, put that famous knee on the neck of a black man, George Floyd, eventually choking him and snuffing his life out. 
George Floyd's poignant last words were I CAN'T BREATHE
For a decade, many of us figuratively felt that jackboot  at our throats.
By the evening of the 4th of June 2024, the boot lifted somewhat and our Cyanosis was partially relieved. 
Until the boot  falls back again, and you never quite know it just might, we can afford the luxury of heaving a collective whoop of joy.
It's way above my pay-cheque to analyze the national scenario.
The reclaiming of the Republic!!
The taming of the Shrewd (Two very shrewd actually)!!
The almost triumphant return of the Comeback Kids (Rahul, Priyanka, Akilesh)!!
The stunning rebuke  in Ayodhya!!
The Victory in Bengal and the Debacle in Odisha!!
These issues will be dissected ad nauseum, in the foreseeable future.
I will stick to Goa, and give you my two pennies worth of what the 1-1 score in Goa's football arena meant, means and how it can be squandered.

🙂 Make no mistake about the South Goa mandate.
It was the people of South Goa who inflicted the body blow to the BJP.
Not to Pallavi Dempo personally, but to the BJP and the treacherous turncoats who made a mockery of our Democracy over the years.
Not the Congress 
Not the AAP 
Not the Activists 
Not the Church
These perhaps were vehicles for the objective. 
But the people of South Goa clearly were the drivers of this vehicle.

🙂 Whosoever’s  idea it was, Captain Viriato was an inspired choice. 
Not just because he is honest , affable and sincere, 
but it showed fundamentally that the Clumsy Congress could think out of the box and throw the opposition off balance. 
Someone must necessarily tell Sexy Sardinha, petulant and churlish as ever, that anyone's Sex Appeal fades after 70.
Where Gina Lollobrigida, Sophia Loren and Brigitte Bardot have failed, 
How on earth can  Sardinha pull through, despite the fading put-on charm??

🙂 The funniest moment once the results poured in  was to see 
“Mau Win some Lose some” who is a full time politician and part time poojari whining that the church did the BJP in.
This coming from a party that has weaponised the world's most beautiful religion to demonize India's minorities on a daily basis is truly rich (And by God is Mau Win Rich!! )

🙂 The biggest triumph of Viriato's victory for Goans is the fact that finally we will have a completely sincere and committed voice in Parliament to articulate our concerns.
Uncompromisingly. 
(If only we had Manoj Parab in the North, that would be a genuine Double Engine,  but then you can't win ‘em all.)
But Viriato must tread carefully.
He is the MP of ALL in South Goa. 
Not just the Activists. 
He will be pulled extreme left. 
He will be abused and humiliated by the Extreme Right. 
But he must find his position in the Centre.
Talk of the Economy and the Environment. 
Not either/or.

🙂 In North Goa, if you notice, the dynamic is completely different. 
Here the Man with the Silent Voice came out trumps for the 6th  time.
So the Modi factor, the landslide delivered by Bicholim, and the mercurial Raja of Sattari worked like a charm for Bhau here.
The issues of Land Grab and the obliteration of Goan Identity is equally important in the North as well as the South.
So what does explain a fabulous victory for Sripad in the North 
and a BJP implosion in the South?? 
Better organizational strength??
Heavy-weight satraps??
An ageing Lion who has lost his roar, let alone his bite,  fielded by the Congress??
Either way the BJP leads did dip in the key areas of Pernem,  Mandrem and  Siolim, where the Great Goan Greedy Gang Rape is underway. 
So there is Hope!!

🙂  In the next few months , whether Pramod Sawant remains CM or the mercurial Raja of Sattari takes over the resistance to this Goan Land Grab is bound to intensify on the Streets.
No question.
Civil society, activists, the youth, the judiciary and one hopes even Aires Rodrigues will come out hard and ask some very uncomfortable questions. 
Brace yourselves!!
If the CM or the wannabe CM have a smidgen of common sense, the first thing they need to do is roll back those ghastly amendments to the TCP Act if Goans are not to be provoked. 
Because the inherent nature of a Goan is that he may seem Down for a while—but he's never Out!! 

🙂 And finally, my observation, just one, at the national level is this.
This country reclaimed Democracy, gave a befitting reply and smashed the hubris of the BJP is fundamentally because it is a Hindu country. 
Read that again—a Hindu,  not a Hindutva country.
Older democracies of the West may have robust institutions, but they are visibly fraying since the Trump Era.
Christian Russia cannot rid itself of the vicious Rule of Vlad the Vampire!
Islamic Iran, or for that matter other regions in the world,  can't rid themselves of their oppressive, regressive Ayatollahs and Mullahs.
Whatever religion, China can't Shoo the Xi.
With the press of a button this country did.
And this was not done by the Christian or the Muslim. 
Their numbers simply do not count.
It was engineered by the Hindu, who true to his dharma remained plural and democratic and argumentative and eventually assertive. 
Unlike the Abrahamic faiths, Hinduism is like a symphony of a multitude of voices and tones, instruments and songs.
It could endure a loud trumpet, blaring incessantly over the last decade, only this much.
It had to lower the volume at least a tad and that's what Hindu society did.
So will the Trumpeteer change his tune or at least the volume??
Will the challenger (musically called RaGa) understand that this India is one that wants to celebrate its Hindu civilisational ethos (not to be confused with the religion) and is no longer the Atheist India of his great-grandfather and would he be game to engage with this new paradigm??
Would the mullahs stop clearing their throats to go Allah-o-Akbar at the slightest provocation now that the fear of Modi-Shah has diminished??
Only Time will Tell!!
Suffice to say that, for the moment, Indians have demonstrated that, whatever our Faith or No Faith, our biggest Religion remains Democracy!!
For one brief shining moment,  
Let's relish and cherish it!!

DR OSCAR REBELLO
GOEM

POST SCRIPT
Some psephologist, pollster or Television Gasbag must explain the Uttar Pradesh debacle  to me.
It simply makes no sense.  
If the Dalit vote, Muslim vilification, unemployment, Agniveer, rural and agrarian distress was the reason for the BJP drubbing in UP, 
Why is it that, despite the same issues plaguing Bihar and the same demographic, the Bihari voted overwhelmingly BJP-JD(U)??
And clearly Tejashwi Yadav  ran a far more spirited campaign than Akilesh.
Could it be that the presence of a sober Nitish Kumar in the alliance softened the harsh, vitriolic, business-as-usual BJP campaign??
Or as many claim was there an internal sabotage in UP??
Something just doesn't quite add up.

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