**************DEVACHEA NAVAN ANI GOEMCARANCHEA MANNANK******************* This blog is an attempt to delve into the traditions, heritage, culture, lore and ambience that spawned an enigma. A state of mind. And to perchance perform a perfunctory probe into the psyche of the Goemcar. ************************************************************************************************* GOEMCAR: Any person anywhere in the world - Goemcar rogtacho!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Dr Teotonio De Souza and Leroy Veloso have written. That is enough for me.

Venita has had her rights trampled upon. All power to the elbows of those Moidecars going hammer and tongs against the bullies. An ugly breed they are too. Both on and off the Internet.

It was never my intention to criticise the behaviour of anyone present at the meeting. (I deleted the 'only one wearing the trousers ' bit almost immediately I wrote it.)

Mine was a fact finding missive.

I am well aware as to how intimidating the situation can get. In my time, in Goem, I have been on the receiving end of some quite nasty turns. Such episodes are not very pleasant experiences. The one irrefutable axiom that has always given me great succour is: all bullies are always cowards. Always.

The very fact that some village folk took the time and trouble to attend, deserves the thanks and kudos of all Moidecars. And in this acknowledgement I include the notables amongst those that natter.

And for those who disagreed with it, my paean to democracy was to emphasise that it would be the best and most lasting way to secure the goals of the village.

I am, however, still puzzled with the alliance between the three I've named in my earlier post and the Sarpanch and his supporters. Has anybody approached them for an explanation? Kitem chollta re thuim? I find it very hard to accept that the daughter of the doughty niz Moidecar Miguel Pinto Correia and the affable James would stoop to something that is unpalatable. There must be an explanation.

What is it?

I never criticise those that do and achieve things, specially when I am not at this point in time, in the position to contribute myself. And I am not alone in this quandary. It has been the lot of Goemcars for as long as anyone can remember, that we go abroad 'vet bor pottac lagon'. People who criticise my absence from Goem are either themselves working abroad for virtually the whole year, or they come from families where their parents worked abroad. As all niz Goemcars, I hope and pray, that one fine day I shall be able to return to my motherland.

My ire is always aroused when those who do nothing point fingers and decry those who do.

In this spirit I thoroughly commend the suggestions for initiating Gandhigiri. What a fine concept. In the land of the Mahatma, the power of Gandhi's policy of peaceful resistance will hopefully resonate. My prayers will be with those who embark on that satyagraha. Even for those, or rather the one, whom I do not like.

And it causes me great chagrin that at this exciting point I am being compelled to take another sabbatical. The nature of my 'pottac lagon cortan tem', requires me to go on spells where I'm nigh incommunicado. This time I shall be away for roughly a fortnight; I had initially thought it would be a month.

Inshallah, I shall return and recommence my blog writing. In the meantime, to all Moidecars, please note I'm wishing both the niz and the other kind; good speed in their public spirited activism and success.


Xanno Moidecar

Monday, October 27, 2008

Moira - Que bono?


I had intended posting further suggestions regarding the ills that are infecting and affecting the Christian populace in India.

However, matters closer to home have gripped my attention. And because this incident too has a connective vein, that of cowards and bullies, I shall permit myself to digress.

I have always believed that all bullies, cyber or otherwise, are cowards. Whenever they think they can get away with it, they will, well, bully. But stand up to this lot and they turn tail.

The spectacle that is making headlines in the village, at the moment, best illustrates this. I do not know the specifics of Venita Coelho's battle. I understand that she is waging a war against perceived illegalities being committed in Moira. Construction and its planning has always been a hot potato for Goan villages.

Communidade lands have borne the brunt and been usurped since 'Liberation' by the Government, its flunkeys and functionaries and their chamchas and chelas, who bank on political patronage to ride roughshod over local resentment.

I do not know whether Venita is right in this particular instance. I can only go by what I read and hear. And at the moment the water is still muddied. I have been 'privy' to many a similar scenario, I mean the tamasha in the Panchayat, where the supporters of one faction strong arm the opposition into retreat. And it can seem and at times be an extremely hairy situation.

I do not blame the niz ganvcar menfolk of Moira, who I presume made up the majority of the catholic men present, for not making a spirited stand. They considered discretion the better part of valour. It is far better to live to fight another day . Though from what I hear, besides other notables known for their natterings, there was at least one tough lone wolf amongst the gathered. So why did these seasoned do or die-ers not intervene? Is the whole thing not as kosher as one would want it to be? Are there wheels within wheels? Is there something we are not aware of? Something that made those present pause? Was it all not black and white?

I do not know. I want to know.

In any case nobody ought to point fingers and blame anybody. For not intervening, I mean. No one knows how one would react under fire until one actually is being fired upon.

I would caution Venita and her band of brave lady 'zuzaris' to make absolutely certain that they are 'whiter than white'. Because when one takes on a monolith of vested interests, one can always expect to be subjected to microscopic scrutiny and if there are any chinks in one's armour , these will be exploited and used against. When they are challenged and obstructed, the thwarted will zero on every minor and petty infringement by the activists and exploit these weaknesses.

I do not know if Venita had the locus standi to address the gathering. She claims she had and has furnished details to back her membership of the Gram Sabha.

To most of those affected, this was a foray into terra incognita. Their baptism of fire. If they persist in this 'guerre', there will be much more of the same. But in the end truth will always.... or as they say in Bharat, satyameva jayanti.

Marie Yvonne and James are niz Moidecars. Reis sounds as if he has been around for some time too. Why did these three hector Venita? What was their reason and rationale? Is there another angle to the equation? The three should be approached for an explanation. Unfettered fulminations against them will result in reticence and we will not get the full story. There is a golden thread that runs through most of the world's legal systems and that is, everyone is innocent till proven otherwise.

It is of utmost importance for all to ensure that there is no settling of personal scores. There has already been a hint of this.

In the interest of fair play and in order to secure as near as possible universal consensus, individual duels must not be permitted to be aired in any public forum or fora that is or are formed to secure the interests of Moira.

And though I have myself been, many a time, in straits where I have heartily condemned our elected representatives, they are whether we like it or not, OUR elected ones. We have put them where they are. The people have spoken. And if they fault and falter the people must deal with them. At the ballot box. Ranting and raging against them and trying to outshout them at public meetings is not the way forward.

Convince the villagers of Moira, that someone else is more suitable for the job. And if you can not, then accept the verdict of the people. Or else you put yourself in danger of being anti democracy. For however much we may like to think that we alone are in the right and that we alone have all the answers, and that it is all the others who are completely and utterly wrong and untrustworthy; history has proven that the will of the populace, enigmatic and eccentric though it may appear, is indubitably and inevitably right.

Democracy is the worst amongst the forms of governance, bar the rest.

Being out of touch with the facts on the ground I would accept the judgement of only two persons. Dr Teotonio De Souza and Leroy Veloso. If these two state that Venita has been wronged, that will be good enough for me.

In these times of turmoil we must stand shoulder to shoulder and gather together all good men and women of my village.

The time is nigh for all to come to the aid of nossa terra.

Amchem bhangarachem Moidem.


Xanno Moidecar

Activist attends meet, lands in police station

The Moira gram sabha on Sunday witnessed chaotic scenes, as scriptwriter-activist Venita Coelho was forcibly bundled out of the meeting by the police.According to reports, Ms Coelho had to bear the brunt of the wrath of Moira Sarpanch Advocate Raghuvir Bagker, when she questioned him about illegal constructions and development of the village.When Ms Coelho questioned the sarpanch “What has happened to the 20 years development plan of the village”, sarpanch’s supporters started shouting that Ms Coelho’s name is not on the electoral roll. “Hence Ms Coelho cannot participate in the gram sabha proceedings,” stated a supporter of the sarpanch.The supporters even went to the extent of threatening Ms Coelho in the presence of all the panchas that she would have to face dire consequences if she intervenes in the affairs of the panchayat.Sarpanch Bagker immediately called the police and ordered them in writing to “Remove Vinita Coelho as she is not the member of the gram sabha”.Upon receipt of written instructions, the police physically lifted Ms Coelho and took her to the Mapusa Police Station. Ms Coelho was detained for 3 hours between 12 pm and 3 pm.Speaking to Herald, Ms Coelho condemned the act of police and stated that she had told the police that she is a resident of Moira and her name is on the electoral roll.“But the police did not listen to me, instead lifted and brought me to the Mapusa police station. I was treated like a criminal,” said Ms Coelho.“In fact, I had asked for police protection in advance fearing that sarpanch’s supporters may assault me as I am fighting on the issues of illegal constructions and mega projects, which are coming up in the village,” she added.“But police in spite of protecting me, prohibited me from participating in the gram sabha at the behest of the sarpanch. Police did not take any action against the rowdy villagers in the gram sabha,” complained Ms Coelho.Since Mapusa PI C L Patil was not present, Ms Coelho was asked to wait till he arrived. PSI Chandrakant Gawas, who was heading the police force present at the gram sabha said that she had not been arrested but admitted that the police had forcibly brought her to the police station.Speaking to Herald, Police Inspector C L Patil said that they have acted as per the written instructions of the Sarpanch. “Ms Coelho was detained at the police station to avoid any untoward incident at the gram sabha,” said Mr Patil.When asked about the contents of the complaint, he said that the complaint was that Ms Coelho was not a member of the gram sabha, but was insisting on disrupting the proceedings.He also said that he has been informed that police saw Ms Coelho had been surrounded by a threatening group of people and removed her from the venue for her own safety.A member of Moira Citizens Action Committee (MAC) Diana Jambonathan said that Indian Constitution has given the freedom of sarpanch to all the citizens.“But this right is being suppressed in Goa, whoever dares to speak the truth is penalised. The action of police is deplorable,” said Ms Jambonathan.Tanya Mendonca of the MAC said that this was a conspiracy to prevent uncomfortable issues being raised, while Veronica Mascarenhas said that the gram sabha meeting continued after Ms Coelho was ejected, despite protests from the members.“The Sarpanch even claimed that Ms Coelho was evicted as she is not a member, and that a resolution was passed to that effect. No such resolution was passed — it would be illegal in any case — and the panchayat took advantage of the pandemonium after this incident,” Ms Mascarenhas.Attempts to contact Sarpanch proved futile as his mobile phone was switched off.Ms Coelho has subsequently filed a counter-complaint with the police against the sarpanch, alleging that she was illegally and forcibly evicted and that the entire gram sabha be declared null and void. She has also complained that she was threatened during the meeting.Ms Coelho is a member of the Goa Bachao Abhiyan and Moira Action Committee, which has been fighting against alleged illegalities in various construction projects in the Moira panchayat area.

From the Herald

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Marekar vadoll

India is burning. Evil is afoot. Forces of darkness, in the guise of godly fervour, are sowing the wind. They have to realise that they will reap a whirlwind. And if they do not, they have to be made to.

I wrote that paragraph in my last blog entry. Don't go looking for it. I have deleted that entry. It had nothing to do with anything of importance.

A 'vadoll' is blowing across Bharat mata. A hurricane of hatred. The thin veneer of civilised co-existence, prevalent, by and large, over the centuries, is showing very pronounced signs of wear and tear.

In this storm, it would not be wise to start a journey or a crusade with fanfare or bombast. And so, in my first attempt at assisting to come up with some; any, solution, I shall launch my extremely modest venture, with all the caution of a fisherman setting out in his tiny dugout canoe, while the wind thunders and the waves crash all around.

I am angry. And I am scared. My ire is obviously fanned by the cowards who pillage, rape and murder the innocent, in the name of gods. My fear is for all that is and all that are precious to me. I am stricken with a malaise. A strange feeling of weakness is threatening to overwhelm.

A change is imminent. And instead of being for the good, this altering of the status quo, appears to be rendering the future of my traditions into tatters and putting at risk the lives and happiness of my people.

The history of Christianity has always been a chequered one. Temporal authority has perennially blown hot and cold in its treatment of the followers of the man from Nazareth. And the only consolation those that
claim to be Christians have, has been the stark fact that in the most adverse of circumstances, the Church built on Pedro, the Rock, has always prevailed.

This latest typhoon that is assailing the flock in India is no different from the ones that battered the faithful in ancient Rome or down the ages. This too shall pass. But before it does, the blood of martyrs and the tears of the innocent will flow.

Like many of my ilk and beliefs, I have been giving much thought to this state of affairs. And, like many, I have thought of reacting in the ways of the world. An eye for an eye and tooth for a tooth. But then the 'novo korar', has expressly forbidden its believers from taking recourse to the sword. And so we have to think of alternative ways of influencing our persecutors.

I believe that a vast majority of our Hindu countrymen and women are good and gentle folk, tolerant and magnanimous. Unfortunately a minority of morons amongst them is bent on fomenting hatred and their clamour and callousness is magnifying the horror that is being perpetrated on the innocent.

At times like this there is need of a person. A being who is looked upon by all with if not reverence, than at least respect. Unfortunately for Goem, amongst the Catholic clergy and laity there are not very many who can claim this accolade.

However, there is one man who I think fits the bill to a T.

The Patriarch of the East Indies, the Archbishop of Goa, Philip Neri Ferrao.

This man of God, the first amongst the servants of Christ in Goem, is a person justly known for his humility and integrity. He is also a very educated man. In fact, if I am not mistaken, he is one of the most qualified to have ever occupied the hallowed seat of the Patriarch. He knows that we are all children of God. Unlike the church of old, present day Christianity does not condemn all other faiths and their adherents to eternal damnation.

And so this man of God should open up a dialogue with the hierarchy of Hindu priesthood in Goa. He should visit their places of worship and address their faithful. The fact that Christianity is not a threat to Hinduism should be stressed and assured.

The latest desecration of Hindu places of worship must be condemned with vehemence. Our Patriarch is and must continue to be at the forefront of those denouncing the guilty. Even if there is suspicion that this has been a deliberate attempt to fan the flames and perpetrate religious hatred and the culprits belong to fundamentalist Hindu organisations.

The fact that we are all children of the very same God should be reinforced. And in Goem we have an additional and closer to home link. All Goemcar catholics are descendants from our Hindu forbears. Every one of us Catholic Goemcars has Hindu lineage. We are not foreign in our genetic origin to Goem, it is only our beliefs that are the latest in the long line of influences that have marked our Goem and Bharat mata.

Philip Neri Ferrao is no ordinary Patriarch. He is the first, that I have heard of, who has publicly, when on visits to foreign lands, expressly indicated that he does not want to be wined and dined at the residences of the well to do. He is known to be an excellent communicator. He is a humble man. He is a honest priest. He is a highly educated holder of the most prestigious of Roman Catholic posts in the East.

All Goemcars, irrespective of caste and community, know that this man of God is a good human being. They will listen to him. Of course the Patriarch is obviously already hard at work doing his utmost to ensure the safety of his flock. And lines of communication will already have been opened with the various parties.

Goemcars must pray that our shepherd, the man entrusted with the flock in Goem, can and will work a miracle.

Only a miracle can save Christendom in Bharat Mata. So let us take refuge in our belief, praying as our fathers did, "Santa khursache curu, Cristaon ponachem khunu......"


Xanno Moidecar

Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Konknni vo Concannim??

Konknni vo Concannim ??
The Director of Official language Department Menino Peres, who inaugurated the Dalgado Konknni Akademi's workshop for writers at the Black Box of Kala Academy in Panjim on October, said, "Writers should make use of Orthographies published by the Goa Konkani Akademi and the TSKK in order to bring uniformity of spelling and grammar in their writing," he said. "Roman script is universally used and has acceptability in south Indian states where Devanagri script is not used for local languages. It is also an internet friendly script." Resource person Dr Pratap Naik SJ explained some of the salient features of correct Konkani writing in the Roman script. [GT]


Stating that accepting Devnagri script will further help in fostering unity and integrity of India, Dr Parmanand Panchal, General Secretary of Nagri Lipi Parishad, New Delhi, said Roman script is not suited for Indian languages and that Konkani is no exception to his. He was speaking as the chief guest after releasing a book "Dalgado on Konkani" at Institute Menezes Braganza Hall on October 6. The book is an English translation of the Portuguese introductions to the dictionaries compiled by Msgr Sebastiao Rudolfo Dalgado, a linguistic scholar or international repute and lexicographer. [H]

Comment: Konknni vo Concannim

As the popular cantar went "Amcho mog amche bhaxen tendllea mattvanni;
Tencho mog firgean bhaxen bhoron chittini."

Or the other cantar: Pedru Bomain vochon zaloi Peter
Marie Catarin zalem ......

Sari vo khomxi

Pez vo porridge

Bhakri vo chappati

Maim vo mummy

The use of Devanagiri is definitely not facile for the Christian populace of Goem. And Concannim is such a lovely language.. Poetic, musical, lilting, luscious, heavenly.

And yet, are we being disloyal to our khorre purvoz by abandoning the original script and opting for an European one?

Sangat baba.....

Kitem korchem??????


Xanno Moidecar

Sunday, October 05, 2008

The India of our nightmares

Yet another shameful chapter in sectarian strife was added when the Orissa government confirmed on Friday that a 29-year-old Catholic nun was raped by a fanatical Hindu gang on August 25, while the police ignored her pleas for help and looked the other way.

After dragging its feet for 38 days, the state government finally woke up to media reports and outrage across the country and abroad to arrest four suspects and suspend the inspector in-charge of Baliguda police station in Kandhmal, where the rape took place. [TOI]

The fanatical Hindu mobs have struck in the Capital. And the police has kept it under wraps. A good fortnight ago, a mob attacked a handful of Christian families. The families say they are living in constant fear of local miscreants allegedly owing allegiance to ‘‘some religious organisations’’ who accuse them of carrying out ‘‘forced con-Camp and demolished the frontal portion of the Christian prayer hall in the camp. This camp in west Delhi is barely 15 km from Parliament House. To this day, this clutch of Christians are holding their weekly mass under police protection. [TOI]


Where the mind is without fear and the head held high;
Where knowledge is free;
Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls;
Where words come out from the depth of truth;
Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection;
Where the clear stream of reason has not lost its way into the dreary desert sand of dead habit;
Where the mind is led forward by Thee into ever-widening thought and action;
Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake

Rabindranath Tagore's words.

The fanatics actions.

Which of the two is the real India?