BY SHASHWAT GUPTA RAY
PANAJI: Even as Goa continues to fight a protracted battle with Karnataka over sharing of River Mhadei, a Goan youth Kabir Naik has come out with a rap music video exhorting the youth to come out on streets and demand from Karnataka - ‘Amchi Mhadei Aamka Zai’ (‘We want our Mhadei back’).
“The motivation to do this video came from the recent protests that occurred in various parts of Goa against the Karnataka''s controversial water diversion project at Kalasa-Banduri across the Mhadei river. I got curious about the project and started reading more about it. I could not imagine Panaji without Panaji without Mandovi (also called as Mhadei), dried up mangroves and khazan lands. Mhadei is North Goa’s lifeline. Its diversion will spell doom,” said Naik, a Std 11 student at Sharada Mandir School in Panaji.
Taking up social issues through music videos is not new to Naik. He has done it before also in which he has taken up burning issues like garbage menace in the State.
“I chose rap music route to voice my concern because music video is the best medium to reach the masses on social issues, especially the youth. A large number of youth who are oblivious to our issues like the Mhadei river diversion, need to be awakened so that they participate in the movement against this arbitrary act of Karnataka. Youth power is the biggest strength of any society,” he said.
This video was shot at Valpoi on the banks of Mhadei on Sunday and uploaded on social media. It is already going viral on the Internet.
“I am happy to get so much response to my video. I was concerned about authenticity of my content. So I contacted social activists from Valpoi like Gopinath Gawas and Naman Sawant. After they verified the facts, I penned the lyrics in Konkani with help of my mother,” the young activist said.
While the intent is noble, however Mhadei issue is a very politically emotive subject and also there is a vicious environment prevailing against youths in national capital for protesting against recent decisions of Centre regarding citizenship law. But the mother and son duo both were undaunted in their mission to voice the concerns regarding Mhadei.
“My parents are very supportive. I also ensured that there was derogatory remark against any individual or organisation. Going ahead, I plan to make a documentary on Mhadei and highlight how it is a lifeline of Goa,” Naik said.