Is true independence achieved? Here’s what Goans think…

It’s time to ponder the role we can play in bettering our country
Being truly independent is a long way ahead.
Being truly independent is a long way ahead.Photo: GT Digital

As India celebrates its independence day today, people from over the country are seen commemorating the sacrifices of freedom fighters that fought hard to allow freedom to see the light of day in their country. And although Goa didn’t receive independence on August 15, 1947, the state celebrates this auspicious day with cultural programmes where the tricolour is hoisted high and patriotic songs fill the air.

But even after years of independence, has the country or even a state like Goa, which is regarded as progressive, attained a true sense of freedom?

Being truly independent is a long way ahead.
Goan artists celebrate 75 years of independent India with colours

India’s independence marked the beginning of adopting the constitution and democracy. But, one can’t deny that even today India and its states struggle for freedom from a multitude of social issues, ranging from communal disharmony to the lack of the basic freedom of speech. 

Here are some things Goans would like independence from:

Goans call for freedom from road accidents.
Goans call for freedom from road accidents.Photo: GT Digital


Nowadays, almost daily, Goa wakes up to the news of the tragic loss of lives due to road fatalities. Some blame it on improper road conditions, others on over speeding. But recently there have been headlines about drunken driving cases that have concerned the locals. 

“Goa needs independence from the drink-and-drive accidents that are caused every day, where people lose their lives daily, but still no action has been taken,” says Analiese Ferrao from Cuncolim. 

The man behind the wheel is not only responsible for his own life but for those on the road as well. And the spike in recent cases only proves that this issue needs to be addressed as seriously by commuters as by the government of the state.

Goans think the state still struggles from stereotypes.
Goans think the state still struggles from stereotypes.Photo: GT Digital


It’s easy to make a judgement by the cover of the book. Goa has been stereotyped endlessly, with people from other states constantly making assumptions and blanket statements. A Goan visiting another state is often welcomed with comments like “You must be partying every day” and “How do you not drink living in Goa?” Even tourists visiting the state behave as if no rules exist in Goa.

Devonna Gomes, a student residing in Navelim, feels it’s time Goans get the much-needed freedom from the stereotypes that the world has attached to it. There is much more to Goa than just alcohol, drugs and parties. 

“The susegad culture has been misinterpreted on several occasions. Goa may have got its independence in terms of governance, however, the mindset of domestic tourists is caging the beautiful perception of Goa,” she adds.

There's much to Goa than the alcohol.
There's much to Goa than the alcohol. Photo: GT Digital

“It's time for Goa to break free from being solely associated with alcohol, and instead be recognised for its stunning natural beauty and the strong unity among its people, symbolising the harmony of the national flag's colours,” mentions Rubina Shaikh from Quepem.

Being indifferent to the plights of a society can hamper true development.
Being indifferent to the plights of a society can hamper true development.Photo: GT Digital


There have been pressing issues in the state with regard to losing forest and land cover; rising unemployment and crime rates; the improper use of public taxes and more. And while time and again many Goans have come onto the streets to fight for their beloved Mollem or save their precious River Mhadei, on many fronts, Goans seem to be in denial of the existing corruption and injustice, or maybe have just become comfortable with it.

“I think we need independence from our ways of leniency. What I mean by this is, turning our eyes away, especially presently with all that is happening in Goa. To remain apolitical is a luxury we no longer can afford,” Gloann Carvalho, a youth from Britona, states.

Goan youth believe there is more strength in oneness.
Goan youth believe there is more strength in oneness.Photo: GT Digital


There was a time when Goans celebrated every festival. Elders made sure they inculcated values which taught that religion meant doing good deeds and, more importantly, respecting it even if it wasn’t yours. Hindu brethren ate bebinca during Christmas, and Catholics relished every bit of the ros and puris at Ganesh festivities. But today, like the rest of the country, communal disharmony has seeped into Goa.

“Goans need independence from divisive forces that are trying to disrupt the peaceful co-existence of diverse communities and are trying to divide us. We need independence from our own prejudices, biases, discriminatory mindset and pride that interferes with our ability to extend basic human dignity to all people regardless of their religious, economic, social, sexual and cultural identities,” says Maryanne De Souza, a resident from Mapusa.

Being truly independent is a long way ahead.
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So, let this Independence Day not just be an annual celebration of outward patriotism, but be one to introspect on where we are heading as a society. 

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