BY AUGUSTO RODRIGUES
Goans in the United Kingdom are back in the news - as can be seen on two social media videos being circulated - and for all the wrong reasons. The two videos are captured by Goans during the Sao Joao festival celebration in the UK.
From what can be seen and heard in the videos, it is clear that a brawl broke out during a dance party and culminated in the streets of London and needed police intervention. And, in the videos, Goans can be heard being aghast at witnessing the behaviour of their peers.
A fight during festivities is not a new phenomenon or a new trend that has mutated in the UK. Brawls were part of most festivities in Goa and may have now stopped here because most dances now have to stop at 10 pm to confirm to the Supreme Court directives.
So, when a party has to stop at 10 pm, there is less time to drink and so everything ends on a happy note. This was not the case before when dances would finish at sunrise and a brawl was an essential part of any celebration or festival.
The scene is not the same in the UK. Surely, there are restrictions on loud music being played in public but one can party in pubs till late in the mornings – especially during the weekends.
Europeans, party differently. In Portugal, most locals have an early meal during the weekend and go off to bed, to get up around midnight, dress up and saunter out to party till early morning.
One gets up to dirty - puke and broken glass - and blood-stained streets in Ireland and the same streets are spotlessly clean before people start leaving for work and the scenes are similar in the UK though not as bad.
Our citizens getting involved in fights in the UK should not surprise many because fighting is part of Goan DNA when high on booze. It is unfortunate that through the migration that has been taking place the good, bad and ugly have been exported, and the bad spreads faster than the good. Evil always appears to be juicier.
There have been instances in the past when boys and girls from Goa were caught on the wrong getting involved in the flesh trade and some were found to be involved in paedophile rings.
Wrong is wrong and wrong can never become right, but a person on the wrong path can turn right. Many from Goa do not go abroad to make a wrong right but the West has offered many a window to get on the right track of life and that track is of making a fast buck.
Most from Goa living abroad are doing financially well and the benefit has percolated to Goa, but both Goa and the UK are facing societal changes, ramifications of which will be felt years later.
The International Day of Drugs was celebrated in Goa on Monday with figures released by the Goa Police not very motivating. One figure – and it was reported as frightening - was that many Goans are being affected by drugs now.
The frightening part about drugs, and not the figure released by the police, is that chemical drugs have found their niche in the market and that the police force in Goa is more vulnerable and therefore the public needs to be careful.
Chemicals, unlike hash or marijuana, are the scourge of society and the peddlers of this new drug have all the money to throw at law enforcers because the profit is too huge to even feel the pinch of what is being shared. Hence, the difficulty faced by the police from Hyderabad to apprehend drug dealers in Goa.
If Goans in the UK are bringing disrepute, we in Goa are digging the grave for our GenNext by willfully pretending that this sunny state is not a paradise for drug consumers – read tourists.
Narcotics and alcohol are both drugs but one is being restricted through an Act called the NDPS whilst the other is not, though both make us sick and both lead to death and fragmentation of society.
Yet, both are looked at differently though side effects are similar. We normally expect society to step in to help but no help is better than self-help and when one thinks of such help, the words of Roger Lee flash by:
Not everyone is going to understand your journey. Not everyone is going to believe in what you believe in. You are on your own path so never change who you are. Stay true, be you.
Let us start by being true to ourselves.