Back in the olden days, it was very difficult to assess what one would be in for the next day. There was not much information at people’s disposal to determine what to do in a given situation. Our ancestors followed the stars and the sun to know the time, weather and predict storms. Those, I would say, were the good old days.
And, here we are in the 21st century where information and knowledge have improved, but also cluttered our lives, yet we don’t know where we are headed. I dread to think of the world we are creating for ourselves by the mid-21st century. What would it be like? I have no clue.
I am not too concerned with what the world would be like. I am more worried about how Goa will be shaped and influenced by all that’s happening around it. I am not too sure what’s in store, but it is certainly not looking good.
Or else, look around. Keep a hand on your heart and tell me do you love the bald hills, filling of agricultural lands, garbage-ridden roads, beaches and countryside? Yet, we call it development and progress which will make our lives better. How? Can one explain?
Goa’s fate right now is being decided by politicians, and that too one politician who appears to be calling the shots on its wildlife and rivers. And the rest are just silent. It looks like Goa is his fiefdom and his raj (rule) is everything and democracy means nothing.
This politician has certainly taken a cue from the man who is calling the shots at the Centre, giving shape to India with his own personal ideas and agendas – the man who is out to create two Indias.
The media has a bounden duty to play in today’s time, much bigger than what they think. This is no time for them to take dictation from politicians, but ask them some discomforting questions based on facts and figures.
It is time to challenge the system and change its course if it’s headed in the wrong direction. Or else Goa will bleed more to a point of no return. We all love Goa and want it to remain Goa, there is no doubt. But are we ready to fight to retain its ethos and culture?
There are more outside influences today which are trying to infuse an idea contrary to what Goans believe. And what is it that Goans believe? Goans are inclusive people, they are peace-loving and welcoming, but at the same time, they want outsiders to maintain the basic structure of their life and land.
In the 21st century, change is inevitable, but that change better be good and one that doesn’t drive us to the edge. Everyone is shunning the old education system and the wisdom of our ancestors, who never had a telescope but could see farther than the stars.
If one looks at Goa’s khazans and the farming practices of the olden days, we can gauge the intelligence and wisdom of our ancestors. People ate well and lived healthily because the air was clean.
They lived longer and healthier. It is proven beyond doubt in a place called Okinawa in Japan which has produced more centenarians who chose to live in harmony with nature and, in return, were blessed with longevity that’s very rare to see in the world today.
In Goa, we have witnessed this longevity among our ancestors in the past and even today as we move interiors to our hinterlands where the air is clean we can see older people reaping the benefits of nature.
The youngsters may not want to follow the wisdom of their elders because for them the world’s know-how is at their fingertips. Sadly, we have allowed our lives to be controlled by technology and forgotten our individual existence.
Goa’s hills and the trees may not be in a position to defend themselves today from human onslaught, but surely Mother Nature will fight back for them, and we are the ones who will face its wrath.