BY AUGUSTO RODRIGUES
Often it is evil that overrides good, and when the reverse happens, it appears to be due to the intervention of some spiritual force. But, the battle between good and evil appears constant, when it should not.
The good news is that some well-intentioned people appear to have surfaced at a time when evil appeared to be completely burying the good. These few people along with some organisations are working hard to dig into the truth, to bring to light blatant violations.
Social media is once again the medium through which correct information is being disseminated despite the IT cells of miscreants working overtime to erase the truth.
Three videos have been doing the rounds on social media. All three – by three different individuals – have hammered across the point, with concrete evidence, how land use in Goa is being indiscriminately changed and its long-term effect on Goa.
Destruction of our ecosystem is shown all over Goa. What is scary is the extent of the destruction. In short, the whole truth is that most of Goa will be left with scant cultivable or mountain land.
To the builders' lobby consisting mainly of non-Goans Goa, it’s all about profit at any cost.
One of the videos exposes the intent of Telugu actor Ram Charan who has bought a plot in Morjim and intends to build a farmhouse on it.
The video is a factual narration by Swapnesh Sherlekar on how Ram is trying to get rid of a water body passing close to the land he has bought to build his farmhouse.
Ram Charan is not berated in the video. Instead, the narrator simply places the facts and requests the actor to stop the wrong that is being done, and finishes with the impression that the lord the actor represents in his movies would not be pleased with what he is doing.
The next video is about how land use is being changed to benefit the building lobby, and who stands to gain and lose is self-explanatory. The Town and Country Planning (TCP) Department believes we are all imbeciles who will take any garbage thrown at us.
The man in charge of TCP was the man in charge of the Health Ministry when hundreds of Goans were dying because of a lack of oxygen.
It didn’t matter then, and it appears it is not going to matter now because as in the past, deaths will at least be delayed now.
Claude Alvares, despite not being a Goan, has done for Goa what many of us Goans are not capable of doing. Yes, he has earned a living for himself, but in the bargain, has stopped us from slipping into an abyss.
Claude through Goa Foundation managed to save Goa by approaching and winning cases in the Supreme Court of India, and every win has been a laurel that has kept our lungs going.
The Goa Foundation has approached the High Court of Bombay in Goa to stop the TCP minister from trying to sell Goa to outsiders, and thereby stop our lungs from functioning due to a scarcity of viable oxygen.
Claude is very straightforward in the video wherein he asks a pointed question: how can the government ask the citizen – by this he means a Goan – to write to the government to change the mistakes of the government by being asked to pay for it?
In short, the robbed will need to pay the thief for the return of his robbed goods!
The duplicity of the TCP minister does not surprise anyone, because if he didn’t care about Goans during COVID, he is not going to care for anyone as he goes about converting our forests, our agricultural land or our fields to satiate the greed of his paymasters.
The last and the most interesting video is of Xencor Polgi, who shows how the government has constructed a 20 MLD sewage treatment plant in the fields in Guirim.
The fields in Guirim, which were once the bed of many vegetables, are now flooded with mud strewn all around and with waterways blocked – everything around is flooded.
The three videos, at this time of the year, are an indicator that worse is yet to come because filth of corruption is well ensconced in each one of us. We are getting used to rubbish, and many have begun to enjoy it.
Therefore, it is time to think of the battle between good and evil, and where we stand in this battle. There are no spectators. In his book Shame, Salman Rushdie wrote: “Silence is the ancient language of defeat.”