Towards dignity in tourism

PACHU MENON
Wednesday, 15 January 2020

Goa is already signed by allegations of crimes involving sex, drugs

We are at the threshold of a new decade!
After the tumult of the past twelve months where the ebbing fortunes of a vibrant state was equally complimented by the confusion that prevailed throughout in the name of effective governance, Goans are set to welcome the New Year with a fair amount of trepidation. 
The demise of a larger-than-life persona who trod the political scenario in the state for well over two decades has ensured that it would leave a political void that would take some time to heal. 
However, if the coup of sorts the incumbent Chief Minister has affected to rein in the ambitions of 'certain' power brokers in the State Assembly says something for his political acument, the credit for bringing politics in the state to the absymal depths of mediocrity is a dubious honour that he cannot but accept. 
Morever, the unbashed behaviour of some of his cabinet colleagues whose ineffectual ways have come to the fore on so many occasions makes it difficult to believe that the CM has his writ running large over them. 
Besides, how should one be seeing his bouts of 'sudden' bonhomie with members of the Opposition that has even ruffled feathers within the ruling dispensation!
Who is feeling more insecure; the CM or his 'Group of Ministers'? It is amidst such a setting that the Goans expect a revival of their fortunes! 
With the exception of the casinos alleged to be raking  in the mind-bogling returns, tourism in State has virtually come to a standstill.
Events like the Sunburn festival may have had EDM enthusiasts grooving the night away, but the 'clandestine' affairs which have been marring such programmes over the years tarnished the fair name of Goa. The government in the meanwhile is hard pressed justifying its luke-warm response to the whole imbroglio! 
Very much as the mining mess that has exposed the Centre's duplicity over the matter of restarting the activity in the state, deliberations on the Mhadei issue appears to have gone off at a tangent with Delhi playing spoilspot once  again. But having said that; some of the recent happenings that have invited 'political anger' over the 'matter of prerogatives' have indeed been puzzling!
While a few days back it was the Chief of the Army Staff who drew the Opposition parties are over his public criticism of the people leading protests over the Citizenship Amendment Act across the country; media talk by the Governor of Goa on controversial political issues like the Mhadei imbroglio has unsettled quite a few ministers in the State cabinet who have impress upon the CM Pramod Sawant to convey their annoyance to the Governor Satya Pal-Malik in no uncertain terms. 
While the Army Chief has been accused of 'breaching the limit' of his institutional role by the Opposition, the Goa governor has been blamed for frequently issuing statement in the media on issues usually outside the domain of the governor. 
It does appear that when things tend to go against their 'calculations' the law makers , whether in the Opposition or the ruling, do no hesitate to equivocally condemn such voices as unconstitutional.
For that matter the political class in the country is evendently so close knitted that they view any trespass into their dominion as a violation of their privileges.
Hence, straying into their turf is not above reproach and constitutes a cardial sin. The manner in which the governor was hauled over the coal for his 'misdemeanour' does not suggest otherwise.
Conversely, the ruling BJP in Goa has no business advising the governor to stay within his constitutional limits. 
Just the other day the govenrnor, known to be outspoken, had turned a hero of sorts after the Mhadie stalemate which was generating much political heat in the State was ranked up by him at his first meeting with the PM since taking over as the governor of Goa.
Today his dialogues with the media over matters that the 'presumably' to be dealt with only by the political excetive and the state legislature have turned him into a villain! Politicians just do not like a mirror to be held up to their faces. 
In the melee, it was all the more dishearting to have Goa engaging in the 'will it won't it' conjecture over what it should have been regarding as 'personal debacles'. 
Crying foul over the deceptive tactics of the Centre, the CM has fared no better than its 'illustrious' predecessors who have treated the same faced with the impossibility of the situations. 
It is a wonder that none of those who held high offices in the state felt the need to arrive at out of the box solutions to the problems that plague the region today. Holding out hopes, and indefinitely at that, leaders in Goa have kept Goans permanently in state of 'suspended animation'.
With the susegado culture giving way to an animated visage which characterizes the modern Goan generation, the youngesters today do not appear to be so easily lured by the empty promises proffered and have learnt to quetion the powers that be over the inordinate delays in arriving at workable solutions to various issues that have assailed the State over the past few years. 
The recent anti-CAA and NRC protests in the State have thus come as an eye opener for skeptics who have forever wondered at the spinelessness of the locals when it comes to quetioning the government over its inconsistencies and irregularities.
Anti-plastic campaigns, fears over the piling dumps of garbage, crusades against drug and alcohol abuse, and a series of movement against a plethora of social issues in the State have brought teeming crowds out on the streets and raising their voices as one against the social malaises.
However, with most of the local issues on the back burner, it now needs to be realized that our sweet talking leaders can no longer be relied upon for bringing that are of their own making.
Where a little bit of arm-twisting would have brought forth desirable results, quite often we see that 'political compulsions' neutralize perfectly rational demands, thus compromising the efforts made in that direction. 
With an indecisive government bringing about uncertainties in its functioning at every step, is Goa set for turbulent times ahead!
Unless of course Goans decide to do something about the queasy politics which has made Goans aliens in their own land! However, mind you, this is not an opinion based on twenty-twenty hindsight.

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