An interesting video on the role of women in Comunidades in Goa is circulating on social media, and one reason why it is of interest is because the lone lady speaking says, “Comunidade lokanchi,” which in English means that ‘it belongs to the people’.
Comunidades, in Goa, belong to the gaunkars, and not the people who have settled here for 15 or more years and think they can believe they are of the same origin.
Revenue Minister Babush Monserrate had, many years back, tried to rake up the issue of the role of women in Comunidades, and it died a quick death because his political intent was clear and it is clearer now.
The issue surfaced again when it appeared as one of the items on the agenda of the Convention of Comunidades under Article 652 and it was well handled – except for one individual – by all who participated.
Now, there is still a lady activist, one who appears to be biting more then she can chew by harping on a topic that she seems to understand little about or whose thinking is skewed.
In the video, the lady speaks about one lady gaunkar, speaking and being heckled by an individual as the others look on.
She very conveniently forgets to mention that the statements of that individual were expunged by the moderator immediately and not after the convention.
This activist forgets to mention that whilst the lady was speaking, the other ladies who were present were quiet. The activist did not take the trouble to find out that most men present told the man mouthing rubbish to get off the mike. That the lady speaking was not prepared is another matter.
The activist, in the end says, that it was nice that a resolution was passed, but that does not rub off the ridicule which she left herself and the women accompanying her with.
Women need their rights and if they think they need to be equal to men, they should now fight for the same. But, they miss the bus when they don’t know the destination, and this is what the activist must keep in mind before trying to talk for women in Comunidades.
There are women heading Comunidades; there are women holding other positions in executive committees of Comunidades; there are women having shares in Comunidades and there are women enjoying other rights of gaunkars in Comunidades, except maybe zon in all.
This activist may think she is the voice of women in Goa – that is for our women from Goa to decide – but she has no voice to decide on the role of women in Comunidades because she has no knowledge of the topic. If not, she would not be making a fool of herself, not that it matters.
If the rights of women are close to her, she should start with some simple basics like: 1) Why is it that women have to relocate to their husband’s house after marriage? 2) Why is it that the children need to take their paternal surname?
The list of questions can be endless when trying to educate an educated illiterate, but Sarto Gracias’ retort should halt any further intellectual escapde. Gracias’ retort goes like this:
“I am a gaunkar. As a gaunkar, I totally object to the very crude remarks made by one of the delegates at the Comunidade convention with reference to our Goan ladies.”
“…….In a nutshell, all that I would say is that this matter is not gender-centric as you purport it to be. It is gaunkari-centric, which you may not understand and it will be dealt with accordingly by the gaunkars.”
“It would be advisable that women activists focus their attention on serious atrocities against women including the rapes and murders of women in Goa. We, gaunkars, will take care of the ladies in our gaunkari families.”
Sarto Gracias has, in a few lines, skimmed the activism from this feminist.