Sunday , 18 November 2018

Church bulletin denounces hegemony of an upper caste over Goan society

PANAJI: The Church has attacked the hegemony of an upper caste in Goa vis-à-vis the controversy linked to Sudirsukt, a collection of poems by Vishnu Wagh, which was “denied the literary award instituted by the Goa Konkani Akademi”.

It has also expressed concern over the “dominion” of handful members of upper-caste society in Goa over others, and forcing them to leave the state forever, by controlling the power.

An article titled ‘Societal undercurrents stir the land’ written by Dr F E Noronha in the latest issue of Renovação, a bulletin published by the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, states that “the Sudirsukt controversy speaks for itself as to who is doing what.”

“No honest person can overlook the fact that a miniscule section of people have taken control of everything, opposing our leaders of consequence, joining hands with their kinsmen across the divide and getting elected in our own heart land,” the article observes, adding, “They have also appointed their kin to every consequential post in the administration and quasi officialdom.”

The article further states, “To overlook this, you have to be plainly blind or of course pretend and ignore as most are doing. As for us, even if we are fully qualified, knowledgeable and competent, there is no place in the oligarchy of power.” “We have to go to other countries. We may even find a place in other parts of India, but not in our own land,” it says, noting, “The rest of us have to change our nationality and go where our labour will be used and well paid.”

Sudirsukt was all set to win an award instituted by the GKA, but the government announced the entire process of Akademi’s literary awards for 2015 and 2016 null and void as the selection process was found to be faulty.

“In the meanwhile, the ruling oligarchy is busy targeting all possible sources of opposition. In this, they are assisted by our own fellowmen eager to prove themselves loyal and cement their own position in the lower rungs of the structure,” the Church-backed bulletin states, pointing out, “It is time our activism and social action focuses on these issues.”

“More than activism – conscientization and awareness needs to be built within our leaderless and directionless community itself,” it mentions.

Incidentally, one group has opposed the book and is of the view that the poems contain abusive language as well as denigrate women, and therefore, it should not be given an award instituted by any organisation running on government funds. The supporters of this book, on the other hand, are of the view that at present, only selective parts from the book are being circulated to show the poet in bad light.

“The continuous emigration of Goans, never to return, is like terminal cancer: there will be no Goa very soon; only the geography that too environmentally damaged,” the article warns, adding “Whilst it cannot be denied that nobody openly and officially drove us out of Goa, yet it has to be said that this has indeed been done in subtle and imperceptible ways for more than 50 years.”

The write-up also laments, “Our leaders were opposed tooth and nail and subject to the ugliest accusations, which they never deserved. In the very recent past we have seen the staunchest opposition to our leaders taking control, thanks to crude sectarian manoeuvres taken to unimaginable extent.”

The article by Noronha, who is the member of the editorial board of Renovação, expresses concern stating that no fair observer can overlook the societal currents and undercurrents in Goa; the dwindling of a section of people and the upsurge of another.

The collection of poems by Wagh, who is presently wheel-chair bound due to an illness, is published by Opurbai Prakashan/ Hema Naik.

Noted social activist Auda Viegas of Bailancho Ekvott has already filed a police complaint against Wagh and publisher Opurbai Prakashan for allegedly outraging modesty of women through the poems.

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