Joseph Noronha, Betalbatim
There are apolitical, political, religious and other groups of people who set out to brainwash, indoctrinate and radicalize vulnerable individuals who are gullible and not strong-minded. They then end up being extremists; danger to themselves and to those around them. They try to radicalize others to get them to believe their one- sided views. We live in an imperfect world and we must be strong-minded to be individuals and not to “go-along-with-the-crowd” mentality. Of course, we must consider the views of all people and then decide for ourselves. We must not let others dictate our lives. The personal tragedy I mentioned earlier concerned my brother who was a doctor of medicine. He was brainwashed, indoctrinated and radicalized by a “believer” group and became an extremist because he would not listen to advice from our family or to any other person. In the end, he met with a tragic end and took his own life. He was only thirty-three years of age. I came to two Goencho Avaz meetings in Margao and Vasco as an observer where ‘free bus’ travel was organised by the group to bring many people to the meeting. At the meeting, the people were then asked to make a donation and an attendance sheet was circulated. After just half an hour I left because I found that this group was brainwashed, indoctrinated and radicalised and were now extremists. They were trying to get all those present to agree with their one-sided views through strong rhetoric (loud and aggressive talk) using powerful loudspeakers and power-point propaganda presentations. It is vital that individuals attending these meetings should not blindly be influenced by the organisers’ views. They should consider issues being discussed from every perspective before they make an informed conclusion and not let the organisers’ views dominate their thoughts.