“…And above all saving our mother tongue, the Konkani language, for which entire country should come out with its support… Marathi and other Indian languages are safe in their own huge states, however, the future of Konkani is unsafe in little Goa”
RAMNATH N PAI RAIKAR | NT
Hema Sardesai, the internationally reputed Goan singer, has maintained that a number of agendas have got connected to the demand of special status for Goa to the point of utter confusion.
“I feel that in the absence of any indication to get special status for Goa from the central government, exclusive laws should be enacted for the state so as to protect its heritage, topography and beauty, as well as prevent Goans from leaving Goa, and the country,” she added, pointing out, “And above all saving our mother tongue, the Konkani language, for which entire country should come out with its support.”
Hema, a politically conscious and socially benevolent ‘daughter of Goa’, who had actively participated in various local agitations, right from the one linked to the regional plan to the one about the special economic zones, in a heart-to-heart talk with ‘The Navhind Times’ said that Marathi and other Indian languages are safe in their own huge states, however, the future of Konkani is unsafe in little Goa. “And as far as protecting all these things, which form the identity of Goa is concerned, I, on my part, would not allow any compromises,” she noted.
Hema, who actively supported Manohar Parrikar during his Parivartan Yatra and the following 2012 state assembly elections, said the four-year Bharatiya Janata Party rule in the state has some good things about it, while some other things to worry about.
“I go by not what I have experienced but what I hear, whenever I come to Goa, as I don’t stay in the state,” she maintained, stating that whenever she looks at developmental works taking place here – the roads being constructed, the beautification undertaken, and cleanliness promoted under the Swachh Bharat Mission – she has a sense of satisfaction.
“In fact, I had supported not a political party, but a personality – Manohar Parrikar – during the 2012 state assembly election, and when he left for New Delhi to take responsibility as the Defence Minister, I too felt like many others, that a void was being created in Goan politics and administration,” the singer of chartbusters like ‘Awaara Bhanware’ and ‘Baadal Pe Paanv Hain’ admitted, observing that one could feel top level respectability in the Goan environment with Parrikar around.
“People acted with more responsibility when he ruled the state,” she noted.
Hema, who was a close friend of the noted activist, Fr Bismarque Dias and suspected foul play in his death, said that unlike the government and investigating agencies, she has not given up on Fr Bismarque case.
“I am regularly following the case, which has now been taken up by Samir Kelekar and others,” the reputed singer informed, maintaining that at the time when she wanted answers (linked to the death of Fr Bismarque) from authorities, she was not getting satisfactory answers.
“In fact, whenever the authorities entertained me, it was in the presence of media, and not behind closed doors,” she stated, lamenting that there is sadly dearth of adequate technology in the state, so very important in police investigation of a complex case.
The leading singer further bemoaned that she did not receive the required support, either from the media or her friends, who pretended to care for her, during her selfless fight in the Fr Bismarque case.
“A newspaper wrote lies about me and I knew that it was poisoned by a communal mind,” she revealed, pointing out that she was more pained as the particular newspaper had always stood by her, and her gratitude did not allow her to file a defamation case against the daily.
Speaking about the introduction of new political parties such as Aam Aadmi Party and Goa Forward, to Goan voters, Hema said that competition in politics is always welcome.
“In fact, the opposition within political arena (between more political parties) is certainly good,” she opined, mentioning that no political party and no political leader is however, above her love for Goa.
On a parting note, Hema said that whenever a government is voted to power by the people, it should be answerable to these very people, at every point.
“If the people require the attention of the government, the government should be available to them,” she concluded, while observing that if that is not the case, then the government has failed to provide good governance.