Facts speak for themselves and truth always prevails. These two sayings have proved to be right and correct, time and again. Yet some people have been throwing dust into the eyes of the common man. Yet a few have advocated that Pramod Muthalik the founder of the Shree Ram Sena should be invited or at least be allowed to enter peaceful Goa to do social work. The fact is that the Shree Ram Sena has never done any social work worth the name ever since it was founded by Pramod Muthalik about a decade ago. They attack and break-up Valentine Day parties, damage and destroy shops selling Valentine cards and have also been known to destroy shops selling Valentine Day memorabilia. All this is well within the law and so such activity can only be called moral policing.
Who has given them this authority? Pramod Muthalik and his Shree Ram Sena gang were even banned from entering the boundaries of the District of Belgaum by the Courts as a precaution to avoid a breach of peace in that District. In Mangalore, the youth from the minor community struck back at the marauding Shree Ram Sena gang and there was a major clash.
What was the Shree Ram Sena group doing trespassing in the premises of a Catholic Church? It is a question not answered till now, a full two years later. It is heartening to know that the C M of Goa has stated, that he has already instructed the Goa Police to take strict action against any law breaker. The Revenue and Urban Development Minister, Francis D’Souza has stated in the Assembly that the Goa Police know how to take care of them or any law breaker. His contention is, let them come and we will see how they can disturb the peace in Goa?
But the question is why must we take a chance when we are well aware of the existing pattern of behavior of the Shree Ram Sena in other parts of India? I hope that better sense will prevail? The authorities concerned must take advance action, to prevent the creation of an adverse law and order situation. If the Shree Ram Sena could be banned from Goa by the previous Government, Why can’t it be done now?
The Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar is doing a good job and we hope that he will deal with this problem which has been identified. Prevention is better than cure. The minority Catholic Community in Goa is distraught with Pramod Muthalik’s recent pronouncements in Ponda when he attended the Hindu Convention held at Ramnathi and said that he would reform Goa and not allow pubs and clubs to hold dances. He also declared that his organization will be back in Goa by September and that it stood for making India a Hindu Rashtra.
India is a secular country and has a Secular Constitution which guarantees freedom and equality to all its citizens of every religion. It is an anti national act, to publically challenge its basic tenets. We in Goa are striving to recover from many serious problems left over by the previous Government. The Mining scam, the MOI question and the non-payment of the PWD contractors’ dues. Do we need to create more problems for our Government when they are struggling to cope with and overcome all this existing mess?
The citizens of Goa are disappointed with the Government’s weak response to Pramod Mutalik and the Shree Ram Sena. NGO’s like the Bailancho Saad, Aami Goykar and others along with prominent members of the Sahitya Academi, prominent educationists, musicians and other renowned citizens have strongly spoken up against the Shree Ram Sena and its policies. We in Goa have enough of worthy Goans to advise us on our customs and traditions and take care of these aspects of life. There is no need for outsiders to come here and teach us what to do and how to live. Michael Lobo the MLA from Calangute, has categorically voiced his opinion against allowing Muthalik or his likes from coming to Goa, as it would sound the death knell of our tourism industry in Goa, especially in the North Goa coastal belt of Calangute which he represents in the Assembly.
As we all know, tourism is our main stay and occupation of the population in Goa. The Shree Ram Sena hoodlums would attack the couples dancing in the pubs, clubs, visitors in shacks and hotels and drive away all the tourists who undoubtedly would not return for holidays to Goa. Should not we act before it’s too late? It takes years to build up a good reputation, but it only takes a few attacks to make it melt away. As the Immediate Past President of the Catholic Association of Goa, I can say with authority that the community is very sad and disillusioned with the mild and rather weak response by the Government to Pramod Muthalik’s provocative statements on straightening out matters in Goa. We hope therefore that the Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar who has gained immense popularity in the recent months, since his dramatic return to power, will personally attend to this very important matter.
If left unattended, it will badly affect our economy and unemployment will touch a new high. Goa is a peaceful state where communal harmony is a high point. Thanks to our ancestors and our traditions and old customs, the citizens of different religions live happily together. They prefer to live and let live. Pramod Mutalik can practice his cult in his part of Karnataka if he so wishes. But it is understood that people do not want his brand of nationalism to be practiced even there. Goa is known all over the world as an ancient state with a spiritual bent of mind. It had an age old civilization with a strong moral and social structure. It was also rich in the study and practice of culinary arts, music and culture. Do we not know how to look after our own needs? It is only in recent years that corruption and a criminal culture has crept in. Let us put our own house in order by exposing all those who violate our customs and traditions, if there is a need. Let’s live in harmony like one family as we have been doing in the past. Goans have been an example of good, honest, loyal, sincere, happy, adaptable workers and expats. We have slipped in the last few years. Let’s uphold this great image of ours and hand over a proud heritage to the next generation. We need to make a serious and honest effort to achieve this aim. Thank you Pramod Muthalik, for awakening us all from our slumber!