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When push comes to shove

The shocking and shameful attack on Goan lawyer Aires Rodrigues and heritage activist Prajal Sakhardande has reconfirmed the public’s view that politicians in Goa, like the rest of India, are a crooked and corrupt lot (to put it mildly).

In protest of the attack (where Rodrigues was attacked by masked men weilding swords and choppers and Sakhardande received head injuries), public rallies and candlelight vigils have taken place since yesterday. I’m glad that the people of Goa are swift to react and organise themselves in a matter of hours. This is something Mumbai cannot claim yet (except for the MNS and SS who are experts at impromptu riots and damaging public property).

This incident has shocked people unlike anything else in recent times. That such things could happen in Goa was unbelievable – this is not North India, after all.

The protests are loud and the message is clear. But will candlelight vigils and rhetoric change the world? When it comes to Indian politics, I’m cynical. I’m not sure anymore if *anything* we do makes a difference. Will these rallies and vigils motivate the police to take action? Will they give the ruling party the courage to do what is right? Will they teach the Opposition that playing the numbers game is not what they’ve been elected to do?

From what I’ve seen of Goa and its politicians, hope runs dry.

I pray that I’m wrong. Maybe this time, the tide will turn.

Politicians get into the system not to do any good for the people (but you knew that already), but to stay on in power as long as possible for their own sake. If this involves consorting with criminals and thugs, then that’s the price one pays for power. They’re not going to risk their precious legislative seat for the purpose of justice and human rights.

Principles have no place in politics. Not in Bihar. Not in UP. Not in Maharashtra. Certainly not in Goa.

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There will be a rally tomorrow afternoon at Azad Maidan, Panaji at 4.30 to protest against the incident.

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