If you thought that mostly North India was the domain of crooks and unscrupulous politicians, think again. In these last days before the elections, Goa’s politicians have gone berserk and have made every effort to make a last-ditch attempt to completely ruin the state. First, the highly controversial and downright illegal Ordinance amending the Land Acquisition Act was passed by the House on Monday. The government defended their hasty actions as necessary and “in the public interest”, adding that the potential unemployment was another factor in their decision.
Then , the House goes on to pass a bill that allows the barbaric ‘sport’ of bull-fighting (dhirios) in Goa. Was this in ‘public interest’, too?
I’m also confused by the sudden interest in the paperwork of the ugly casinos in the Mandovi. These casinos have been doing business for a while – did the authorities just realise that the ships were berthed under their noses? Don’t the relevant departments have a system to keep track of who has the requisite permissions and when they need to be renewed? In the last week, some casinos have been raided, sealed, permissions revoked and some renewed. The Pollution Control Board has accused the casinos of polluting the river by dumping hazardous waste in it. Did they just cotton on? All they have to do is take a look at the river every morning on the way to work and see the debris floating in the water close to the boats.
The casinos have, predictably, taken the matter to court. If our history of legal action is any indicator, the ships are going to be berthed in the Mandovi for a long, long time.
With the elections looming, Goa’s people are up in arms again. But as is the case with EVERY election, who do we vote for? The BJP has fielded the usual suspects and even emails and a campaign from a group called ‘Friends of BJP (who say that they support the BJP in this election even though they don’t really agree with the party’s ideology and some policies – what kind of support is that?!) cannot convince us that they should be elected. The Congress benefits from this negative vote and one ends up voting anti-BJP and the same old crooks come back into power. Not voting is not an option either. The much discussed ‘negative vote’ is not valid yet. So what does one do?