Thursday 25 May 2023

May God Set Goa Free From Resource Curse

Recent book release function in Panjim of "The Supreme Court of India and Intergenerational Equity: The Goa Mining Case" authored by Claude Alvares and Rahul Basu and dedicated to Hanuman Parab from Pissurlem, Sudeep Tamankar from Siolim, Ramesh Gauns from Bicholim, Shankar Jog from sacorda and Rama Velip from Colomba, Sanguem provoked me to think.

There are few things that deserve introspection under the category of 'Resource Curse' used in the above book.

1. Curse by its very nature is of supernatural origin with its source in demonic realm. Application of Resource Curse subtly transforms the discourse around mining in Goa to a supernatural level to a world of Demons and their counterparts- the Angels; these supernatural categories are largely ignored if not denied. Authors of this book must be credited with taking the discourse where it actually belonged. Alvares and Basu transcended natural realms to focus attention on workings of demons in Goa.

What is Curse?

A Curse is an action that is done to harm another with the help of demons. Curses are effective only if God allows them to have effect. (Interview with an Exorcist by : Insider's look at the Devil, Demonic Possesions and Path to Deliverance by Fr. Jose Antonio Fortea). To state that Goa is under Resource Curse means assume that God has allowed destruction of Goa. In fact this is one of the implications that flows out of the book that has long introduction from Upendra Bakshi.

2. Resource

The word 'resource' in the phrase 'resource curse' is attributed to the mineral wealth of Goa: Iron Ore, Manganese, Bauxite. Book acknowledges that minerals are responsible for making Goa lush and Green. Attribute of the term 'resource' to minerals in Goa however has serious implications. Its not an attribute of all humans but an attribute of those humans who exercise their intellectual faculties particularly in the realm of unjust economics to pop out such tags. So, in this context the word resource can safely be equated with arrogance.

3. Resource Curse

'Resource Curse' therefore can be easily deconstructed to mean the demons of arrogance. And looking critically as to how movement to stop mining in Goa is being shaped into movement that wants to re-start mining in Goa one can easily sniff role of demons in seeding ideas. Minerals existed in Goa for times immemorial without they becoming a curse for Goa. In fact they are a blessing. Demons inspired Industrial Destruction and spread its terrible tentacles into Goa in the last century. It is then from 1929 that minerals turned into Resource. Process of extraction got inspired by demons and thereafter turned into curse.

Right through the turn of this century. Few articulated sporadically in 1980s and 1990s in print but from 2001 onwards this arrogance got increasingly articulated in an organised manner. First offline. Then from 2007 offline as well as online at and beyond. Mineral extraction process was demonic. Alvares and Basu in their book applied right vocabulary. However they have goofed up in their solutions.

Mineral extraction is Curse. Anti-dote to it is certainly not more Mineral extraction through auctioning and subsequently intensification of Curse. Goa Foundation suggested to Supreme Court that minerals in Goa should be auctioned. Goa Government endorsed this proposition. With a hindsight it looks pre-fixed. Auctioning of Goa's Mineral wealth is not a solution for the Curse. This idea of auctioning is seeded by demons and articulated through Goa Foundation and Goa Government. It ensured that the demons will have uninterrupted innings at extraction even after termination of 88 mining leases.

Demons then moved from one step to another capturing minds. Those who opposed mining in Goa are found on page of the book that advocates mining in Goa and it is but demonic that such a dedication be made to Ramesh Gauns, Shankar Jog, Hanuman Parab and Rama Velip. Sudeep Tamankar was never involved in on ground protests against mining in Goa to the best of my knowledge and so nothing in this article is applicable to Sudeep Tamankar. None from the rest (Ramesh, Hanumant, Rama and Shankar) people are known to have advocated their stand for re-starting of mining through auctions during my conversations with them over the years.

The current frontal voices to re-start mining in Goa are Claude Alvares and Rahul Basu. Now this is demonic stronghold. 'Resource Curse' is imposed on them, dominated them intellectually and turned them into tools of demonic enterprise. They needs to be exorcised of demonic powers off their lives now threatening entire State of Goa.

Mining resistence increased gradually from April 2001 and manifested in Public domain from December 2007. Claude Alvares joined the coalition at this juncture that composed largely from Gawdas, Kunbi, Velip, Dhangar Federation who already had State wide network. Nevertheless to include more communities Goa Federation of Mines Affected People (GOAMAP) was formed in August 2008. Discussions centered around resistence to mining because it destroyed local occupations, dried up water sources, created air pollution, used dynamite, destroyed people's houses, silted rivers, destroyed agriculture and horticulture etc.

Discussion of this topic at the book release functions was a sharp departure from perils of mining that was discussed.  Application of Curse then convinced me that it is demonic powers that has taken charge of what once was resistence space of mining movement in Goa. This space now stand captured, absorbed by demons for demonic ends. Claude Alvares speaking at the function on March 15, 2023 proclaimed that he is in support of mining in Goa with justification that we all use metals. Al were using metals in 2008 too when Claude Alvares published his book "Goa Sweet Land of Mine" where in he stated that Mining has dismembered Goa. This change in stand of Claude Alvares was like thrusting dagger inside our hearts: A complete coup d'tat of the movement that stood in opposition to mineral extraction in Goa. It did not pain or shock me because it was anticipated worst case scenario played in front of our eyes.

Time has arrived to realize that it is not Claude Alvares who is in command but the demons as the source of resource Curse. Appropriate response is needed or as Rama Velip, one of those to whom the book is dedicated tells me "In our hands we will be chopping our own legs if ideas in this book are enforced and mining resumes due to auctioning."

Should Goa be handed over to the highest bidder? People of Goa are lured into calculations of how much will come into their account simply by doing nothing as more land gets under mining and undermined. Is Rahul Basu leading Goa for another mega collapse after Enron Dhabol Power Project? My Economics Professor (Vasco Pinho) at St. Xavier's College, Mapusa once explained to us the meaning SCAM as Somebody Cutting Away Money. Isn't this apt description for GMM - Goenchi Mati Movement?

Someone connected with mining movement and cares deeply for Goa expressed "Indigenous Goans always spoke about our natural resource wealth as being a gift from God. Our folk songs and stories, our Konkani songs celebrate this wealth as a gift from God and to Indigenous People extraction of their minerals means their wealth is being looted big time by those who are cursed to perpetuate evil upon others. Rahul Basu should have never used the phrase 'resourse curse', to an attribute of Goa that is so precious to it's people. He shouldn't be using such terms simply because he wants to project himself as an handler of some great concepts at  international and national conferences where he is invited to give presentations on Goan people's movement to preserve the natural wealth of Goa. By using such fancy terms he also wants to project that indigenous people cannot come up with such concepts. And that he is some sort of a Saviour. The term 'resource curse' also shows the complete polarity between the mindset of the mining affected people and the mindset of Rahul Basu, the chief proponent of resource curse in Goa."

Mainstream Indigenous view is that nature through custodianship is to be securely handed over to the next generation for from them that they have loaned it.

Custodianship notion applied through Goenchi Mati Movement (GMM) is to monetize and liquidate Goa's underground minerals. GMM thus comes across as crafty movement to sell of Goa's soil and minerals underneath. Truly demonic powers at play. GMM is nasty virus that needs to be eradicated from the soil of Goa.

Someone passionate about Goa communicated with me on this "Into whose bank account do they want to share the mining funds?

Into the bank accounts of those who have coveted Goa's natural wealth and than destroyed it?

Into the bank accounts of those who have destroyed our hills to build their fancy eyesore  bungalows for the want of a view  of our fields and beaches?

Into the bank accounts of those who have destroyed our khazan lands to build their eyesore bungalows for the want of a view of our Hills?

Yes minning affected people should be compensated , and that's what the funds must be utilised for they have lost their children to accidents, many lost their health, they were put through so much distress, wading through the dirt and dust to reach schools and work places , they lost their food sources and water sources.

Even our natural beauty is being mined for money in the name of views. When we had systems such as Gaunkaries in place that knew how to share the profits gained through an agrarian economy, does one think that indigenous people don't understand intergenerational equity or some such jargon terms that they are coining 'for the same idea that existed in Goa for so long?

Rahul Basu used the same concept of the communidade system camouflaged it using some  fancy terms, in order to  bestow  indigenous rights upon the new super rich settlers in Goa who have already destroyed it.
So by default they too will be on par with indigenous people. Even more so."

Dangerous Implications

This discourse is bound to affect public mindset regarding resistence to mining in Goa. In future there is a looming danger that people instead of opposing mining industry for all that is disastrous will be calculating as to how much stands to be credited in personal account as profit share from mining. Attitude of care-a-dam to verdant forest, rivers, agriculture to be destroyed by mining industry is likely to set in. This is consequence that we need to guard against very vigilantly. And for this purpose of staying vigilant and intervene effectively is dedicated this piece of my writings. Do communicate back with your thoughts, fears, doubts, reflections, creativity and suggestions by posting your comments below.

God Bless Goa and protect us from Demons and their minions!

May God guide us in every step we take and grant us victory over demons!

May God set us free from every prevailing curse including resource curse!

Sebastian Rodrigues

1 comment:

  1. I would like to add here that this whole exercise of going to court seemingly against mining ... now actually means taking the mining rights from small Goan mining companies and handing over the same to big companies from across our borders who have unlimited resources to outbid us Goans in the auctions.