आंतोनियो कॉश्तांच्या माफीचे राजकारण

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कौस्तुभ नाईक/KAUSTUBH NAIK

गोमंतकीय वंशाचे व पोर्तुगालचे सद्याचे पंतप्रधान आंतोनियो कॉश्ता हे गोवा भेटीवर असतानाचे निमित्त साधून साडेचारशे वर्षाच्या पोर्तुगीज राजवटीसाठी कॉश्ता ह्यांनी माफी मागावी अशी मागणी महाराष्ट्रवादी गोमंतक पक्षाचे नेते सुदिन ढवळीकर ह्यांनी केली आहे. ऐन निवडणुकीच्या तोंडावर आलेली ही मागणी आणि ढवळीकरांचे सनातनी हिंदुत्वप्रेम लक्षात घेतल्यास ह्या मागणीचा रोख नेमका कुठे आहे हे सुज्ञास सांगायची गरज नाही. पण अशा घोषणामागे गोव्याच्या वसाहतवादी इतिहासाचे एकसुरी चित्र रंगवून सामाजिक तेढ निर्माण करण्याचे प्रयत्न अधोरेखित केले पाहिजे.

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Bahujan Leaders, Not Bahujan Faces

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By KAUSTUBH NAIK

 

The student union elections at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) in Delhi recently concluded with the Left Unity Panel, a political alliance between Student Federation of India and All India Student’s Association, winning all the four posts on the student panel. The student politics at the JNU campus has always been a closely watched affair and following the national attention that JNU had garnered after controversial slogans raising events in February this year. In this election, both left and right wing parties on the JNU campus jostled to capture the field after the highly acrimonious and divisive scenes following the state’s crackdown on JNU in response to the aforementioned events in February.

 

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Unburdening the Language from Motherhood

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By KAUSTUBH NAIK

 

The debate over Goa’s language issue continues because the conflict is far from being resolved.The passing of the much controversial Official Language Act (OLA) in 1987 did anything but resolve it. In my previous columns, I have argued that the passing of the OLA was an act to impose Hindu Saraswat hegemony onto the Goan people, particularly the Hindu and the Catholic bahujan communities. In a book published in 2004, bahujan activist Ramnath Naik termed Nagari Konkani as ‘Bamani’, indicating the caste location from which the Nagari Konkani assertion emerged and is sustained till today. BJP MLA Vishnu Surya Wagh, in his op-ed article in a Marathi daily few weeks ago, also made a similar assertion, attracting sharp reactions from the Nagari Konkani camp.

 

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Sairat and the Banality of Violence

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By KAUSTUBH NAIK

 

Have we ever bothered to think why the tragedies of Delta Meghwals and Rohith Vemulas fail to enter the mainstream public imagination? What discourse constructs our world of realities where the inhuman tragedies that continue to perpetrate the horrors of caste and gender violence fail to even attract sympathy, let alone bringing those involved in committing these heinous crimes to punishment? Rather, the mainstream public sphere is characterized by a perpetual invisibilizing and negation of the violence that emanates from caste and patriarchal structures. Sairat, a film by Nagraj Manjule, is a cinematic intervention against such constructions of reality and compels us to look beyond what meets the eye.

 

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Cantaram as Political dissent

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By KAUSTUBH NAIK

 

Earlier this month, Goa Government’s Department of Information and Publicity held a ‘Konkani Kantaram Utsav’, a cantaram singing competition in which the participants were asked to sing about the achievements of the current Bhartiya Janata Party (BJP) government. This competition attracted a lot of criticism, noticeably from the tiatr community, questioning the government’s intentions behind organizing such a competition. Cantaram competitions are usually held without any pre-decided themes and certainly not with a rule that prohibits participants from criticizing the government. On the contrary, one of the several requirements of a cantar and cantorist is that of political sharpness. Cantorists ranging from Conception-Nelson-Anthony (famously known as the Trio kings) and William de Curtorim in the past, to the current sensation Francis de Tuem, have been famous for their radical political positions. Cantaram carry a huge affective magnitude for the Goan Catholic communities and it has played a key role in influencing public opinion at various historical junctures in post-colonial Goa.  The concerned department, in its official press release, stated that “[s]ong and drama is one of the medium used to propagating various policies, programmes and the schemes of the Government [sic]”. While using traditional cultural practices to propagate government schemes is not unheard of, there is more to the said cantaram competition than meets the eye.

 

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Opinion Poll: Choice or Compromise?

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By KAUSTUBH NAIK

 

A series of events are being planned to commemorate the historic Opinion Poll whose  50th anniversary was marked last week on 16th January. Second to the territory’s merger into the Indian Union, the Opinion Poll is perhaps one of the most significant events in the history of post-colonial Goa. The Opinion Poll was a referendum held to decide whether to retain the Union territory status of Goa or merge it with the neighboring state of Maharashtra. The majority of Goans voted against the merger and thus Goa retained its status as a Union territory, putting an end to any possibility of the merger with Maharashtra.

 

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A response to ‘Archbishopancha Sermao’

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By KAUSTUBH NAIK

 

The Catholic communities in Goa have been at the receiving end of a vicious hate campaign spearheaded by the Bhartiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch (BBSM). BBSM’s vocal activist Naguesh Karmali recently made a statement saying that the ‘Church is worse than the Portuguese’, while Uday Bhembre urged the ‘75% majority population of Goa to rise up against the domination of 25% minority’. Reflecting on this hate campaign against the Catholic communities, Archbishop of Goa, at the annual Christmas civic reception held at his palace, remarked that newer forms of intolerance can be seen in the state today which are polarizing the majority against the minorities. In response to this speech by the Archbishop, the resident editor of Marathi Daily Lokmat, Raju Nayak, wrote a special editorial titled ‘Archbishopancha Sermao’ (Archbishop’s Sermon dt. 30th Dec. 2015) which claimed to analyze the Archbishop’s speech as well as the Church’s role in the crafting of Goa’s secular fabric.

 

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Marathi and the Hindu Bahujans

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By KAUSTUBH NAIK

 

The presence of Marathi in Goa is looked upon with suspicion by some for its links with the demand for Goa’s merger with Maharashtra from the period between 1961 until the Opinion Poll of 1967. In writing off Marathi as a Maharashtrian import, people often ignore the centuries-long historical presence of Marathi in Goa, as well as its current usage in the public sphere. Gauging by this usage, one can safely say that Marathi is as much a carrier ofthe Goan ethos as Konkani (both Romi and Nagari) and Portuguese.

 

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Destabilising the Idea of India

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By KAUSTUBH NAIK

 

Following the abominable lynching of Muhammad Akhlaq in Dadri, the beef bans, and the overall rise of the Hindu nationalist BJP’s rise to power in India, many are worried about the perceived threat to the ‘Idea of India’. The ‘India as a Hindu Rashtra’ rhetoric propagated by RSS is at loggerheads with the Nehruvian idea of secular, liberal and modern India. These are disturbing, but nonetheless interesting, times where these two imaginations of India, both originating from elite upper caste positions, are fighting for their supremacy. However, it is important to note that both these imaginations have failed to cater to the assertions of marginalized and subaltern communities in India.

 

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Subaltern Cultures as Commodities

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By KAUSTUBH NAIK

 

“Rashtriya Sanskriti Mahotsav”, India’s national cultural festival, concluded last week at the Indira Gandhi National Centre for Contemporary Arts (IGNCA) in New Delhi. This annual festival is organized by the Government of India’s Ministry of Culture in collaboration with its zonal cultural centers and various autonomous cultural institutions patronized by the state. The Ministry of Culture’s objective in organizing this cultural festival, as state on their website, is to ‘celebrate spirit of Tradition, Culture, Heritage and Diversity of our incredible country’.

 

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