MARGAO: With Goa’s long tradition of communal amity and brotherhood coming under strain in the wake of recent incidents, the civil society on Monday took a pledge at the historic Lohia Maidan on the occasion of Gandhi Jayanti to protect the social fabric and hand over the same to the new generation.
After lighting an unity Jyot, the civil society has given a call to the people of Goa to join hands and come in large numbers to attend a rally at the Lohia Maidan, Margao on National Unity Day
Members of the civil society and representatives of the Goa Forward party and Congress pointed out that fomenting communal trouble is being resorted to for political gains by the current dispensation.
Brotherhood among Goans
Konkani activist, Principal Anant Agni set the ball rolling when he said the civil society had taken up the responsibility to bring together Niz Goemkar together to maintain and preserve the age-old communal amity and brotherhood amongst Goans. “Let us bring the entire Goa together on national unity day and showcase our unity on that day”, he said.
Goa Forward Chief, MLA Vijai Sardesai said the civil society has made a good beginning by calling for a meeting of Goans to protect Goa’s communal harmony. He directed his ire at the BJP government, saying the ruling dispensation is only interested in winning elections, saying the government is not interested in the social fabric, economy, and tourism.
Goa's communal history
Ex-GPCC Chief Girish Chodankar recalled that the communal incidents started in peaceful Goa around 1999 when communal elements raised their ugly head by targeting the minority community. “This virus had entered the state around 1999 when the BJP tried to come to power. The people of Goa have to come together to foil the agenda of the divisive forces and save the state for posterity”, he said.
Social activist Rama Kankonkar said the people of Goa need to understand the politics being played by the BJP in the name of religion.
With the Lok Sabha election just a few months away, Kankonkar feared the future of Goa and democracy would be at stake if the two Lok Sabha seats went to the ruling party.
Former student leader Prashant Naik made a fervent plea to the people of Goa to join in large numbers at the Lohia Maidan, Margao on October 31 to foil the plan to divide the people of Goa on communal lines.
“We have today lighted the torch on Gandhi Jayanti Day. We have to all march forward hand in hand to stop the divisive forces from diving the people of Goa on communal lines”, he added.
Raidanath Shirodkar, Olencio Simoes and others also spoke on the occasion and called upon the people of Goa to attend the Unity rally at the Lohia Maidan, Margao on October 31.