Mon, 27 Jan, 2020

Ecology & economy: Goa needs balance

We borrow easily, but most of the borrowings are used for servicing debts; for a robust economy, we must borrow money only for generating wealth

Story: Dr | Joe | 15th January 2020, 03:11 Hrs

Dr Joe D’Souza

The Goa government will be presenting the Budget for the penultimate year 2020-21, before the BJP goes back to the Assembly polls in February 2022. With a strong majority in the Assembly and even a stronger government at the Centre, Pramod Sawant has absolutely no fear in conducting his annual ritual in February 2020, as he has two full years to keep his sway and control over the lethargic and “short memory” of the people of Goa.

Looking at the grave realities of today we see the entire political class working hand-in-glove to usurp the powers vested in the people and the natural resources of the state. Today, Goa is at a critical juncture, but a few days from now Goans would be soon dancing to the tunes of Carnival and Shigmo floats, oblivious to the fact that cancers, respiratory infections and a bouquet of lifestyle diseases are eating into our health. 

We dance around as garbage dumps around Goa are on fire due to our negligence.

Looking at the history of Goa over the past hundreds of years, we have witnessed Goans meeting the challenges of migrant invasions, domination and the ravages of plagues and enteric infections destroying us periodically.

We have overcome severe threats and challenges. However, never in the past have we allowed our water bodies to be polluted, our mineral wealth plundered and the mega scams by our rulers to degrade and deteriorate our ecosystem and our lifestyles, as it is done today. 

It is a shame and disgrace that tigers, cows, bisons and the wildlife in general both terrestrial and marine are under severe threat. 

How many of us realize by raping our hills, polluting the rivers and the killing of tigers we are disrupting the food chain cycle of our ecosystem which in turn generates pestilence, disease, hunger and death.

To give a small example in evolutionary science and ecosystem development on a small scale, if we kill snakes lizards and frogs, the population of insects, pests, rats or cockroaches would surmount unmanageable limits, thus threatening man with vector-borne diseases, pestilence and grave human infections.

As I recounted earlier, all those we have elected to serve us are back-stabbing us and destroying the clean and green Goa for the future generations.

Whilst our MLAs are growing richer and stronger, we are divided over political ideologies. 

Today, the Goan economy is in total shambles. Our borrowings and debts are over Rs 30,000 crore. We borrow easily but do we realize that most of our borrowings are used for servicing our debts. For good economic development, we must borrow money only for the purpose of generating wealth and mushrooming and blooming our economic strength upwards.

Borrowing for paying pensions, salaries, giving doles and affording Ladli Laxmi schemes, which are the cause of dowry deaths, is not financial intelligence. 

The avoidance of creating jobs and fueling unemployment was the disastrous legacy of the Parrikar government, which Pramod Sawant must undo, in the least. We must generate employment and not promote subsidies and doles.

We need to invest in job and wealth-generating projects and not promote the ones that are the white elephants for our economy. We are having a Damocles sword over our head. We are promoting parasitic growth to service our economy. We promote electronic music festivals and gambling culture to hopefully generate economic growth but in the process, people are made to die of alcohol abuse and drug addiction. The poor infrastructure, murders of tourists and accidents are also giving Goa a bad name. Today, Goa is rich in filth and degrading lifestyles as politicians are only concerned about promoting activities which give them the dirty black money, which is made into white with the blessings of the powerful central government.

If Goans want to keep away disease and destruction, they will have to seek redemption and salvation -- not the spiritual or religious one but a real and scientific transformation. 

The people are stuck in their mundane life -- working hard to make ends meet. But look at our politicians. When caught up in a piquant situation, they have mastered the art of abandoning their sinking ship and jump to safety. And when they jump ship or defect from one party to the other, these defectors and scamsters always claim that they are doing so in the interest of the people.

Sadly, in India once you join a political party in power all the scams, rapes, loots, plunders, hill cuttings, illegal mining are all forgotten and forgiven. The people are made to suffer the consequences. 

Would the people rise up to the reality of the recruitment of the wrong people who serve us and ruin our economy and destroy our biodiversity? We require a “Goa Revolution”.

The sooner we wake up, the better it will be for sleeping Goans. Better late than never. 

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