Sun, 07 Jun, 2020

Goans & the project of self production-V

Expanding our embrace fearlessly to the other may be a way ahead for us to produce ourselves and Goanise Goa and ourselves in emancipative ways

09th July 2019, 02:31 Hrs

Fr. Victor Ferrao

Psychoanalysis teaches that a society is produced by repression of  desire. Sigmund Freud says that the unconscious repression is the  primary condition of communal life. It indeed becomes apriori condition  of inter-human exchange.  Maybe we have to accept  that it is the castration phobia that shapes society.  This means that  it is the fear of the prohibiting father which is individually  internalised as super-ego that becomes the blood line of any social  commune. It would be interesting to open our reflection  to the repressions triggered by castration phobia that we Goans may   have. This exercise is important because it can manifest how this  mechanism of repression produces our society both collectively and  individually.  

We cannot know our own repressions. Therefore,  it is difficult to unearth them. We may take the route opened by Julia  Kristeva to reach the repressions embedded into our society. Kristeva  can assist us to open the door on our repressions by letting us examine  that which we abject, expel or wish to excrete  or vomit out of our society. This drive to abject is triggered by the  fear of otherness that becomes a blemish or a stain on what we imagine  as pure Goa and Goan-ness. This means the drive of expulsion of  otherness that alienates us shows that like most societies,  Goan society is also controlled by narcissist concerns.  Maybe we have  to abject the condition that makes us abject otherness. 

  Colonization  has instilled the fear of the other in our society.  Maybe the colonizers only intensified the fear of the other that is  already embedded in a caste ridden society. Otherness always haunts any  society. It is what we do with the otherness that  produces our society.  A caste ridden society hierarchizes  otherness  and integrates it into it. Pre-colonial Goan society managed otherness  by placing it on a caste ladder.  

This is why there was no need of  expulsion of otherness as it was ranked on the scale  of purity and pollution and regulated by customs and Gavponn of our  Ganvkarias. Those that were left on the lower rung of the ladder were  thought to be polluted and polluting and were exiled within our society.  Like caste colonization also complexly marked  our society.  It largely dissolved otherness into sameness. This is why  conversion came along with lusitanization. Not just the convert even  the non-convert  could not fully resist lusitanisation. This complex  lusitanization of Goa and Goans was later interpreted  as de-nationalization by Dr.  Tristao de Barganza Cunha (1891-1958).   

 Dr Tristao considered both Christians and the Hindus of Goa as  denationalised  but declared that denationalisation of the Christians  was more pronounced.  While keeping the other nuances  of question of denationalisation for some other time, here let us try  to understand how otherness was culturally assimilated in the colonial  era in Goa so that we can view how in the post-colonial times, we can  feel a demand to culturally excrete  it (otherness). 

  Colonial assimilation of the otherness is replaced by cultural  excretion of the other in the post-colonial era. This is the reason why  insider/  outsider, Christian / Hindu /Muslim/ Londonkars  and others  have become acute preoccupations  in our society.   There is an anger against outsider who is unfortunately greeted by a  pejorative label, ‘Ganti’.  

Lusitansation did not kill the sting of  caste in our society. We somehow hybridized and what the colonial other  called caste survived even in our days. This means  the tendency to rank otherness on ladder of a hierarchy did not die. It  slipped into religion and survived with loyalties transcending  religions. Besides, the coming of an independent nation steadily rang in   our society a truncated nationalism that saw no  Indian as a national enough. Hindus were to become sanskari  Hindus and  become national.  

The Muslim and the Christians may have to be born  again or have to stage a Ghar vapsi to prove them-selves to be national.  Thus,  the way we managed otherness in Goa  we have produced our society down the ages. 

Hence, it is important to  embrace otherness in its manifolds to generate emancipative ways of  being Goans. Otherness is always an excess. We cannot assemble it into a  comprehensible content. There is always  a surplus  dimension that resists our attempts of reduction and totalisation .  This awareness might open us to generate emancipative ways of  encountering otherness.  As all self production is essentially a  relation of Self and its Other. A positive openness to the other  becomes an authentic call for our Goan-ness to show  up and blossom.   It is the other that calls us into being, hence, the other of Goans  is  significant as h/she shaped us into what we have become and can become.  Expanding our embrace fearlessly to the other  may be a way ahead for us to produce ourselves and Goanise Goa and  ourselves in emancipative ways.    

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