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O HERALD O
Vol No CX No: 72 Goa, Saturday 13 March, 2010
henever someone refers to the Goa Inquisition, good many informed (?) Goan Catholics recall with misgivings Priolkar’s study that marked the fourth centenary of that institution. He had included in his publication the account of Charles Dellon (1687). A victim of the Goa Inquisition, Dellon displayed courage to break the silence that the tribunal of Inquisition routinely imposed upon its victims if they were lucky enough to leave its dungeons. Dellon denounced to the world, his first-hand experiences, and the European rivals of the Iberian empire made the best of it for their own reasons to construct a Black Legend. A.K. Priolkar was aware that “an Indian writer who undertakes to tell it (the story of tyranny and injustice…) can easily be accused of being inspired by ulterior motives” (Panaji, Rajhans Reprint, 2008, p. ix). It is important to note that much sensitivity to this topic even in our days is misplaced, and permits political misuse of public ignorance of a tragic chapter of our past. Goa was fortunate to have a Museum of Christian Art due to generous initiative of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and an enlightened support of Goa Archidiocese. But Goa needs also a Museum of the Goa Inquisition in order to enable Goans to confront critically some of its deep-seated historical traumas which affected all classes of Goans, and not just one group or another, as is often wrongly presumed. The colonial disciplining was aimed at all natives. Prof. Charles Boxer reviewed the book in 1964 favourably in the Bulletin of SOAS in London (Vol. 27, No. 1: 233-234): “a dispassionate and objective account of the Goa Inquisition from 1560 until its final abolition in 1812. It is difficult for a non- Roman Catholic to write with restraint about the so-called and self-styled ‘Holy Office of the Inquisition’, and indeed there is no particular reason why he should. But Dr. Priolkar has certainly achieved this feat.” The study of the Goa Inquisition continues to interest the scholars worldwide and we have benefited from their findings and insights. In 2004 a Brazillian lady scholar from Rio de Janeiro, Célia Cristina da Silva Tavares, produced her doctoral thesis on Jesuits and Inquisitors in Goa (Lisboa, Roma Editora). The second half of the book concentrates on the “insular Christianity” of Goa, where the Christianity was encircled by an ocean of different and deeply rooted religious-cultural
Goa Inquisition For Colonial Disciplining
Goa needs a Museum of the Goa Inquisition to help Goans understand this traumatic time writes Teotónio R. de Souza
University Institute in Florence, and published in Portugal in 1994. We have now a revised and updated English version entitled The Inquisition: A Global History, 1478-1834 (Cambridge University Press, 2009). This work provides a vast and comparative scenario which calls our attention to multiple and conflicting interests that were served by this Institution, ecclesiastical in its origins, but was predominantly political in the Iberian empires, and served as a tool of social control until other institutions arrived to replace it. What researchers elsewhere have not done, and are unlikely to do is to look for the hurts that survive in the descendants of the thousands of the victims of the Goa Inquisition till date. The Western scholars often tend to concentrate on the New Christians (converted or crypto Jews) who were the preferential target of the Inquisition. The list of those who were condemned to death by the Goa Inquisition need not also be exaggerated. However, there were thousands of the native victims, including Christians, Hindus and Muslims, who may have been punished with relatively light sentences, but that often sufficed in the traditional cultural ethos to disrupt and even destroy their personal and family lives for good. We can think of husbands, wives or children taken away from their homes without an idea of when they would return, or would return at all. Many such victims moved out of Goa, several ended their lives as forced-labour in gunpowder factory and galleys, others were deported to serve in distant colonial outposts. The Europe of the post-colonial times is today open to recognizing the short and long-term consequences of its past. There are fundings available for collaborative projects in which the participation of the former colonial subjects is crucial because traditional and cultural linkages are vital for identification and interpretation of many historical data. Such a project to unveil the full impact of the Goa Inquisition is still awaited. Many Goans who were forced into diaspora, and also several outsiders brought to Goa by the Inquisition, have the right to piece together their fragmented memories and disrupted histories. It could serve as the basis for a post-colonial reconciliation of peoples.
oa’s first chief minister Dayanand ‘Bahusaheb’ Bandodkar is being celebrated these days, on the occasion his birth centenary. In office and after his death while holding the post, ‘Bhau’ has become a legend over the years. With time, the legend has only grown. Bandodkar represented the social forces that presided over the changing destiny of Goa at a crucial point of time. His tenure in office marked the change-over from the ‘ancien regime’ to more egalitarian times. But, having said that, it wouldn’t hurt to be more critical of the past. At least some of the hagiography of Goa’s netas of yesteryears comes from the class of politicians and others who have gained immensely from their politics. To that extent, going by such praise alone is akin to getting carried away by a one-sided position. Obviously, much depends on what we want to believe. Isn’t it strange the way in which our politicians, controversial though they might be, get praised and build records which seem very enviable in hind-sight? Unfortunately, we are yet to have more texts by political scientists that paint a more realistic balance sheet of what our politicians have achieved. One of the more accessible books on Bandodkar is by N. Radhakrishnan, whom this State would know as the aide to many a Governor of Goa. While Bahusaheb has earned praise for empowering some of the sub-altern sections of Goan society, reading between the lines would also suggest the points where his policies were lacking. Both Bandodkar and his United Goans rivals could be faulted for building their power on a communal politics in Goa— even if of a less-than-blatant kind. At the same time, it has to be conceded that the local unit of the then Nehru-led Congress got caught up in a form of caste politics here, which made it unrepresentative of wider Goan society. The allocation of tickets for post-Liberation Goa’s first elections in 1963 is a case in point. Till today, Goa has to cope with the communalcaste basis of local politics, though the bulk of MGP and UGP leaders have since merged into the Congress or the BJP, often taking their old beliefs with them. If Bahusaheb’s tenancy and mundkar politics have drawn much praise from their beneficiaries, these also need to be critiqued. Such laws created new classes of ‘landlord’, some owning entire huge hillocks—as tenants of cashewnut or arecanut gardens—that earlier belonged to the comunidades. Besides, while the middle-landowners got adversely affected, the large bhadkars came out unscathed and went on to become successful politicians in some cases. No wonder that, till this day, Goa doesn’t have any land-ceiling laws of its own. Tenancy politics have resulted in a bitter fruit today: it contributed significantly to the sharp decline of Goan agriculture. Besides, in a State where out-migration was rife, the mundkar laws also badly affected many families who had settled out of Goa and lost their homes to people claiming to be ‘mundkars’. Villagers’ protests against mining give a hint of the many unsorted problems on this front, and post-Bandodkar governments have also failed us in a big way here. History might have been different if the little-understood politics behind the sudden formation of the MGP did not have to happen just before Goa’s first elections in 1963. While the goal of social transformation in Goa was certainly long overdue in Goa, it is still a rather faulty and incomplete mission. As NGOs working in Bahusaheb’s constituency of Marcaim (Madkai) point out, even today, the rural situation there itself is far from happy. Researchers like Biswaroop Das, studying disparity in Goa in the 1980s, noted that—even in MGP times—interior Goa was getting less than its fair share of development and infrastructure, compared to the betteroff coastal areas. Those who praise Goa’s first chief minister need to go beyond words to ensure social justice to all.
Bhau’s unfinished tasks
traditions. The author seeks in this context, the efforts of the Inquisition to fulfil its mission and the efforts of the Jesuits to proceed more tactfully in their missionary strategy, including their collaboration with the Inquisition as its deputies and promoters. The Goa Inquisition was under strict watch and was even advised by its higher authorities in Lisbon in 1632 to be respectful towards the Society of Jesus. The book provides interesting clues for further research on the intricacies and intrigues involving the functioning of the Goa Inquisition, and leaves a reader with an appetite for more. Here is an illustration. A Jesuit Provincial of Goa, Fr. Antonio Andrade, had been secretary of one of the biggest inquiries conducted into the alleged abuses of the Goa Inquisitors. Before being Provincial and deputy of the Goa Inquisition, Fr. Antonio Andrade had been superior of the Jesuit mission at Agra and had visited Tibet. He was keen to return to Tibet after completing his term of Provincial, but he died poisoned while he was rector of the Jesuit college of St. Paul! The case was investigated by the Goa Inquisition, but ended without any definite conclusions about the suspects! Very different in scale and scope, is the research of Francisco Bethencourt , at one time responsible for the National Library of Lisbon. Presently based in UK as Charles Boxer Professor of History at King’s College, London, he edited jointly with Kirti Chaudhuri 5-vols. of Portuguese Oceanic Expansion 1400-1800 (2007). The Portuguese version had come out earlier as História da Expansão Portuguesa (Círculo de Leitores, 1998-9). The author made his debut with a History of the Inqusitions of Spain, Portugal and Italy ,presented as doctoral dissertation to the European
Tongue in cheek
t seems that the best way to sell a product, is to rake up a controversy. Many works of art sell like hot-cakes when surrounded by controversy. Classic examples of are the paintings of renowned painter M.F. Hussein, the CD controversy in Colva, the Karan Johar’s blockbuster “My Name is Khan”. Thanks to some self-styled “moral policemen” the movie became a hit not only in India, but in far off Britain and Russia too. Why don’t our Goan film producers take a hint from this fact and produce a movie called “My Name is Santan”? It could probably become an instant hit since the name of the film is shrouded in mystery. “What’s in a name?” asked William Shakespeare. Probably not much importance was attached to a name during the era of the great bard. But nowadays, everything depends on your name, and more importantly, your surname. There are several religions in the world. One’s name in a way is linked to one’s faith. Hence a ‘Joao’ or a ‘Caitan’ or a ‘Bostiao’ is easily identified as a Goan Roman Catholic. It appears that post 9/11 Americans are averse to the surname ‘Khan’. SRK has had trouble at the airport in the USA because of his surname on many occasions.
What’s in a name?
Having a name is our birthright. But incidentally this is one right that we do not have a say in. Our parents decide our names for us, the name by which we are known even after we die. A surname is a legacy that is passed down from one generation to another. It is said that a man lives a generation; a name to the end of all generations. In most communities the world over, it is the woman who changes her surname to that of her husband when she ties the knot. Among the Hindus women even the name is changed. With a new name these women are expected to start a new life in their new home. But then there is also a darker side to changing of names. Those affiliated to the underworld frequently change their names to hoodwink the long hand of the law. The out-laws have several aliases. They use them according to the need of the time. Another famous Shakespearean quote is, “A rose by any another name would smell as sweet”. In today’s world, a terrorist by any other name would be as deadly. There is a saying, “The tiger dies and leaves a skin; man dies and leaves a name. Now whether a person leaves a good name or a bad name depends on the individual.
By Adelmo Fernandes
Besides the name and the surname one also has a pet name. Many a times a pet name is a shortened version of the actual name. In Goa “Bernadette” becomes “Benny” and “Jeromino” becomes “Jerry” – short and sweet. I sometimes wonder about the difference between a pet name and a nickname. A nick name is not something you change in the nick of time. It grows along as you grow old. A nickname probably shows that you are in good nick. Be that as it may, some names are common, some not so common, others are very rare. Some names are easy to pronounce, other are real tongue-twisters. But many names contain the name of a saint or a God or even the godfather. But then, some names are in fact the names of several Gods. One example that comes to mind is that of the former spin-bowler and now a cricket commentator Laxman Shiva Rama Krishna. It is the result of the combination of the names of four Gods. Some would like to believe that one’s name has a lot of bearing on one’s personality. There is an advertisement which says that Chintamani has no ‘chinta’ (worries) but only money. So much for one’s name.
Letters to the Editor
Jose Maria Miranda, Margao
If the Goa Government has to compensate the developers when and if the three approved SEZs are denotified, the question, who should pay the compensation, will surely arise. It is a fact that approvals for SEZs were not only given in haste, without complying with all the legal formalities. FIRs filed by activists and organizations against permissions given, have reportedly not been registered for reasons known only to the Police and politicians. The SEZ Virodhi Manch and the Movement against SEZs have forced the Government to drop the SEZs. They will face a greater task ahead in ensuring that not a paisa from the Government exchequer goes towards payment of compensation. The activists may have to knock the doors of the Judiciary if and when the question of compensation arises. It is only when such tenacity is shown, and matters are taken to their logical conclusion, that politicians and bureaucrats will be accountable for their actions. If compensation is to be paid, were the developers in the know and took advantage of the illegalities in getting the necessary permissions? These issues may prove a deterrent to many. With the Governments involved in illegalities the country might eventually have to be run by the Courts.
Letter of the Day
Anthony J Simoes, Dona Paula
rules to enable NRIs to obtain a local driving licence based on their foreign country driving licence.
Paths of Wisdom
by Samir Khan “And recall when We asked the angels to prostrate themselves before Adam, all prostrated themselves except Iblîs (Satan), who said: ‘Shall I prostrate myself before him whom You created of clay?’ He then continued: ‘Look! This is he whom You have honoured above me! If You will grant me respite till the Day of Resurrection, I shall uproot the whole of his progeny barring only a few. Thereupon He retorted: ‘Be gone! Hell shall be the recompense – and a most ample one – of whatsoever of them follows you’.” (Holy Qur’an – 17:61-63) These verses from the Holy Qur’an narrate the story of Satan’s fall from Paradise revealing to mankind the fact that their defiance, imperviousness, and their persistent pursuit of evil was tantamount to following in Satan’s footsteps, the one who has always been man’s mortal enemy. By following in Satan’s footsteps, Man falls into a trap which Satan had laid for him from the very beginning of time. Satan had threatened, at the very beginning of human life on Earth that he would never cease in his efforts to mislead Mankind. Satan’s statement, ‘I shall uproot the whole of his progeny’ meaning that that he would cause man’s feet to swerve from the path that leads to his well-being, and instead take him on a road that leads to his destruction. Since Man has been invested with the vicegerency of God, he is required to be constant in his obedience to Him. Any deviation from this, is similar to uprooting a tree by its very roots. Satan misleads Man by making him cherish false expectations, by tempting him with rosy promises which have no relation to reality. And this he does, to prove that man does not deserve the exalted status which God has conferred upon him. The only way for Man to defeat Satan’s design, is to remain firm in obedience to God, to turn only to Him for guidance and help, and to trust in and rely on Him alone. Any other course taken, means that man will certainly end up falling into Satan’s trap.
Religion Not Casual
Caetano A Rodrigues, Navelim
It is very shocking and degrading to hear the Holy name of God being used in a very casual and derogatory manner in the English movies telecast on TV. The Name of God and Jesus Christ is sacred and not to be taken in a casual and unholy manner. It would be immensely appreciated if such vague words and images are blurred/blackened while screening the movies/news items. I request the government to censor movies that have the Holy name of God in their dialogues/speech/action in audio or written modes during their telecasts. Also, the display of venerated religious symbols/images on the trousers, underwear of wrestlers, fighters etc., must be stopped for they degrade the very sanctity of our faith. Also showing fashion parade and vague scenes in the interior of Place of Worship dedicated to God as their background must be stopped, as such vulgarity hurts our religious and moral sentiments.
100 Years Ago
PRIMEIRO DIARIO NAS COLONIAS PORTUGEZAS
Stephen Dias, Dona Paula
13th March, 1910.
India a densely forested country
It has been vehemently expressed that in the earlier past, which is obscured in the morning dawn of history, India was a densely forested country.
Portugal rejects England’s proposal
It is said that in 1839, England had proposed to Portugal that the former acquire its possession of the State of India which was rejected by the Marquis Sa de Bandeira by stating that the Portuguese colonies were the integral part of the Portuguese Glory.
Portuguese German Pivotage
The Portuguese Government requested the Company Krupp from Germany to expedite urgently to Lisbon a gear denominated as ‘Pivotage’.
The news item Mahanand acquitted a second time (Herald March 7) is really shocking. Such acquittals, are common in Goa, due to shoddy investigations done, intentionally or unintentionally. In a case like Mahanand’s that seems clear cut, Goans expected him to be sentenced to imprisonment for a few years. But since the investigating police officers failed in their duties, the Court had to acquit “the serial killer:” for lack of evidence. It is time the Chief Minister and Home Minister look into the issue, and ask the Inspector General /Dy.SPO of Police for an explanation about their inability to conduct a proper investigation of this ‘simple’ case. All this makes me question why the investigating officers are trained elsewhere in India, in handling criminal cases.
In recent weeks, the ‘Letters to the Editor’ published in the Herald seems to have turned into a battle-ground for ‘scientists’ and ‘fundamentalists’. ‘Scientists’ see themselves as rational secularists and custodians of world sanity. Others are to them, fanatics operating on the lunatic fringes of fundamentalist, evangelistic religious groups. ‘Scientists’ should realize that today’s environmental disasters like global warming, climate change, polluted oceans, ozone holes, etc., are the result of their non holistic, tunnel vision approach to knowledge. Science, because of its intrinsic limitations, leads to specializations, which is an exercise in counting trees whilst ignoring the forest. The world is a victim of this phenomenon. To this recipe for disaster, if egoism and pusillanimity of the award-seeking ‘scientist’ is added, we end up with the deadly, toxic cocktail of worldwide ecological disasters. About 60 years ago, the ‘scientific’ world proclaimed D.D.T. a miracle chemical that would solve the world’s food problems by destroying pests. We are still paying for this fiasco which has instead, degraded and destroyed the world more than any destructive weapon . The use of L.A.B. in detergents has diverted effluents from washing machines into wetlands, estuaries, lakes, rivers, etc. to render many waterbodies ‘organically dead’. The additives and/ or preservatives used in food technology have been a huge scientific disaster too. The last two generations have suffered its ill-effects in the form of cancer and obesity. Hundreds of millions of people have become walking barrels of lard, or the walking dead of cancer. Thanks to science, today we have more people making a living out of cancer than those dying of it. The same can be said about A.I.D.S. Science first makes money in killing people and then makes money by pretending to cure them. Wilfy Rebimbus was affectionately called, completed more than 50 years of composing and singing Konkani songs 3 years ago. He was literature in Konkani , he never use title for self publicity like other Goan singers. Sadly, no longer will this sweet voice be ever heard live again, as the doyen of Konkani music passed away recently. We Goans will miss him for his quality work and humble person. Heartfelt condolences to his bereaved singer wife and family. vehicles has become essential for them since they are pressed for time and otherwise have to depend on public transport, which is a time-wasting, frustrating experience. The existing rules of Goa require even NRIs holding driving licence of their domicile countries to undergo training and a driving test to procure a licence. This is another tedious and time-consuming process, and most NRIs are discouraged by this method, Many Indian states allow NRIs holding driving licence from other countries, including the Gulf, to obtain a local driving licence on production of the foreign country driving licence. This procedure is easier for the NRI’s who can then obtain within a couple of weeks. The Road Traffic Department in Goa should to consider relaxing the existing
One Big Family
Milagrio Rodrigues, Margao
Hats off to Mr. Lawrence Fernandes for his letter ‘Are Christians And Muslims Related? ’ (Herald, March 1). It was indeed an excellent and logical letter. The Holy Bible and Quran reveals that , not only are Christians and Muslims related, but the whole of humanity is one big family. But then, how do we account for the violence unleashed by Muslim extremists on ‘infidels’ in recent times. The Holy Bible holds the clue, if we analyze the prophetic words spoken by the angel to Hagar about her son Ishmael when she was pregnant with him. If we take into consideration the fact that Ishmael is respected in Islam, then here are the words, ‘He shall be a wild man. His hand will be against all men, and all men’s hands against him: and he shall pitch his tents over against all his brethren.’ (r
Reo Cunha, Moira
The name Wilfy Rebimbus will undoubtedly ring a bell in every true-blue Konkani music buff ’s heart, especially those who have been regaled with his melodious voice for more than half a century. He was in-fact a living legend of the Konkani music world, a master of lyrics and tunes. The Konkani Kogul (Konkani Nightingale) as
Driving Licence for NRIs
Tony Borges, Ucassaim
Goa has a sizeable population of NRIs working in different countries , especially the Gulf s. Most of these NRIs visit Goa often for a vacation, medical treatment, family reasons etc. The ability to drive their own
English-Dutch sign defense pact
London reports on a rumor going round that Germany have proposed to the Government of Holland to sign a defense pact.
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