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Vol No CX No: 72 Goa Inquisition For Colonial Disciplining
Goa, Saturday 13 March, 2010
Goa needs a Museum of the Goa Inquisition to help Goans understand this traumatic time writes Teotónio R. de Souza
Bhau’s unfinished tasks
G 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
W henever someone refers to the Goa In-
quisition, good many informed (?) Goan
Catholics recall with misgivings Pri-
olkar’s study that marked the fourth centenary
of that institution. He had included in his pub-
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 Univer-
sity Press, 2009). This work provides a vast and
time, the legend has only grown. lication the account of Charles Dellon (1687). A comparative scenario which calls our attention
Bandodkar represented the social forces that presided over victim of the Goa Inquisition, Dellon displayed to multiple and conflicting interests that were
the changing destiny of Goa at a crucial point of time. His courage to break the silence that the tribunal of served by this Institution, ecclesiastical in its
tenure in office marked the change-over from the ‘ancien regime’ Inquisition routinely imposed upon its victims if origins, but was predominantly political in the
they were lucky enough to leave its dungeons. Iberian empires, and served as a tool of social
to more egalitarian times. Dellon denounced to the world, his first-hand control until other institutions arrived to replace
But, having said that, it wouldn’t hurt to be more critical of experiences, and the European rivals of the it.
the past. At least some of the hagiography of Goa’s netas of Iberian empire made the best of it for their own What researchers elsewhere have not done,
yesteryears comes from the class of politicians and others reasons to construct a Black Legend. A.K. Priolkar and are unlikely to do is to look for the hurts
who have gained immensely from their politics. To that extent, was aware that “an Indian writer who undertakes that survive in the descendants of the thousands
going by such praise alone is akin to getting carried away by to tell it (the story of tyranny and injustice…) of the victims of the Goa Inquisition till date. The
a one-sided position. can easily be accused of being inspired by ulterior Western scholars often tend to concentrate on
Obviously, much depends on what we want to believe. Isn’t motives” (Panaji, Rajhans Reprint, 2008, p. ix). the New Christians (converted or crypto Jews)
It is important to note that much sensitivity who were the preferential target of the Inquisition.
it strange the way in which our politicians, controversial though to this topic even in our days is misplaced, and The list of those who were condemned to death
they might be, get praised and build records which seem very permits political misuse of public ignorance of a by the Goa Inquisition need not also be exagger-
enviable in hind-sight? tragic chapter of our past. Goa was fortunate to ated.
Unfortunately, we are yet to have more texts by political have a Museum of Christian Art due to generous However, there were thousands of the native
scientists that paint a more realistic balance sheet of what our initiative of Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation and victims, including Christians, Hindus and Muslims,
politicians have achieved. One of the more accessible books an enlightened support of Goa Archidiocese. But who may have been punished with relatively light
on Bandodkar is by N. Radhakrishnan, whom this State would Goa needs also a Museum of the Goa Inquisition sentences, but that often sufficed in the traditional
know as the aide to many a Governor of Goa. While Bahusaheb in order to enable Goans to confront critically cultural ethos to disrupt and even destroy their
has earned praise for empowering some of the sub-altern sec- some of its deep-seated historical traumas which personal and family lives for good. We can think
tions of Goan society, reading between the lines would also affected all classes of Goans, and not just one of husbands, wives or children taken away from
suggest the points where his policies were lacking. group or another, as is often wrongly presumed. Historical Explorations their homes without an idea of when they would
The colonial disciplining was aimed at all natives. return, or would return at all. Many such victims
Both Bandodkar and his United Goans rivals could be faulted Prof. Charles Boxer reviewed the book in 1964 traditions. superior of the Jesuit mission at Agra and had moved out of Goa, several ended their lives as
for building their power on a communal politics in Goa— favourably in the Bulletin of SOAS in London The author seeks in this context, the efforts visited Tibet. He was keen to return to Tibet after forced-labour in gunpowder factory and galleys,
even if of a less-than-blatant kind. At the same time, it has to (Vol. 27, No. 1: 233-234): “a dispassionate and of the Inquisition to fulfil its mission and the completing his term of Provincial, but he died others were deported to serve in distant colonial
be conceded that the local unit of the then Nehru-led Congress objective account of the Goa Inquisition from efforts of the Jesuits to proceed more tactfully in poisoned while he was rector of the Jesuit college outposts.
got caught up in a form of caste politics here, which made it 1560 until its final abolition in 1812. It is difficult their missionary strategy, including their collab- of St. Paul! The case was investigated by the Goa The Europe of the post-colonial times is today
unrepresentative of wider Goan society. The allocation of for a non- Roman Catholic to write with restraint oration with the Inquisition as its deputies and Inquisition, but ended without any definite con- open to recognizing the short and long-term con-
tickets for post-Liberation Goa’s first elections in 1963 is a about the so-called and self-styled ‘Holy Office promoters. clusions about the suspects! sequences of its past. There are fundings available
case in point. Till today, Goa has to cope with the communal- of the Inquisition’, and indeed there is no particular The Goa Inquisition was under strict watch Very different in scale and scope, is the re- for collaborative projects in which the participation
caste basis of local politics, though the bulk of MGP and UGP reason why he should. But Dr. Priolkar has certainly and was even advised by its higher authorities in search of Francisco Bethencourt , at one time of the former colonial subjects is crucial because
leaders have since merged into the Congress or the BJP, often achieved this feat.” Lisbon in 1632 to be respectful towards the Society responsible for the National Library of Lisbon. traditional and cultural linkages are vital for iden-
taking their old beliefs with them. The study of the Goa Inquisition continues to of Jesus. The book provides interesting clues for Presently based in UK as Charles Boxer Professor tification and interpretation of many historical
interest the scholars worldwide and we have ben- further research on the intricacies and intrigues of History at King’s College, London, he edited data.
If Bahusaheb’s tenancy and mundkar politics have drawn efited from their findings and insights. In 2004 involving the functioning of the Goa Inquisition, jointly with Kirti Chaudhuri 5-vols. of Portuguese Such a project to unveil the full impact of the
much praise from their beneficiaries, these also need to be a Brazillian lady scholar from Rio de Janeiro, Célia and leaves a reader with an appetite for more. Oceanic Expansion 1400-1800 (2007). The Por- Goa Inquisition is still awaited. Many Goans
critiqued. Such laws created new classes of ‘landlord’, some Cristina da Silva Tavares, produced her doctoral Here is an illustration. tuguese version had come out earlier as História who were forced into diaspora, and also several
owning entire huge hillocks—as tenants of cashewnut or are- thesis on Jesuits and Inquisitors in Goa (Lisboa, A Jesuit Provincial of Goa, Fr. Antonio Andrade, da Expansão Portuguesa (Círculo de Leitores, outsiders brought to Goa by the Inquisition,
canut gardens—that earlier belonged to the comunidades. Roma Editora). The second half of the book con- had been secretary of one of the biggest inquiries 1998-9). have the right to piece together their fragmented
Besides, while the middle-landowners got adversely affected, centrates on the “insular Christianity” of Goa, conducted into the alleged abuses of the Goa In- The author made his debut with a History of memories and disrupted histories. It could serve
the large bhadkars came out unscathed and went on to become where the Christianity was encircled by an ocean quisitors. Before being Provincial and deputy of the Inqusitions of Spain, Portugal and Italy ,pre- as the basis for a post-colonial reconciliation of
successful politicians in some cases. No wonder that, till this of different and deeply rooted religious-cultural the Goa Inquisition, Fr. Antonio Andrade had been sented as doctoral dissertation to the European peoples.
day, Goa doesn’t have any land-ceiling laws of its own.
Tenancy politics have resulted in a bitter fruit today: it contributed Tongue in cheek
significantly to the sharp decline of Goan agriculture. Besides, in a
State where out-migration was rife, the mundkar laws also badly af-
fected many families who had settled out of Goa and lost their
What’s in a name? By Adelmo Fernandes
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 govern-
ments have also failed us in a big way here.
I t seems that the best way to sell a product, is to rake up a con-
troversy. 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
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
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
History might have been different if the little-understood “moral policemen” the movie became a hit not only in India, but of all generations. In most communities the world over, it is the is not something you change in the nick of time. It grows along
politics behind the sudden formation of the MGP did not have in far off Britain and Russia too. Why don’t our Goan film producers woman who changes her surname to that of her husband when as you grow old. A nickname probably shows that you are in
to happen just before Goa’s first elections in 1963. take a hint from this fact and produce a movie called “My Name she ties the knot. Among the Hindus women even the name is good nick. Be that as it may, some names are common, some
While the goal of social transformation in Goa was certainly is Santan”? It could probably become an instant hit since the changed. With a new name these women are expected to start a not so common, others are very rare. Some names are easy to
long overdue in Goa, it is still a rather faulty and incomplete name of the film is shrouded in mystery. “What’s in a name?” new life in their new home. But then there is also a darker side pronounce, other are real tongue-twisters. But many names con-
mission. As NGOs working in Bahusaheb’s constituency of asked William Shakespeare. Probably not much importance was to changing of names. Those affiliated to the underworld frequently tain the name of a saint or a God or even the godfather. But
Marcaim (Madkai) point out, even today, the rural situation attached to a name during the era of the great bard. But nowadays, change their names to hoodwink the long hand of the law. The then, some names are in fact the names of several Gods. One
everything depends on your name, and more importantly, your out-laws have several aliases. They use them according to the example that comes to mind is that of the former spin-bowler
there itself is far from happy. Researchers like Biswaroop Das, surname. There are several religions in the world. One’s name in need of the time. Another famous Shakespearean quote is, “A and now a cricket commentator Laxman Shiva Rama Krishna. It
studying disparity in Goa in the 1980s, noted that—even in a way is linked to one’s faith. Hence a ‘Joao’ or a ‘Caitan’ or a rose by any another name would smell as sweet”. In today’s world, is the result of the combination of the names of four Gods.
MGP times—interior Goa was getting less than its fair share ‘Bostiao’ is easily identified as a Goan Roman Catholic. a terrorist by any other name would be as deadly. There is a saying, Some would like to believe that one’s name has a lot of bearing
of development and infrastructure, compared to the better- It appears that post 9/11 Americans are averse to the surname “The tiger dies and leaves a skin; man dies and leaves a name. on one’s personality. There is an advertisement which says that
off coastal areas. Those who praise Goa’s first chief minister ‘Khan’. SRK has had trouble at the airport in the USA because of Now whether a person leaves a good name or a bad name depends Chintamani has no ‘chinta’ (worries) but only money. So much
need to go beyond words to ensure social justice to all. his surname on many occasions. on the individual. for one’s name.

Letters to the Editor

SEZ Irregularities forced the Government to drop the SEZs. rules to enable NRIs to obtain a local driv- Paths of Wisdom
Jose Maria Miranda, Margao
They will face a greater task ahead in
ensuring that not a paisa from the Govern-
Letter of the Day ing licence based on their foreign country
driving licence. Satan’s Design
If the Goa Government has to compensate ment exchequer goes towards payment of
the developers when and if the three ap-
proved SEZs are denotified, the question,
The activists may have to knock the doors Scientific Disasters
Anthony J Simoes, Dona Paula
Religion Not Casual
by Samir Khan
“And recall when We asked the angels to
who should pay the compensation, will of the Judiciary if and when the question Caetano A Rodrigues, Navelim prostrate themselves before Adam, all
surely arise. It is a fact that approvals for of compensation arises. It is only when In recent weeks, the ‘Letters to the Editor’ published in the Herald seems to have It is very shocking and degrading to hear prostrated themselves except Iblîs (Satan),
SEZs were not only given in haste, without such tenacity is shown, and matters are turned into a battle-ground for ‘scientists’ and ‘fundamentalists’. ‘Scientists’ see the Holy name of God being used in a very who said: ‘Shall I prostrate myself before
complying with all the legal formalities. FIRs taken to their logical conclusion, that politi- themselves as rational secularists and custodians of world sanity. Others are to him whom You created of clay?’ He then
casual and derogatory manner in the Eng-
filed by activists and organizations against cians and bureaucrats will be accountable them, fanatics operating on the lunatic fringes of fundamentalist, evangelistic religious continued: ‘Look! This is he whom You
lish movies telecast on TV. The Name of
permissions given, have reportedly not been for their actions. If compensation is to be groups. ‘Scientists’ should realize that today’s environmental disasters like global have honoured above me! If You will
registered for reasons known only to the God and Jesus Christ is sacred and not to
paid, were the developers in the know warming, climate change, polluted oceans, ozone holes, etc., are the result of their be taken in a casual and unholy manner. grant me respite till the Day of Resur-
Police and politicians. The SEZ Virodhi and took advantage of the illegalities in non holistic, tunnel vision approach to knowledge. Science, because of its intrinsic rection, I shall uproot the whole of his
Manch and the Movement against SEZs have It would be immensely appreciated if
getting the necessary permissions? These limitations, leads to specializations, which is an exercise in counting trees whilst progeny barring only a few. Thereupon
issues may prove a deterrent to many. With such vague words and images are
ignoring the forest. The world is a victim of this phenomenon. To this recipe for He retorted: ‘Be gone! Hell shall be the
the Governments involved in illegalities disaster, if egoism and pusillanimity of the award-seeking ‘scientist’ is added, we blurred/blackened while screening the
100 Years Ago the country might eventually have to be movies/news items. I request the govern- recompense – and a most ample one –
end up with the deadly, toxic cocktail of worldwide ecological disasters. of whatsoever of them follows you’.”
run by the Courts. About 60 years ago, the ‘scientific’ world proclaimed D.D.T. a miracle chemical ment to censor movies that have the Holy
(Holy Qur’an – 17:61-63)
that would solve the world’s food problems by destroying pests. We are still paying name of God in their dialogues/speech/ac-
tion in audio or written modes during These verses from the Holy Qur’an nar-
Shoddy Investigation for this fiasco which has instead, degraded and destroyed the world more than any rate the story of Satan’s fall from Paradise
destructive weapon . The use of L.A.B. in detergents has diverted effluents from their telecasts. Also, the display of ven- revealing to mankind the fact that their
PRIMEIRO DIARIO NAS COLONIAS PORTUGEZAS Stephen Dias, Dona Paula washing machines into wetlands, estuaries, lakes, rivers, etc. to render many water- erated religious symbols/images on the defiance, imperviousness, and their per-
The news item Mahanand acquitted a sec- trousers, underwear of wrestlers, fighters
13th March, 1910. ond time (Herald March 7) is really shocking.
bodies ‘organically dead’.
The additives and/ or preservatives used in food technology have been a huge etc., must be stopped for they degrade
sistent pursuit of evil was tantamount to
following in Satan’s footsteps, the one
Such acquittals, are common in Goa, due scientific disaster too. The last two generations have suffered its ill-effects in the the very sanctity of our faith. Also showing who has always been man’s mortal enemy.
India a densely forested country to shoddy investigations done, intentionally form of cancer and obesity. Hundreds of millions of people have become walking fashion parade and vague scenes in the in- By following in Satan’s footsteps, Man
It has been vehemently expressed that or unintentionally. In a case like Ma- barrels of lard, or the walking dead of cancer. Thanks to science, today we have terior of Place of Worship dedicated to falls into a trap which Satan had laid for
in the earlier past, which is obscured in hanand’s that seems clear cut, Goans ex- more people making a living out of cancer than those dying of it. The same can be God as their background must be stopped, him from the very beginning of time. Satan
the morning dawn of history, India was pected him to be sentenced to said about A.I.D.S. as such vulgarity hurts our religious and had threatened, at the very beginning of
a densely forested country. imprisonment for a few years. But since Science first makes money in killing people and then makes money by pretending moral sentiments. human life on Earth that he would never
the investigating police officers failed in to cure them. cease in his efforts to mislead Mankind.
Portugal rejects England’s pro- their duties, the Court had to acquit “the
One Big Family Satan’s statement, ‘I shall uproot the
serial killer:” for lack of evidence. whole of his progeny’ meaning that that
posal It is time the Chief Minister and Home
Wilfy Rebimbus was affectionately called, vehicles has become essential for them Milagrio Rodrigues, Margao he would cause man’s feet to swerve from
It is said that in 1839, England had pro- completed more than 50 years of compos- since they are pressed for time and other-
Minister look into the issue, and ask the Hats off to Mr. Lawrence Fernandes for his the path that leads to his well-being, and
posed to Portugal that the former ac- Inspector General /Dy.SPO of Police for ing and singing Konkani songs 3 years ago. wise have to depend on public transport,
He was literature in Konkani , he never letter ‘Are Christians And Muslims Related? instead take him on a road that leads to
quire its possession of the State of India an explanation about their inability to which is a time-wasting, frustrating ex- ’ (Herald, March 1). It was indeed an excel- his destruction. Since Man has been in-
which was rejected by the Marquis Sa conduct a proper investigation of this use title for self publicity like other perience. The existing rules of Goa require lent and logical letter. The Holy Bible vested with the vicegerency of God, he
de Bandeira by stating that the Por- ‘simple’ case. All this makes me question Goan singers. Sadly, no longer will this even NRIs holding driving licence of their is required to be constant in his obedience
sweet voice be ever heard live again, as and Quran reveals that , not only are Chris-
tuguese colonies were the integral part why the investigating officers are trained domicile countries to undergo training tians and Muslims related, but the whole to Him. Any deviation from this, is similar
elsewhere in India, in handling criminal the doyen of Konkani music passed away and a driving test to procure a licence. to uprooting a tree by its very roots.
of the Portuguese Glory. recently. We Goans will miss him for of humanity is one big family. But then,
cases. This is another tedious and time-con- how do we account for the violence un- Satan misleads Man by making him
Portuguese German Pivotage his quality work and humble person. Heart- suming process, and most NRIs are dis- leashed by Muslim extremists on ‘infidels’ cherish false expectations, by tempting
The Portuguese Government requested Remembering Rebimbus felt condolences to his bereaved singer him with rosy promises which have no
couraged by this method, Many Indian in recent times. The Holy Bible holds the
the Company Krupp from Germany to wife and family. relation to reality. And this he does, to
Reo Cunha, Moira states allow NRIs holding driving licence clue, if we analyze the prophetic words
expedite urgently to Lisbon a gear de- from other countries, including the Gulf, spoken by the angel to Hagar about her prove that man does not deserve the ex-
nominated as ‘Pivotage’. The name Wilfy Rebimbus will undoubt- Driving Licence for NRIs alted status which God has conferred
edly ring a bell in every true-blue Konkani to obtain a local driving licence on pro- son Ishmael when she was pregnant with
Tony Borges, Ucassaim him. If we take into consideration the fact upon him. The only way for Man to defeat
English-Dutch sign defense pact music buff ’s heart, especially those who duction of the foreign country driving li-
that Ishmael is respected in Islam, then Satan’s design, is to remain firm in obe-
London reports on a rumor going round have been regaled with his melodious Goa has a sizeable population of NRIs work- cence. This procedure is easier for the dience to God, to turn only to Him for
ing in different countries , especially the NRI’s who can then obtain within a couple here are the words, ‘He shall be a wild man.
that Germany have proposed to the Gov- voice for more than half a century. He was guidance and help, and to trust in and
Gulf s. Most of these NRIs visit Goa often of weeks. His hand will be against all men, and all
ernment of Holland to sign a defense in-fact a living legend of the Konkani music rely on Him alone. Any other course
The Road Traffic Department in Goa men’s hands against him: and he shall pitch
pact. world, a master of lyrics and tunes. The for a vacation, medical treatment, family taken, means that man will certainly end
his tents over against all his brethren.’ (r
Konkani Kogul (Konkani Nightingale) as reasons etc. The ability to drive their own should to consider relaxing the existing up falling into Satan’s trap.

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