Panjim Bye Election Will Decide the Future of Indian Democracy This article was published in Renewal/Novsornni/Renovacao, the fortnightly pastoral bulletin of the Archdiocese of Goa and Daman, in Vol. LV, No 16, of August 16-31, 2017. Its author is part of the editorial board, and the article has drawn attention in the mainstream media and social media. Renewal notes: "The opinions expressed in this bulletin are not necessarily the opinions of the editor."
Dr FE Noronha The issue in India today is no longer Corruption. Not even Secularism. It is Freedom, pure and simple. There are rare occasions when a single by-election can have ntionwide repercussion: such is the one on 23rd August 2017. If the present Goa Government formed by dubious methods goes, it will be a watershed in the downslide of our country's democracy. It is the moral responsibility of Panjimites to stem the tidy. Different elections call for different attitudes. There are times when we have to look at the candidates, their character and capacity; there are times when we have to look at the parties; there are times when we have to look at the development of the constitutency; and there are times indeed when people merely look at their immediate issues like local leaders who tell us for whom to vote and worse still when petty social considerations prompt the voting. But there are rare occasions -- and 23rd August is one -- when the future of a State and the whole nation depends on a single election. In 2012, everyone thought in terms of having a corruption-free Goa; this thinking continued till 2014 but from then and increasingly everyday what we are witnessing in India is nothing but a constitutional holocaust. Corruption is very bad, communalism is worse, but Nazism is worse than both. Anybody who reads William Shirer's *The Rise and Fall of the Third Reich* or Allan Bullocks *A Study in Tyranny* or Hitler's own *Mein Kampf* will find an extraordinary identity between the growth and rampage of Nazism in Germany in 1933 onwards and India in 2014 onwards. You talk or take a stand against the Government and you have the Income Tax, CBI, ACB, ED knocking on your door at midnight. You are also likely to have a big mob of people claiming to be honest patriots and tender lovers of animals and knives and sticks in their hands. TV anchors disappear from the screens. TV owners themselves or very vocal political opponents are found to be corrupt and events are dug out which took place 10 or 20 years back. Editors are sacked. On the other hand, lest anybody things that the other side is honest: no, of course it is not. But nobody touches them. A person is lynched and the case if filed against the surviving family members not against the murderers. The extent of abuse and oppression is matter for full books. Strangely, documentaries are made of events of 42 years back when much worse horrors are going on right in your face. The country is being ruled by one or two men, and the rest are mere henchmen and running dogs. Please don't vote for a person who is a mere subaltern of such individuals. We should not vote for people who show no sign of a distinct backbone or character and evidently agree with the nationwide fascism. Freedom, democracy and secularism are more important than corruption. Corruption was better. Let the corrupt rule if they allow us to talk, to eat and to be politically free. India is nobody's backyard; it is one of the greatest nations in the world. freedom is our birthright and we shall preserve it. Let us not vote for persons who hurriedly make dozens of promises everyday with dates and deadlines and violate them at leisure. This seems to be the speciaity of some people. Also, people with innumerable u-turns do not carry any credit. The Navy could have moved out of Daboim. At least the disgusting Military garages and workshops unnecessarily occupying the central places of Panjim could have been moved out. I see nothing patriotic in abusing civilian public places. If Goa falls, it will be a turnaround in the entire course of current Indian politics. ### Send feedback to goa...@goanet.org and descm...@gmail.com / renovacao.rene...@gmail.com