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Our Goan Identity and Its Critics

Our Goan Identity and Its Critics:

Our Goan Identity

It is amusing to glance through the flawed thought process of one of our eminent Goan, Mr. T.B. Cunha, a mere pamphlet that has gained undue importance for research, (references below) and reverence, in an insidious attempt to malign and cast aspersion on Catholic Goans and some of these supposedly "intellectual critics" use this pamphlet as a fodder to vitiate our bewitching culture and traditions, which we espouse here, that have evolved over time, space and across various principalities that ruled over us, not just Europeans.

It was surprising, the Church, has not vigorously defended itself, since it was the target of their vitriol and simian grunts of “denationalization” the seeming lack of understanding of the term, but on the other hand, in a way, it has served us well “the turning of the other cheek" to pervasive "intellectual" abuse and vitriol on our identity and even in the eyes of the international intelligentsia, which these critics engage in a debased stupor, and our passivity in the face of vociferous calumny, has gained us even more sympathies and admirers from the international elites who view our critics as retrogrades, envious of our ability to evolve, adapt and transform, and their innate need to climb pedestals to mitigate their own perceived flaws and inferiorities.

I have read T.B Cunha's pamphlet during school days, even then was dismissive of it, as it was not a scholarly, peer reviewed work, it was just a pamphlet, hash of his own opinions, views, which he had every right to express and his paranoia of perceived enslavement which he projected on society around, while he bemoaned his fate in the lap of luxury, ensconced in his own huge mansion accrued during the erstwhile regime.

He did not cut across either as a credible figure even then as he himself, hobnobbed all the way to Europe for his education, like a moth drawn to fire, the cradle of his torment. There is phrase “Preacher, save yourself first" If he was really sincere about his views, opinions, the paranoia about his perceived enslavement, he should have completed his education in India itself, there were good many reputable institution in India then.

Evolution is intrinsic to all humans and to all life form. We evolved through millions years from our Neanderthals ancestors, Are we vexed about being humans now? or cherish Neanderthals phase or further still, as apes and chimpanzees with cherished aspiration of swinging on trees again, certainly not!!.

Life evolves, its not static, howsoever, you may cling to it, We move from point A to point B, we evolve, adapt and transform.

Besides us, is Tamil a denationalized Tamil? because he resembles, speaks, behaves differently from Northies and for that matter Keralites. Now we have entire communities in Indian Union, as denationalized citizenry as they that don't resemble and speak the same, due to this flawed logic and understanding of the term "Denationalized" as espoused by our eminent Goan, T.B, Cunha, his lack of appreciation of diversity is rather disconcerting, Providence favored us with roses and Lilies for a reason, so we don't kill each other due to boredom, yet, there are some, who would rather shape us into box of nails.

We Goans, have in our lap a bewitching culture, traditions, identity which has evolved through various influences, some more predominant than others, a true amalgam, which we celebrate on this site. Of course, it has not been easy, there will be the idle habitual stone throwers, couched as scholars defiled by vitriol and bigoty and putrid egotism, nevertheless, we must evolve even further ahead, to harmonize, make it even better.

There was an astute observation made by late Mr. Philip Knightly an award winning investigative journalist and author, on Goan society, that we assimilate the good in others, reject any harmful and deleterious influences of others and that has been the core of our Goan philosophy, the wisdom of our ancestors

There is never been an instance among us, as cheerleaders, for harmful, depraved and bestial philosophies that emanated from Europe in the guise of Nazism or were awarded by Nazis their "Mein Kemp" for servility to Nazism which resulted in dehumanization, mass murder and genocide of innocent Jews, the holocaust. We did not acquire their symbols and their traits of marching down the streets with sticks to intimidate the civilian population.

It will be beneath us Goans, to name Our theatre associations as Bollywood in obeisance to West Cultural font, the Hollywood.

It is cringeworthy term to hear in US among Americans, the term " Bollywood" "Bollywood", "Bollywood", unequivocally signifies debasement, and utter servility and bondage to Hollywood and the West of an entire film industry and fan base. It is not assimilation but servility.

Thomas Jefferson, during the formation of USA surveyed the entire world landscape to acquire the best traditions, culture, architecture of others and to give it new form, the birth of a new nation. Even Emperor Ashoka, gleaning from the tome of World History, had assimilated Hellenistic influence in his architecture.

The lack of understating of Goan society by our esteemed Mr T B Cunha, the assimilation, syncretism and other anthropological factors is rather befuddling. The general populace in Goa, then were unmoved by his pamphlets or his views and that caused him this heartburn and his paranoia of his quixotic enslavement, obviously heaped criticism on the Church.. But he did not grasp the fact clergy itself. and few from laity, the men who were supposedly glued to Catholicism revolted against the Portuguese during the Pinto revolt, and there has been upheavals in nations everywhere, even though the rulers and ruled shared the same religion, which invalidates his argument.

It should be noted, however, whether our former colonials were engaged in decamping with our hills and denuding us of our rivers, or restricting us in our own exotic shoreline or islands. Or camped their hordes to miniaturize us or marched our school kids then at the gun point.

So in absence of this deranged preoccupation by the colonials, there was not this angst to revolt. It is true however, freedom is deepest yearning of every human to live free without exploitations from Overlords, be it a proud Incas or a Cherokees or our esteemed, T B Cunha, and UN itself had mandated in 1960 resolution., the devolvement of former colonies from their Colonials.


1. The Denationalisation of Goans. An Insight into the Construction of Cultural Identity

Nishita Desai

2.Tristão Bragança Cunha and Nationalism in Colonial Goa: Mediating Difference and Essentialising Nationhood by Parag Porob

3. Goan Intellectuals and Goan Identity: An Unresolved Conflict

Pramod Kale


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