Been rather acidic, the press has about Goa and how the tiny state has lost its glory. It was yet another article in this undeclared and unforgiving series that I read in the Hindustan Times (HT) today which prompted me to unlock my blog gates.
Am not a Goan nor am I a publicity agent of the Goa government but I happen to be among the people who have been there and have come to appreciate the place. That is why I wish to communicate my feelings about Goa.
I believe that we get what we look out for. I have been to Goa twice in my life and stayed there for almost a week on both occasions. Done things where I could have encountered the ‘Goan evils’, for example, I have roamed the by-lanes in the night, slept on beaches post sun-set and wandered around alone etc. But frankly, am yet to come across shady drug lords, Russian mafia men, sex trade and everything else that one tarnishes Goa with. Please bear in mind, am not saying that the above stated things do not exist. Am only saying that I never found myself even in a slightest spot of bother courtesy things factors.
The difference, as I said, often lies in ones lookout. I was simply a tourist who couldn’t get enough time appreciating the blessed place, forget time to indulge in or court trouble. You may say I was plain lucky and did not live there long enough but trouble, as you know, does not acknowledge any of these factors. And while we are at it, why don’t we often hear of a middle-class Indian family say from Punjab or Gujarat or wherever being harassed in Goa? Or Indian girls raped there or guys caught in sex racket? Food for thought??
Scarlett’s case is often quoted whenever media or people have to rubbish Goa. But with all due respect, Scarlett’s, as well as her mother’s lifestyle, wasn’t something that a tourist should ever emulate.
Yes, Goa ranks among the most corrupt states in the country, a lot of its pristine glory has been eaten up by land sharks and politicians (assuming there is a difference between the two), eminent citizens have protested by not accepting Goa government’s award conferred upon them, ministers kith and kin indulge in law breaking with impunity and so on. While these are serious issues which, am sure, citizens, media and some in administration are combating, it is wrong to single out Goa case for these reasons. Also, only because it happens to be a tourist centre does not mean it has an inherent immunity against these monsters.
Goa, like any other attractive destination is suffering from urbanisation, crime, influx of migrants, too much money, traffic woes and more. Given the brightness that the place exults, it is bound to attract more eyeballs but lets stop singling it out! May be the effort, newsprint, news bytes can go in investigating instances and ensuring action rather than simply crying over what already has taken place.