28 September, 2020

The Inquisitors Arrive

The steady ingress of the Hindu right tears into Goa’s patient fabric

The Inquisitors Arrive

Well before Narendra Modi’s advent, before his acolyte Manohar Parrikar could become chief minister in 1994, Hindu fundamentalists have viewed Goa’s Catholics as an impediment to their larger aim of ‘Bharat’ becoming a ‘Hindu nation’. Thanks to the asinine comments of Goa’s PWD minister Sudhin Dhavalikar urging bikinis be banned and pubs closed down, it helps to revisit extremist fears—to see, if nothing else, whether women visitors to the beach will choose to show him a thing or two.

Goa’s elected representatives seem largely illiterate in at least three languages, but hapless, overwhelmed and cornered though he may have been on TV, Dhavalikar is anything but harmless. It is fitting that he represents the BJP regime in Goa on behalf of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP), its loyal, right-wing ally. After all, in the early ’60s, just freed of colonial rule and still a Union Territory, the MGP’s founder and Goa’s first chief minister, Dayanand Bandodkar,  had pushed through an opinion poll...



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