27 September, 2020

The Orange Deserts of Goa

A love letter written in blood to a land ravaged by mining companies

Tribhuvan Tiwari
The Orange Deserts of Goa
outlookindia.com
-0001-11-30T00:00:00+05:53

I have been to the Other Goa—a small step, and a lifetime, away from the 'Go Goa' fantasy of sun-kissed beaches, green vistas, casinos, flea markets, raves and trances. This Other Goa has been raped and ravaged—by mining and thoughtless, relentless construction to feed the tourism and real estate business...and it bleeds.

I am reminded of it as I pore through Eat Dust: Mining and Greed in Goa, by Hartman de Souza, writer, teacher, actor and artist. It’s a history of and status report on mining, largely covering 2006-11, which de Souza calls the ‘Age of Greed’, and the impact it has had on this tiny coastal state. But that’s too dry a definition of a book that is written in blood, much like an anguished letter of unrequited love. It talks of a beloved, beautiful land, ravaged and lost to rampant, ill-planned and illegal extraction of iron ore, and it ends almost in hope, eloquently evoked by describing the gurgling and gushing of a stream through forests that were slowly reviving after the Supreme Court ordered a halt to mining...

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