Diversions have served well as political ruses to dilute serious issues that threaten to overwhelm the government. Turning their attention away from a subject matter that has preoccupied the masses for quite some time, these tactics have worked well for an administration bogged down by the intricacy of the matter.
When any government spins a web of uncertainties over an issue that continues to baffle it, it is bound to work a subterfuge, getting the public engrossed with something fresher and equally mystifying.
The British had hit upon a marvelous technique to conquer and maintain their hold over India for centuries. The ‘divide-and-rule’ policy that they adapted so well to suit their needs in the hostile territories stood them in good stead all throughout their reign.
The modern times however has religion finding itself as the major ‘disturbing factor’ whenever there have been reasons for any ruling dispensation to assert it’s might over the nation.
The ‘divide-and-rule’ policy of the English colonials is now replaced by the practice of exploiting the religious beliefs of the populace. Hence the term ‘hurting the religious sentiment’ has a tone of underlying political mischievousness to it.
In fact, this is nothing new. Governments over the years have been employing this modus operandi to divert the attention of the public from issues that threaten(ed) their survival.
In this context, could the recent happenings in Goa be thought of as a harbinger of similar approaches by the government in future to avoid embarrassment when confronted by comparable situations?
With regard to the rising incidents of vandalizing and desecration of religious places and symbols that the state has been witnessing for the past few days, it does appear that there is more to it than meets the eyes.
While one does want to believe that the atrocious acts that have been receiving all-round condemnations is the handiwork of an organized gang from outside the state and not the ‘misdeed’ of a political party, it is a bit tough to accept the contention on face value.
Does it suggest the existence of a bunch of miscreants from outside the state specializing only in deliberately destroying or damaging places held sacred by people with violent disrespect, and vanishing without any trace!
Every crime, it is said, has a motive. Is creating ill-will amongst communities, in this case, the sole reason behind these crimes? What other logicality lies behind the senseless and insensitive desecration of Holy Crosses, plaques and niches in Curchorem cemetery! Who but a depraved mind could be behind these shameful acts!
Playing with the religious sentiments of the locals and targeting their places of worship with the intention of disturbing the communal harmony of a region is a crime that can never be condoned.
Usually attributed to leaders who want to further their cause through any means possible, such acts usually have different connotations in different contexts.
Although one wouldn’t want to dwell on the political one for too long, being obvious as it is, the suggestion that there are many who want to capitalize on the atmosphere of intolerance among various religious communities that is prevalent in the country today cannot be ignored either.
In fact the climate of doubt and fear is so overwhelming that there is growing mistrust between people of different faiths and beliefs. However, this is a ‘phenomenon’ that has so far been restricted to the northern-belt of the nation with Goa fortunately spared the agony of communal clashes and other travails that come with it.
The disturbing political developments in the rest of the country notwithstanding, Goa in this respect, has been an epitome of peace and harmony. Of course, desecrations of places of worship have occurred in Goa earlier, but not to this extent. The mischief-mongers indulging in such unholy acts should not be spared.
A special cell of investigators needs to be constituted to look into this matter.
Goans today are plagued by uncertainties vis-à-vis the style of governance in the state that leaves a lot to be desired.
The government has well camouflaged the helplessness of an administration faced with a series of unexplained events by throwing the populace into a dizzy with actions and statements that leave none the wiser.
While the firm refusal to hand over the ‘mystery’ of desecration and vandalization of religious symbols and places that has been rocking the state for the past two weeks to the CBI no doubt strongly established the government’s faith in its police, it is the claim of having made a breakthrough in this case by arresting a Christian man and pinning on him all such ‘unholy acts’ committed in the course of the last fifteen years that is a bit too difficult to digest.
Having been under tremendous pressure to produce results, it however comes as a big surprise that the so-far clueless Goa police could make the ‘sensational’ arrest within hours of the government having reposed full faith in the competence of the local cops! It was as if the police were complimenting the government for the trust placed on them!
Naturally, one need not read between the lines to infer that the entire drama has been a face-saving exercise. For, it is impossible to believe that the whole business of religious desecration is a one-man orchestration.
Especially when it is difficult to kill the speculations that this abominable crime was purportedly carried out by vested interests to sow communal discord in the region, it becomes difficult to understand why the government is satisfied with the ‘serial desecrator’ theory and is in a hurry to lead all investigations in that direction!
Hence the assertion of the Goa DGP that the cases of desecration of religious places in Goa have been solved does not appear to have a ring of sincerity about it.
The very fact that similar acts have occurred sporadically in the state in the past with the police having been quick to nab the culprits on each and every occasion however makes one want to trust the law enforcers implicitly.
But with an administration that seems to be going around in circles without any concrete decisions being taken on contemporary issues, only the steely resolve of the police is not enough to bring solace to the locals! The government must win the trust of the people.
(Published on 31st July 2017, Volume XXIX, Issue 31)