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According to my baptismal certificate, I was baptized and christened with the name "Prakash John Mascarenhas." Mascarenhas is my surname, John is the name of both my maternal grandfather and also of my own father. The odd man out in this lot is the name "Prakash".
"Prakash" is a name that, in the context in which I live, which is Hindu India, (and I believe it would be the same anywhere else in the world), would be generally understood to be a Hindu name, and it was a question that I continually encountered, from school-teachers, fellow-students and co-workers.
Now, I have intelligence enough to understand the meaning of the name "Prakash": It is a Hindi word meaning "light", as in the Latin "lux"
, and which has its root in the Sanskrit. As a word that merely means "light", this name "Prakash" cannot be said to be truly "pagan" or Hindu, but is merely the Indian form of the Portuguese name "Lucio", the English name "Luke", etc., which are based on the Latin "lux"
Therefore, I had resigned myself to bearing this awkward name and to having to defend it and to explain that it is not Hindu, but Indian.
Now, for an Indian, there cannot be anything wrong in itself to bear an Indian name. The question was: Am I Indian?
According to my parents, we are Goans, and therefore Portuguese, not Indians. Then why was I given an Indian name?
According to my parents, it was my father's desire that I be given the name John as my first name, with perhaps other names. But it was my "mamti"
, my mother's brother, Antonio Bartolomeo Fernandes, then a Jesuit, who insisted on giving Indian names to us.
My eldest brother was born too early for him to do anything; my twin-sisters were born premature and so were baptized by a nurse under emergency conditions for fear of their dying, so that my "mamti"
was frustrated in his purpose. As a compromise, one of my sisters was given the Indian name "Pramila" as a second name during the conditional re-baptism in church.
However, with both me and my younger brother, nothing intervened to frustrate my mamti
's purpose, and we were both given a combination of Indian and Goan names: Prakash John and Avinash Bernardo. And so we have had to bear this foolish and unnecessary cross for all our lives.
Now, we were brought up under conflicting ideologies. On the one hand was the ideology of my parents, which was of Goan resentment against India and its acts, and of Indian
misbehavior with us Christians in our daily life; on the other hand, what we were taught daily in the press, by T.V. and by the schools, an Indomania that taught us to adulate, with true idolatrous adulation, India and Hinduism.
We were educated in the parochial school, run by the diocese of Bombay.
Yet another curious thing is that our education did not teach us to respect our elders, but actually taught us to contemn
them, and to be "individualistic". Yet, again, this individualism is not a critical, intellectual individualism, but an idolatry of the Indian and Hindu state and "civilization" and of its values the values of Gandhi and of Nehru which one is expected and required to accept without questioning, at face value, and to regard all those who questioned it in any manner as being wrongdoers of some kind or degree.
Therefore, this "Individualism"
embued into us was actually the Herd Syndrome!
This message was reinforced in our young minds by the reiteration ad nauseam
of the theme in Hindi movies and T.V. serials, of the superiority of Hindu India, of India being under constant threat from foreigner conspirators, usually depicted as heavily accented
white men determined to dismember the Indian Union.
Both the media and schools taught us that this the threat to dismember the Indian Union as a conspiracy on the part of unnamed, usually white people was the greatest sin and blasphemy, which we must guard against.
It is needless to add that I was brainwashed by this propaganda, and laboured under ideas of the superiority and richness of Indian, read Hindu, civilization, for long.
But this always conflicted in my mind with my parents' vocal denunciations of, and biting contempt for, the Indian Union and its pretensions. It was made obvious to me that India had wronged Goa, and that we Goans bore a chip on the shoulder over this matter a resentment that simply refused to go away!
Torn between conflicting ideas, I attempted various reconciliations, with varying results. What, however, became increasingly evident to me was that Goa was not and is not a part of India, but that it was and is illegally occupied by India.
My progress in understanding the issues was slow and gradual, with many false steps.
One solution that I devised for my problems was what I called "Pan-Indianism" (which is why the first list that I had created was named "PanIndia").
As I grew in intelligence, I realized that what is called "India"
is not restricted to the confines of what became by accidents of history, "British India"
, but extended far beyond it, to include all of the East Indies. Indeed, the very name "East Indies" is an alternative for "India".
My understanding of the Goan situation was complicated by the fact that Portugal formally called my country, not Goa, but Portuguese India. There were other IndiasBritish, Dutch, French. There used to be a Danish India too, but Denmark sold its territories in Bengal and the Nicobar Islands to British India. The Philippines can be called Spanish India.
Secondly, I realized that it is false to confuse state and nation, that the people of a state are not necessarily constituents of one nation, that India was and is not a nation, nor is the East Indies, but that both British India, and the East Indies as a whole, is constituted by a great variety of nations, of diverse origins, but sharing some common cultural history and traditions.
Therefore, I took the "Indianism" inculcated into me to the next logical step and suggested that all of the East Indies should be united into one single federal state, to which I gave the proposed name of the "Commonwealth of the East Indies"
As part of this growing up process, I began to investigate and query the conditions under which certain territories were separated from British India and made into new countries. In school we were taught that India was partitioned in 1947 to create Pakistan, and that the Congress and the Indians in general were opposed but finally yielded in the face of Muslim violence.
But I soon learnt that the story was much more complicated than this.
Firstly, the partition of 1947, was NOT the first! The first partition was in 1937, when Buddhist dominated areas were cut away to make the new territories of Burma and Ceylon.
Neither are Burma or Ceylon exclusively Buddhist, for there are large non-Buddhist minorities, such as various Christian
nationalities in Burma, and the predominantly Hindu Tamils in Ceylon.
There was and is no logic why the 1937 partition should have been permitted, and not opposed. But unopposed it was, since even the Indian National Congress, the predominant political party of India, formally acquiesced in it, and all other Indian parties too acquiesced in it.
This acquiescence is underlined by the actions of Subhashchandra Basu, a dissident who broke away from the Congress to form the Forward Block, and who fled from British India to become a collaborator with Hitler and Tojo. Some British Indian troops were seduced by the Japanese to form a collaborationist force calling itself the "Free Indian Army". When its commander, Mohan Singh Deb realized that the Japanese were not better than the English, and indeed worse, he ceased to collaborate, and disbanded the force. He was taken by the Japanese to Sumatra, tortured and murdered. Subhashchandra Basu then stepped in to reorganize the "Free Indian Army". Basu invaded Burma along with Japanese forces, but even he did not reject the 1937 partition to claim Burma as an integral part of British India.
Moreover, after the 1947 partition, India has formally acknowledged the legitimacy of Pakistan as a state and has committed not to attempt to re-absorb it.
Soon it became obvious to me that the Indian Union was lying when it claimed to regret the 1947 partition. If it regretted partition, it would have actively sought to have negated it. It did nothing of the sort.
Its failure to act is further underlined by these facts:
- Its consistent failure to act to vacate Pakistan's aggression and occupation of parts of the former Dogra Kingdom of Jammu & Kashmir
- Its failure to capitalize on the 1971 War to re-absorb East Bengal
- Its return to Pakistan of territory captured during the 1971 war in the Punjab sector
- Its formal agreement in the Simla Pact to convert the Armistice Line (Line of Control) in Jammu & Kashmir into the international border
During this period, my last position on the question of Goa is that to be found on my former pages, Orthopapism, over which I have lost control since about October-November 2002:
I live in the Indian Union, the largest state in the Indian subcontinent. My own country is Portuguese India (Estado da India Portuguesa), which has been encroached upon by the Indian Union, 1956-1961, under the guise of liberation....
There has been no plebiscite conducted in my country, therefore, the status of the State of Portuguese India is indeterminate. It has to be determined by a plebiscite.
We, too, are Indians. However, that does not give the Indian Union title to just walk in and annex us without our consent. Especially when the Indian Union has allowed the secession of its territories just as much Indian to create new, artificial 'nations'; or when we consider that it has, for the last 52 years, studiously ignored its obligations in recovering its territory occupied by Pakistan which it calls POK.
We, however, favour the Indian Union, and, given the choice, would choose to merge into it, on conditions.
Two things happened to change my mind. In mid-2002, I had gone searching for Concannim pre-Vatican II Catholic texts, hymns, etc., and thus I found the TGF site operated by Dr. Jose Colaco and his family from the Bahamas. Reading the articles there, especially the arrogant and insolent letters of Capt. Harbans Singh and his son Dr. Nitin Singh, Indian settlers in Goa, forced me to rethink and
crystallize my understanding of the Goan question. I therefore came to reject any suggestion that Goa should become a part of India, and began to advocate Goan independence.
I still labored under the idea that the Portuguese should have exited from Goa voluntarily, having given Goans self-government and independence, and that they were wrong in having failed to do this.
But at the same time, I was developing another strain of ideas.
The present conflict in Sri Lanka commenced under my eyes. The conflict began with the insolence and arrogance of the Sinhala nation, which is predominantly Buddhist, and which predominates the island's population. The simmering tensions between the Sinhala and the Tamils exploded when, under President Julius Jayewardene, the Sri Lanka government not only made Sinhala the sole "national language", but also began a process of colonization of Tamil lands, particularly in the Eastern Province, by settling colonies of Sinhala in settlements there, the most famous being "Dollar Camp", Reagan, etc.
At the same time, the Sinhala reacted to Tamil protests by a brutal, state-organized pogrom of the Tamils. This culminated in the Tamils arming and fighting for secession.
Neither are the Sinhala Christians, nor are the Tamils, although there are Christian minorities in both nationalities.
I have always believed that, the misbehavior of the Sinhala was and is sufficient provocation for Tamil secession, and that such secession was and is moral and just. I have not changed my position to this day, nor have I ever found anything to cause me to change my opinion on this question.
For me, things are very clear: A people's rights and dignity as human beings was and is under attack, leaving them with no other option but to sever themselves from the present state and organize their own new one.
When I examined the question in history, I found many similar happenings, although, it is also true that, in some cases, the case that the people were being persecuted was simulated and not real. Thus, for example, the Dutch secession from Spain, the secession of the English colonies in North America, the secession of Spanish and Portuguese America, etc.
Cases of legitimate secession include that of the Swiss from the Habsburg controlled Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation, and of the Belgians from the Dutch in 1848.
It also becomes obvious that the Right to Secession is not an absolute right, but one that flows out of the Right to Life. And therefore, also, it is not a right that can be denied to a people because they belong to the same nationality as their oppressive rulers, or that it belongs automatically to a people merely because they are of a different nationality than their rulers, even if the rulers are not oppressive.
Thus, although the founders of Switzerland were also as German as their rulers did not make their secession illegitimate.
This, my understanding, became more sharper given the public position taken up by the Indian Union, during the same time that I came to this understanding, in international fora, pretending that there is no moral right to secession!
I articulated this understanding in my pages, "New-India" on my old site, Orthopapism.
Therefore, from November 2002 onwards, as a result of the clarity that my understanding achieved as a result of the stimulus provided by the arrogant and insolent provocations of Capt. Harbans Singh and Dr. Nitin Singh, in Dr. Jose Colaco's TGF site, I came to believe that Goa should have been granted independence by the Portuguese. This understanding under went further clarification in December 2003, as a result of reading Dr. Prakash Shirodkar's anti-Goan book, "Goa's Struggle For Freedom"
Just as the insulting and arrogant statements of the Singhs, pere et fils
, provoked me to anger and to deep, clear thinking in October November 2002, likewise, Shirodkar's insulting lies and insinuations provoked me to anger and to a once again deep, clear thinking in December 2003.
I realized that Goa had been assimilated politically and socially into Portugal, which had expanded from the original territory of King Afonso de Henriques to the Algarve and beyond, to parts of Africa, America and Asia, etc. I came to recognize that this unification and assimilation was and is legitimate and lawful, and that Goa could not and should not have been severed from Portugal without good cause.
Good cause would be the same or similar kind of situation that obtained in the cantons of Schwyz and its allies under the Habsburgs, or in Tamil Eelam at the hands of the Sinhala, or the mistreatment of the Belgians for their Catholic faith at the hands of the Protestant Dutch. But it is an incontrovertible fact that there was no real mistreatment of Goans by the Portuguese, who never conceived of us as being separate.
Certainly, at times there were incidents of misunderstanding between individuals, and especially, at the hands of some Portuguese soldiers ("Pacle"
) who were infected by Protestant ideas of White Racial superiority. However, the Government of Goa never tolerated or connived at such
misbehavior, so that it was not a significant problem.
Once I came to this conclusion, I knew that I had progressed beyond ideas that Goa should be an independent country. There is also the problem that, in order to protect and continue the traditions that made Goa unique as compared to India, it would need to maintain its living relationship with Portugal.
But more than merely that, it becomes obvious that, in the forty plus years of the Indian occupation, Indian traditions and cultural
practices have been imposed and have supplanted our own Goan forms, and that the only means of uprooting these, and
re-rooting the authentic Goan forms, after we obtain the evacuation of Goa by India, is to bring Portuguese officers, teachers, bureaucrats, etc. to replant Portuguese traditions and forms in Goa.
This can and must be achieved only by a restoration of the status quo ante
, from which we never really had any legitimate cause to depart, or did depart, for that matter! The only meaning of the restoration of the Status Quo Ante
is that of restoring Goa as an integral and constitutional part and member of the Portuguese state!
But when we turn our minds to this prospect, we are faced with the fact that there has been a Regime Change
in Portugal: Iberian
Portugal has seceded and abandoned ultramarine Portugal, where the Communists and their stooges have taken over and inflicted Genocide upon us.
To top things of, Iberian
Portugal has formally acknowledged the occupation of Goa by the Indian Union as being legal, an act that is beyond the power and authority of Iberian
Portugal, and therefore without legal value.
But, this treaty of agreement between the traitors-rebels clique in Iberian
Portugal and the Indian Union, does have this value, that we are confronted with the fact that Iberian
Portugal has de facto
seceded from, and is in rebellion against Portugal!
This may seem to be an insurmountable problem, and it would seem that the unity of Greater Portugal can never be restored, and that we would be better off exploring other options.
However, that is not so: There are still large and significant portions of the populations in Greater Portugal and its
fissionary parts who cling to the ideal of Greater Portugal, and it is necessary for us to organize ourselves and fight our enemies and re-establish the lawful order.
This may seem a gargantuan task, but it is not really so. It merely seems to be so.
As a matter of fact, if we acquiesce in the dismemberment of Greater Portugal, we resign ourselves to being divided and to having to face our powerful enemies alone. It means, in the case of Goa, for example, that we Goans will need to face up to India all by ourselves.
But, if we organize on the basis of our unity in Greater Portugal, we can face our enemies
united, and capitalize on our complementary strengths.
And what are our complementary strengths? It is a fact that Goans do not have any military experience, but excel in government and management. On the other hand, it is known that the Portuguese Africans have been fighting virtually non-stop since the 1950s against the Communists and their stooges, and so have a long and proven tradition of military ability and skills. Put together we can be formidable. Going alone, we cannot but succumb.
Let us also reflect on this salient fact: Our enemies are also united. India co-ordinates with the Communist regimes in Mocambique, Angola, etc., just as these regimes co-ordinate with India. Mocambique has been admitted to the British Commonwealth even though it was never a part of the British Empire, and when the recent Organisation of African Unity summit was held in Mocambique, the Indian Navy patroled the waters off Mocambique! This is truly an alliance of thieves and robbers!
Once I had arrived at the point where I rejected the idea of Goan secessionism from Portugal without just cause, I also rejected any notion of Pan-Indianism. The final step was to change my name, to reject the Indianism on the basis of which, I was given the name of "Prakash". I therefore choose the Portuguese form "Lúcio" which is also derived from the Latin word "lux"
Before I sign-off on this article, I want to deal with the peculiar ideas of Dr. Jose Colaco. I am greatly indebted to Colaco since it is largely because of the pages I found on his site that I could move on, although we could not agree on much. But Colaco holds the peculiar line that, while the Indian invasion of Goa was illegitimate and criminal, Goans can and ought to do nothing about it, but should live with the Occupation as best as we can.
Colaco justifies this position on the grounds that the horrendous genocide that was inflicted upon Portuguese Timor could be repeated upon the Goans at the hands of the Indians, if we did attempt to liberate ourselves. This is a very specious reasoning, but it needs to be exploded and debunked.
Throughout history, people after people have found that they have had to fight for their rights and dignity in order to survive. History is the record of people who fought, of many people who failed and were destroyed, and of many others who triumphed to throw off the yoke of their oppressors and to gain freedom and who went on to make gloriously inspirational history for all mankind.
The evils that Timor underwent was not typical. But even if it were typical, it is not a moral reason why we should indulge in Masochism
and submit to being enslaved.
If history is full of tragedies, it is also full of accounts where a cowardly people submitted with little or no fight, and of accounts were little people took on giants and prevailed. Victory is an attitude. If we believe that we are going to suffer a tragedy, we will. If we believe that we will triumph, we will find the ways and means to come up on top, regardless of temporary setbacks.
For all my problems with the Marathi people, I am a strong admirer of Shivaji and his campaign. But Shivaji's work, although it set the foundation, was comparatively peaceful compared to the task that faced Rajaram and Tarabai as they fled from place to place carrying on the fight against the reputedly invincible Mughal Empire, till in the end, the Empire, after a supreme effort, lay prostrate at the feet of the Marathas, paving the way for the restoration under Shahu and the establishment of the Maratha Confederacy.
I believe that every Goan can profit greatly from reading these inspirational accounts. These are the people we need to emulate. And we can do it!
Courage, then! Let not the warning of effeminate cowards cow us before the enemy, but let us remember our past glories and the possibilities of the human spirit, and let us bend our shoulders to the task.
Let us despise, not only the traitors and the collaborators, but also the effeminate cowards, those who proclaim the Gospel of Chicken Little
, the Gospel of Masochism
Victory is an attitude, and we can do it!
Viva Goa! Viva Portugal!
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