A new book called The Goan Voice of Reason by Juino D’Souza has just been published.
Details about the book are given below.
If you are interested in purchasing a copy, please contact Angela Simoes directly on:
Everyone has the freedom to voice his or her ideas on certain happenings at some point during his or her lifetime and in my journey as a freelance writer, I have had more than a fair chance to speak out on issues that I care about and firmly believe to be in the interest of the people of Goa and these I have expressed in my articles published largely in the Herald and also in The Navhind Times and Gomantak Times.
A well-alert citizenry is the foundation of an enduring democracy and my aim was to indicate and analyze different problems as they arose from time to time including the lack of transparency and accountability in public administration and other ills plaguing Goa which is witnessing a huge change whether politically, socially, culturally, economically and at all other levels with the growing outsider influx turning Goans into a minority.
I have toiled hard for many years and burnt the midnight oil sitting in front of my computer and pounding the keyboard examining various issues, while at the same time questioning something that has anguished me and which needs rectification.
It is said democracy lies in the hearts of men and women. When it dies there, no Constitution, no Law, no Court, no Government can do much save it. I therefore thought it my bounden duty to voice my opinion because I purposefully consider that in building a healthy and robust goan society it is the ‘principles that matter most’ and our greatest fulfilment lies there.
I would not have attempted this book which is a compilation of such press articles, had it not been at the insistence of my friends who have encouraged me. They told me that my writings had stimulated and evoked a considerable interest among the thinking public who not only have appreciated the strength of my mind, but also the moral courage to openly comment and even criticize some of the shortages, distortions and inefficiencies in governance even if it meant vehemently disagreeing with some of the most powerful people.
I have written on diverse topics of law and order, education, governance, politics, legal, social and cultural issues and many of my predictions came true. I am happy that several of my suggestions have led to reforms with those in government taking cognizance and applying the right correctives.
In the year 2004 I had predicted that the ‘River Princess’ will remain to linger in goan waters for many more years as vested politicians are out to rake money in her name and hence are complicating tenders and frightening bidders from performing her funeral. Even now the River Princess resides in Goa.
In 2005 I said that to have effective functioning of cooperatives, we should have a good cooperative law that can bring into being good cooperative movement through collective investment, thought, control, and action which is attractive and useful to a large majority of people. I am delighted that government has taken a note.
In 2006 I was the first to write about the need about special status for Goa. I had cited examples of the hill States of Himachal Pradesh, Uttaranchal, Nagaland and Mizoram and the fact that the Indian Constitution permits such special laws in respect of ownership and transfer of land to some designated residents and that in the state of Jammu and Kashmir such a law exists.
In 2007 I wrote how elderly persons are being driven out of homes and are forced to live in old aged homes and we should enact a state law to ensure that all old persons are cared for and not abandoned by their children in their old age. I was happy to learn that through a notification published on September 25, 2008 the Goa government adopted the central “Maintenance and Welfare of Parents and Senior Citizens Act.”
Again in 2007, I wrote criticising the one-sided Domestic Violence Act 2005 which was a draconian law. I argued that in modern marriages, wives attack husbands as often as husbands attack wives and both spouses are at fault. I suggested the need for a gender-neutral law that will protect both men and women from Domestic Violence. I am glad that now the matter will come up before parliament.
Regarding casinos, I have called for a rigid law called the ‘Goa Casino Control Act’ to administer, monitor and regulate the casino industry and assure public trust and confidence in the credibility and integrity of casino operations that will support the tourist industry and contribute to the economic strength of Goa. I am told that government is contemplating having such a law.
With respect to dealing with sexual harassment at work place, I emphasised that Goa government must take an initiative to be the first state in the whole country to enact a state law designed to tackle sexual harassment which can be named as ‘Goa Sexual Harassment at Workplace Prevention Act’.
In connection with Regional Plan I have explained how the Goa, Daman and Diu Town and Country Planning Act 1974 has not only outlived its existence but has miserably failed the hopes and aspirations of the people and needs to be further amended, renamed and modified and we can start by having a new Act called ‘The Goa Regional and Town Planning Act’
In my article on Assembly elections dividing Goa, I have shown how election campaigns are getting bitter, spiteful, rancorous, vengeful, ruthless and harsh. The bombardment through obnoxious advertisements marked by a barrage of petty, personal and often dishonest attacks have offended every voter and left many wondering whether we really are a one united Goan community.
I have written about the challenges before the goan society and the politics of slogans and speeches and how election manifestos are nothing but political gimmicks. I have talked about the shameless methods of politics and Goa’s alliance of convenience. I have narrated the genesis of toppling games and how the congress edifice is cracking. I have stressed the need to develop Goa wholly and not its individual constituencies and the need to address the burning issue of increasing jobless growth in Goa which is ruining youth.
I hope the book meets the expectations of all those who care to preserve the glory of Goa and who are concerned with safeguarding goan interests and how I have succeeded is this endeavour is for the readers to judge.
Juino De Souza