Edit Corner

An Open Letter to Mr Geldof!

It was wonderful to have known that you were in Goa for an event, that last time around also courted controversy. This time though, you added a new dimension to that controversy. You  held the flag of the ‘white-sahib’ class we Indians have been subjected too for many years quite high. You stayed true to everything so inherently in your ‘white-sahib’ genes.

Let me explain what I mean by what I am saying; and do stay with me as I don’t mean to be disrespectful; you certainly have been doing a fabulous job with your music and social causes.
You see most ‘white-sahibs’ who have come to our country and our little land Goa often enjoyed and raved about our hospitality, environments and our women (some men also). Of course they added their own bit to their experiences. Sex and drugs, being one of them. And if you think that menace is something that originated out of the locals from Goa, you need to get your facts right. Because the twin evil of sex and drugs was a culture brought to Goa by people from your land. And it is tag that we have found tattooed to the very heart of tourism business and how people in the international market see Goa and its people as.

You see Mr Geldof, when celebrities like you who have an international repute utter such frivolous statements on the culture of our land, it is much like when the ‘white-sahib’ came as guests and ended making our land their home and us the servants, to whom they could say and do anything too. Some of our own people would laugh it out and take it good humor, because they have not got over the colonial hangover. Sadly, I wasn’t there amongst the media, but my team reported the issue to me on my return to Goa, otherwise, whether you liked it or not, I would have expected an apology from you and I would have got it because I would have reasoned out with you and since you are a reasonable man, you would see the error of your statement.

But here is what I find most strange. You never ever visited Goa before. So I am wondering with what surety can you say that ‘you got the best drugs from Goa’. Could it not be possible that you wayward hippie and junkie friends created the illusion about the paradise called Goa when actually they brought the drugs from their own kind or from their own land, because nobody grows opium or makes cocaine in Goa.

Let me explain what I mean, since I have been investigating the drug issue in Goa for the last couple of years. Goa until five-years back never manufactured or produced any form of drugs. Initially, drugs was brought to Goa by people from UK, Germany. and later on it was the Israelis. Now of course across India not only Goa, the proximity to our neighborhood countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan has made these drugs more easily available and accessible.

I cannot deny the fact that it is an ‘image curse’ that we are living with, since that time, the likes of your hippie friends made Goa – the paradise of lust and drugs.

When people of your stature makes such statements, which get national and international coverage. And you are not helping by those statements. You are further subjecting my land and people to an image we are trying hard to shed.

Our governments must have not done much in the past but at least we have not given up hope because it is a menace, like it is in any part of the world, so Goa is not so unique to drugs and sex. And the people of Goa are trying to keep drugs away from our land.

I hoped you enjoyed our hospitality. Its time to return our courtesy with an apology; simply, because its the most decent thing to do. Our vedic culture teaches us patience and forgiveness. I would not like to comment on your culture, since it is rude to do it, but a look into history would certainly give you an indication.

This is an open letter to you, which I have also emailed to your tour manager Tina.

Would love to invite you to Goa once more, so you can see our true culture, and also clear some of the clouds your hippie friends have put in your creative head…

From Goa with Love
Savio Rodrigues

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