As Goa enters the Golden Jubilee of its liberation from the Portuguese rule, Goa Chronicle spoke to Madhukar Mordekar, one of the youngest freedom fighters from the State on how he sees liberated Goa and whether the present Goa was what he had fought for.
Mr. Mordekar, you are supposed to be one of the youngest person to fight against the Portuguese rule over Goa.
Yes, I was only 12 years old when I was detained the first time for carrying the Indian Flag in Margao. I was detained at the Margao Police station for five years and then let off as I was a minor. This happened in 1932 and even after that I continued to be a part of various movements against the Portuguese rule.
How do you feel today when you see liberated Goa?
Actually, I feel very sad. Sad because the Goanness is getting eroded from Goans who have lost that unique characteristic of honesty and integrity they had. Today Goans hardly help Goans as everyone is becoming more and more selfish.
Do you feel that Goa was better off under the Portuguese?
No. It is definitely better to live in a democracy. However, there are certain evils that have crept up and those need to be addressed. Having said that, I surely miss the discipline and etiquette that was prevailing in those days. If a coconut had to fall from the tree, it would be handed over to the landlord. This quality of honesty is sorely lacking today.
Are you satisfied with what you see today?
Definitely no! In fact I feel sad as my dreams are shattered. I did not visualize a Goa where hills are being cut and fields are being filled. I wanted development, but not the type that is taking place today. I wanted people to progress but not the manner in which they are doing today. Yes, there is a sense of grief about what is happening to Goa.
What do you think needs to be done to change this situation?
Personally if you ask me, I think ‘Yoga’ should be introduced in schools. This is no joke. Yoga teaches a person to be disciplined and I think that is what is required in present times. Besides, the benefits accruing from Yoga will make the younger generation realize not only the essence but the virtues of Indian philosophy and will stop the blind aping of the western way of life.
What would be your message to Goans today?
Goans were known for their genial behavior where they were always there to help those in need. That character has to be revived after all it is only when one helps someone in need that you can be called a human being.