It is downright insulting and condescending that a senior politician of your stature and a former Chief Minister of the state of Goa that you would call ‘NRI Goans’ – toilet cleaners.
I grew up in Dubai. My father was not a toilet-cleaner. He worked in a bank. I studied in Dubai and worked in an advertising agency before coming down to India and then Goa to pursue my further studies and business ventures. Today, I own a consultancy firm in Dubai and Ajman besides having business interests in Goa, Delhi and Bangalore. So I am not only shocked but absolutely horrified at your statement.
Let us for a moment, for sake of discussion agree that some Goans might be in foreign countries doing jobs that you might consider menial – like cleaning toilets, washing cars, working in supermarkets – but that job that they are doing is honest and it is done with diligence and commitment. The last known job of significance that comes to light about your acts to earn a decent living, has been the SEZ scam for which anti-corruption bureau case was registered against you and even an SIT inquiry on the mining scam. Of course, your friends in the BJP have decided to withdraw the case on the SEZ scam and the SIT apparently gave you a clean chit on the mining scam.
Knowing the fact that you are accused in some scams, people in your constituency still vote for you and people in Goa and Goans outside of Goa still show you that respect for the office of power you once held and because you are an elected member of the Goa Assembly. Courtesy demands you show the same respect back to us Goans especially in this case – NRI Goans.
Your statement is racist in nature because you demean the job of a toilet cleaner. I am unable to understand the mind-set. Is it a sin to be a toilet-cleaner or a waiter or a security guard? This feudal mind-set I suppose comes from the fact that you have never toiled like those hardworking individuals who work on daily wages so that they can provide for their families and loved ones. God has been kind to you and your family with graces of wealth. That does not give you the right to demean another human or a job.
Let me give you some facts stated in the Goa government’s own NRI Commission website:
1. 56 per cent live in the Middle East
2. 13 per cent live in Europe
3. 11 per cent live South and South East Asia
4. 10 per cent live in North America
5. 7 per cent are working on board ships
While there is no clear estimate on the value of the remittances by NRI goans, in an article on the NRI Commissioner Website, Dr Wilfred M. Mesquita, former NRI Commissioner states that the foreign remittances is about Rs 600 crores, which roughly works out to 4 per cent of the GDP of the state.
So Mr Rane approximately Rs 600 crores per year comes into the state from the people you call ‘toilet cleaners’ by way of foreign remittances. I suppose you consider that to be small change when compared to other revenue generators in the state like casinos that you first introduced into Goa.
If you are wise and truly appreciate the NRI Goan, you will apologise for your insensitive and condescending statement. I am glad your party Congress has decided to distance themselves from this racist slur on the hardworking NRI Goan. It is about time Congress tames such waggging tongues that insult Goans.