Guest post by HARTMAN DE SOUZA. The article was written a few days before April 12, the CPI’s day of solidarity with Odisha mine workers.
When the Goa State Committee of the erstwhile Communist Party of India (CPI) and its national secretary, our very own Comrade Christopher Fonseca, tells you that April 12th will be observed all over India as a day of solidarity with the Adivasi people of Odisha struggling for seven years to save more than 4000 acres of their ancestral lands from falling to mining conglomerates as rapacious as their Goan counterparts, ageing leftists in the village bar are not too sure whether they should laugh or just weep.
Perhaps one needs to paint the larger picture to highlight the irony that lurks in the shadows.
There was a time it needs to be said, when the CPI ran a long, hard and lonely battle in Goa, led by Comrade George Vaz who it is hard to believe was once Comrade Fonseca’s mentor. He was a short, somewhat portly, soft-spoken, widely-travelled man fluent in at least four languages. Not many Goans would know that Comrade Vaz ran a free kitchen in his home at Assenora open to anyone in need of a simple, nourishing meal, or that some of us who now want to weep in our glasses have eaten there several times…