Sunday, June 11, 2006

Those damned firangs...

...are at it again, this time buying up everything in Goa, Indians be damned. (Ahem, sarcasm.)

RE: "Buying up paradise," Raju Nayak, Indian Express, Sunday, June 11, 2006

Nayak writes:

"With indications that an international mafia could be buying up land in Goa, politicians here have started opposing the purchase of properties by foreigners, especially those staying on long-term visas. ...

'We want the laws to be changed, making it compulsory for foreigners to take police permission before they apply to buy land,' a senior officer [said]. ...

'The laws should be amended to prevent foreigners from doing business here. Most of them own small businesses and only bring ills to the state,' [said Naik, a Rajya Sabha member of Parliament]."

This is potentially an interesting story, but the version that was printed is either woefully underreported or inadequately explained. We jump from the lede to the assertion that there is a Russian mafia in the popular resort town. Insert a brief description of the type of people buying property -- i.e., foreigners on long-term visas ostensibly operating businesses. Then, facts are marshalled to somehow suggest that the foreigners who are legally buying property are not these long-term visa holders, or they're some sort of exception tot he rule, but nothing is ever really explicated. The entirety of the report seems to hinge on allusion, which, frankly, is a pretty poor case to make on page three.

It seems that this report should have been held until more concrete details could have been obtained; until some of the foreign devils buying land in Goa could be contacted. Instead, it's just more politicians shooting their mouths off about the foreign menace, no reasonable response from the other side allowed.

There may well be a Russian mafia in Goa, and they may well be detrimental to the community. But does this not make a case, rather, for the institution of better oversight, more logical laws? Why must the foregone conclusion be "banish the firangs"? We're really, really, REALLY not all here to make your lives miserable. We're not all here to exploit you. If a similar proposition was made in America -- ban all people of Indian origin from owning any property -- do you know the sort of anti-discrimination court cases that would be raised to advocate for your rights, regardless of your skin color or heritage?


Anonymous said...

Excellent take on this issue.

Indian politicans always make a devil out of someone and pretend to preside over the issue to look like saviours.

I am glad I am living in the USA.


Marley said...

I don't know, Vignesh, that sounds a lot like the way our politicians are dealing with illegal immigration and many other issues.

Anonymous said...

actually - to most Goans even the Indians are foreigners. Today, some of the members of parliament from Goa have demanded that the Indian navy hand back the airport to the Goa government.