Politics, it has been said, is the last refuge of scoundrels. In the days following the uprisings in Carmona, Siridao and Aldona, another fact has also been thrown into sharp focus; Law too, is the last refuge of scoundrels. Not for the first time, following the direct actions of residents concerned with the mutilation of their immediate environment, the ‘developmental’ interests involved (and they are Goan!) have mobilized the Law to cow down the popular protests that are thankfully becoming a part of Goan public life. The Gram Sabha, they inform us, has no real authority to reject, when the elected representatives or other authorities have already granted permission to projects.
My aim in this intervention is not to suggest that the Gram Sabha does in fact in law have a right to reject a project once it has already been approved by the concerned authorities. There is without doubt in the current events that are taking place in
And yet despite the procedural problems that these Gram Sabha resolutions may pose today, my aim is to point out that the current emphasis on legality; the letter of the law is being stressed primarily to shift the debate away from the emphasis of legitimacy that the people of
What is exciting about this revolution is that it finds its inspiration within the legitimate framework of the Indian constitution. We in
It is crucial that we remember that we are inhabitants of a revolutionary moment, since it is this consciousness alone that will save us from the deluge that threatens to overwhelm us. We have to remember that the house of the legislature today stands corrupt and lacking in any moral standing. The courtroom, even when handling PILs is the space not of radical movement; but slow, cautious and status-quoist action. It is the status-quo dictated to us in the form of speculator friendly procedures that is threatening our land, and it is only radical action that can provide us succour.
To those who tell us that we are not following a legal process, to them we must respond that we are. We are operating within the framework of the Constitution of India, and what we are in violation of, are procedures and power-structures that are wholly illegitimate. It is not our actions that are in violation of the Constitution, but the procedures themselves. It is these that must change, and not our demands or our actions. Viva la Revolucion!