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    Posted July 5, 2014 by
    This iReport is part of an assignment:
    Student voices in journalism

    My State faces oppression. Please help me help my people by letting the world know

    I am Melissa Jane Fernandes and I am a 3rd year Aerospace Engineering student. I come from a tiny state in India called Goa. This wonderful Wonderful state has the highest population of Roman Catholics as compared to any other state in India, of which the majority of the population consists of either Hindus or Muslims.

    Our state was colonized by the Portuguese and we were freed in 1961. We thus went on to adopt a good deal of their culture. The state of Goa is BY FAR the most Westernized state in the country. We Goans also enjoy a great deal of freedom in our state, which is frowned upon by the narrow-minded and "traditional" people of India.

    Wine, Song and a general sense of peace is part of our culture.Goa is an extremely popular tourist destination for both Indians and foreigners alike.

    Last month, the General Elections were held and the Party that has risen to power, the BJP, is a party that is against Westernization, modernization and progress in India. There is one particular member of this party, a Mr. Pramod Muthalik who is hell bent on ( and I am NOT exaggerating) taking Goa back to the medieval ages.

    Let me give you a few examples of his abhorrent behaviour and atrocious way of thinking:
    1) We Catholics are, of course, omnivores - we enjoy all sorts of meat whether it's beef, pork, etc. As you may know, Hindus consider the cow to be their God. This Mr. Muthalik wants to ban the people of Goa from eating beef. In many states of India the slaughtering of cows is banned, but, unlike in Goa, beef is a staple food for us. As a democratic nation, as HUMAN BEINGS, we have the right to choose what we can and cannot eat. The mere thought of banning beef in a state whose citizens live and thrive on it is utterly preposterous!

    2) This man wants to ban the celebration of Valentine's Day! On 14th February 2009, in a Place called Mangalore which lies in our neighbouring state of Karnataka, this man was behind a gang of his cronies who gate crashed a club, assaulted all the women present, yanked them around by their hair, manhandled them and publicly humiliated them for celebrating Valentine's Day. In a recent interview he said that he will resort to his own methods if the people of Goa do not obey him.

    3) He wants to ban women from wearing bikinis on the beach or going to clubs :scantily dressed." As I mentioned above, Goa is by far, the most sensible state in the nation - it is only in our state that women feel free to dress as they please, which includes bikinis at the beach. He wants to "issue pamphlets" and "educate the people of Goa about how wrong this all is."

    This is a link to a most outrageous interview in which he states riduculous things like the Catholic Community in Goa indulges in "wrong practices such as eating beef."


    I would not dare post this on facebook for fear of being arrested. Yes that has become the trend now. If you post anything against the new government, you get arrested. Last month a couple of Goans posted this on facebook: "If Modi(he is the new Prime Minister) is elected, then the Christians will lose their identity in Goa." They were promptly arrested the following day for that post.

    India is a democratic nation. All religions have equal rights, not to mention Freedom of Speech! But the new regime declare themselves Hindu Supremacists.

    Please, CNN, I really need my voice to be heard. If anyone can do that I know its CNN. Our state cannot afford to be held under oppression by a vicious dictator who is trying to impose his own abhorrent ideology upon us and trying to teach us how to live our lives.
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