On what issues are you fighting these elections?
Our struggle began with the setting up of the Bharatiya Bhasha Suraksha Manch in 2011 when the then Congress government overturned a 21-year-policy and decided to give grants to English-medium private schools… Our stand was that these grants should be given only to local-language schools. We fought hard on this and ensured the removal of the Congress government in 2012. Manohar Parrikar had publicly spoken against this policy before elections and in the Goa assembly as leader of opposition he had said that if the policy was continued the culture of Goa would get destroyed in years. When the BJP government came to power it surprisingly chose to follow the same policies to appease the Christian community. For the first time in the history of Goa, people were divided on communal lines because of the policies of Parrikar and the Archbishop. Our fight is for principles and equality… The law should be the same for everyone but here the Archbishop seems to be dictating terms to the government.
How exactly do you see appeasement taking place?
There is massive denationalisation taking place among Christians and to an extent among some Hindus. The Portuguese consulate and other organisations are using government funds to indulge in anti-national activities. This thing was initially fostered by the Congress government and is now being nurtured by the BJP for its electoral benefit. The blame for this goes to Parrikar… He is playing with the culture of this state. If the local languages of a state die than you are laying the foundation for the denationalisation of a state.
Parrikar is not the chief minister of Goa. Why blame him?
Laxmikant Parsekar is a dummy chief minister. All decisions in the state are taken at Parrikar’s behest. He runs the government. He holds meetings of secretaries and undersecretaries in Parsekar’s absence and takes decisions for the government. Parrikar is responsible for the murder of Goa’s culture.
You were associated with the Sangh for over 40 years. How did the Sangh react to your stand?
The Sangh initially supported my agitation. In 2015 the Sangh’s Akhil Bhartiya Pratinindhi Sabha had passed a resolution which stated that a child’s initial education should be in his/her mother tongue. That was what I was fighting for as well. Everything went well till the elections came close. I got orders from above that I should not hold a press conferences or take Parrikar’s name. Our fight was on principles. I told them when I was fighting against the Congress on the same issue you never said anything so why were they asking me to back down when I was speaking on the same issue against the BJP. They did not listen to me and removed me from my post. If the Congress breaks principles then it is a sinner but when one of our own does it you do not call him a sinner. In the Sangh we stick to principles. We did not learn to be two-faced.
Do you think the Sangh is changing?
I would like to reply to this by giving an example. In Guhagar there was a massive agitation against Enron. The Sangh sent one of its workers, Surendra Thatte, to mobilise people there. After some time the protests were stopped and Thatte was conveniently sidelined. Those who do not toe the line are discarded. Earlier, however, people would not speak out. I have not stepped out of the Sangh. I have however escaped from the controlling authority that runs the Sangh. The entire structure of the BJP has become one of dalals. I will stay with the Sangh but we do not want a weak and helpless leadership. I am getting phones from across India and activists are restless. The Sangh these days has submitted to the BJP… Whatever paap the BJP does the Sangh will support.
While are you so hostile to the BJP?Your senior ally the Maharashtra Gomantak Party remains ambivalent about joining hands with the BJP after the elections.
We are united on issues like preserving the culture of Goa and the importance of nurturing local languages. There may be a little deviation in opinion on what will happen post elections. However we will form the government and I say this authority that we will join hands with only those who support the decision to stop grants to English-medium schools.