CANACONA: Stating Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa had insulted and demeaned the over 30,000 Dhangar Community by his demeaning and controversial references to the Community, Goa Dhangar Samaj Unatti Mandal (GDSUM) has demand an forthwith apology and withdraw the statement immediately.
Addressing media at Canacona branch of GDSUM led by its president Tukaram Bavdhan strongly condemned the statement of Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa referring the Dhangar Community as ‘Foxes’, and demanded its immediate withdrawal and tender an apology to the Dhangar’s for insulting and demeaning the community.
Addressing media GDSUM President Tukaram Bavdhan said, ‘Dhangar, Gawli is traditionally a peace-loving living community mostly surviving in forests, rearing Cattles, Goats, cultivating fields, etc, is a tribe existing since originally in the country. We have several issues and fighting for our rights such as Education (to get the best of education to our children), upgrading the livelihood, Employment and others amongst the 30,000 Dhangar community living in Canacona, Sanguem, Quepem, Sanguem, Dharbandora, Ponda, Bicholim, Valpoi, Vasco spread in all the 12 talukas of Goa. We have very close and cordial relationships with the other communities who helped us and we are part of their systems and customs as well and continue to live with each other’s support. We follow each other’s rituals, systems and customs, and find our issues through and within the constitutional rights, and till now ST status issue is our main issue, and along with GAKUVED (GAwda. KUnbi, VElip, Dhangar), we have together fought for this ST status since the last 22 years. But somehow, to the chagrin of all GAKUVED, government extended the ST status only to our three brethren Gawdi, Kunbi and Velip and leaving us high and dry However, we continue to fight for inclusion of our Dhangar community as Scheduled Tribe status, and our three other brethren continue to support us on that count.
“We are literally at an advanced stage (final stage at government level) of inclusion of our (Dhangar) community, and at this stage a responsible elected representative of the people of Quepem is making such a derogatory reference to our community is unwanted and highly insulting.
The Quepem MLA Altone D’Costa said, ‘the Fox is trying to enter into a herd of Sheep will eat the Sheeps’, making a derogatory reference against the Dhangar Community. We consider this as very insulting and demeaning to the sacrifices of all the 30,000 dhangar communities traditionally living peacefully in Goa. The language used by the MLA doesn’t suit his position as a MLA (representing the people) and we condemn it . He has angered all our 30,000 dhangar living in this State of Goa.’
A community leader Aloke Modak (Advisor-GDSUM), stating Dhangars were also fighting for ST status along with GAKUVE(D) for the last 22 years, and it is not a new demand of Dhangars ,warned MLA Altone D’Costa over the use of derogatory reference to the community and insulted all our brethren to a point of no forgiveness, has demanded forthwith withdrawal of the Statement and an Immediate Apology to all the 30,000 people in the State. ‘He is free to play political games with his opponents, but don’t insult and defame the Dhangar Community as ‘Foxes’.
When informed D’Costa never took the name of Dhangars or ST in his said to be controversial speech, Modak informed, the Quepem MLA addressing ST community, spoke that Foxes are trying to come-into your Sheeps Herd, so be beware about it, making an direct reference to the Dhangar community as Foxes, and Kunbi-Velips as Sheeps. ‘Beises, when it is well known that government is on the verge of accepting Dhangars demand to include the community in ST status, it is pertinently apparent that the D’Costa is making the derogatory reference to Dhangars only and no one else, as this no other community who are demanding ST status.
Also spoke GDSUM Secretary Deepak Zore, besides members including Rahul Zore, Sanjay Zore, Janu Bavdhan, Budhvont Kondu Bavdhan, Ram Bavdhan, Rupesh Zore, Damu Zore and Nagu Zore, threatened the entire community would lead a protest to the house of Altone D’Costa, if the Quepem fails to withdraw the statement and immediately tender an apology.