PONDA: Even as the controversy rages over Goan, non-Goan issues in Goa, Minister for Agriculture Ravi Naik has kicked up a storm with a controversial statement that Malayalees contributed to the education sector after Goa Liberation from Portuguese rule.
“Like Maharashtra, Karnataka contribution the Malayalees teachers were in Goa for teaching students,” Naik said.
He further said that despite people of various religions and cultures, India’s uniqueness is united and diverse.
Naik urged the citizens to preserve this great cultural heritage.
“We should celebrate the festivals of each other, forgetting race and religion,” Naik said.
He said to strengthen the bonds of love, Goans should participate in Onam, and Malayalees should celebrate the Ganesh festival; this will bring unity among people.
He was speaking today as chief guest after the inauguration of the Onam festival organised by the Federation of All Goa Malayalee Association (FAGMA) at Rajiv Gandhi Kala Mandir Ponda. Vasu Nair, President of (FAGMA) and association members from all Talukas in Goa, were present on the dais.
“We can’t fight the fight on religious lines. Similarly, there should be any fight based on caste and language. All people take birth and die on the same mother earth, so why should we fight,” said Ravi Naik.
The people who contributed in various fields were felicitated at hands of Minister Ravi Naik.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant, who reached the last moment of function, also took recognition of the contribution of Keralites as teachers and engineers in the education and development sector.
He also said that there are so many similarities between the Onam festival of Kerala and the Ganesh Chaturthi festival of Goa, with similar sweet dishes and recipes.
He said the Onam festival is to mark the harvest season of Kerala. Onam is a festival celebrated by Malayalis in Kerala and also parts of India to mark the homecoming of the great King Mahabali.
he function concluded with cultural programmes by Malayalees.