New Year Celebrations in Goa - Rescued

Author: Divyan Salotra
Date: Jan 15, 2008
Views: 1941

About Special Economic Zones in Goa and its effects on Trance parties



The New Year festivities in Goa were heavily jeopardized this year, and the controversy possibly caused heavy losses to Goan’s that provide tourist facilities for a living. Economic development has always been an insightful issue regarding Goa - a state that has an area of 5,700 square kilometers and a population of an estimated 1.4 million people. Owing to these statistics, up to 15 SEZ’s (Special Economic Zones) had been proposed to be set up in the state, which would most obviously have a deleterious effect on the beauty of the blissful holiday spot. However, it was not the fans of ‘Goan Psychedelia’ that had to appeal to maintain Goa’s peaceful environment – it was the GMAS.

Abbreviated as Goa’s Movement Against SEZ’s (Special Economic Zone) - the GMAS is a body that has been formed by Non-Government Organization’s and the current opposition party in India (who call themselves the Bharatiya Janta Party). The GMAS had been holding rallies and meetings across Goa for over a month to protest and on 28th December it took another drastic step by officially asking tourists to leave the state.

Reason being that the demonstration by the GMAS would be decidedly augmented during the concluding days of the year unless all the projects concerning SEZ’s were not scrapped. The GMAS convener and former Tourism Minister, Mr. Saldanha, had announced at a press conference:

`GMAS wishes the people to have a peaceful Christmas after which it will request the tourists to leave the state since their agitation will be intensified and it could take an ugly turn.´

When the SEZ projects had been approved - public outcry and mob violence had occurred at the some of the project sites. Anti SEZ protestors protested that the projects would not generate enough employment for Goan locals, and would definitely end up straining the infrastructure of the state. It was only on December 31 that the Goan Government finally decided to scrap all 15 SEZ projects - subsequent to which absolutely no violence was witnessed.



To conclude, the Government of Goa did well for trancers and other party animals by saving New Years. Fighting a political battle in India is usually quite a behemoth task, and the GMAS executed it in a manner that achieved optimum results for those who were out celebrating new-years eve. This cause célèbre has had an encouraging outcome for tourists who visit the sandy beaches where psychedelic sounds originated time and time again - for it is now clear how much the local government cherishes its visitors.

Submitted by:

Divyan Salotra

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