War hero, Major General Ian Cardozo stressed the need for increased unity and diversity for a stronger, more united India in his soul-stirring keynote address at the inauguration function of 11th Goa arts and literature festival at the International Centre Goa (ICG) on Thursday evening.
Citing the example of the Indian army’s practice of unity in diversity, the General said that the army built places of worship belonging to different faiths all under one roof. “I remember visiting a Hindu temple first, every Sunday morning, as it was the faith followed by my soldiers. Only later, did I visit a church, as it was my religion,” the General said. According to the war hero, we need to follow the Indian army’s example to create a stronger, more united India.
Gen Cardozo also regaled the audiences with some charming anecdotes from his childhood visits to his ancestral village of Candolim almost 80 years ago. He spoke about memories of swimming in the sea, eating home-made pickles, bebinca, traditional hot-water baths, zero electricity and the presence of Mercedes Benz taxis in Panjim and Margao.
Nobel Prize winning economist, Abhijit Banerjee decided to focus on his 2011 co-authored book: “Poor Economics”, as large portions of it had been written in Goa. Banerjee cited research conducted by his team across seven countries which showed how poor people, when supported with assets such as cattle and small businesses, actually managed to grow richer over a very short period of time. Busting several myths related with poverty, Banerjee gave a very interesting example of how ten-year old poor children manning the family’s vegetable vending business could perform very quick mental mathematics while dealing with business transactions, but got intimated when they were shown school books. Banerjee felt that an overhaul of our education system was necessary to overcome such challenges.
The exciting evening also saw the International Centre Goa felicitate Damodar Mauzo, Goa’s only second Jnanpeeth awardee, the release of a very interesting artwork based on the world of literature by Nirupa Naik and the release of Uday Bhembre’s Konkani novel, Vhodlem Ghor.
The festival is open and free to the public on Friday, January 20 and Saturday, January 21 between 10am to 6pm, at the ICG, Goa.