BJP president Amit Shah’s rare literary hyperbole on Monday, referring to Goa as a mole that enhances India’s beauty appears to have stirred many a native soul in India’s smallest state.
Shah, while speaking at a poll rally in the port town of Vasco, 35 km from Panaji, had said: “Goa is a small state. In such a big country, it is located along the Western shores. Goa may be a small state, but it is a beautiful state. God sometimes places a mole on a beautiful face, which enhances the beauty of the face. The same way, because of Goa’s beauty and culture, the beauty of India is enhanced. This is how beautiful Goa is”.
“Does he have a speech writer, or did he come up with this on his own,” asked Bevinda Colaco, who runs an online information portal out of Goa, in response to Shah’s unusual observation.
Shah incidentally, is not the first national figure to compare Goa to a facial characteristic, the other being none other than former Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru.
Verinder Grover, in his book ‘Africa and India’s foreign policy’, quotes Nehru’s describing a pre-liberation Goa, as “an ugly pimple on the fair face of India”. Nehru’s reference to Portuguese-ruled Goa as a pimple, can also be found in former Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio de Oliveira Salazar’s biography ‘Salazar: A Political Biography’ by Filipe Ribeiro De Menese.
The comparison of Goa as a facial blip — mole or pimple irrespective — against the larger canvas of mainstream India has also triggered frosty sarcasm among a section of denizens of this sunny state.
“If Goa’s purpose in the Indian union is to beautify, the ugly face of the Indian nation, I think we are better off with secession,” remarked Kaustubh Naik, a research scholar from Goa.