Tuesday, August 21, 2007
Padma Shri-recipient Remo Fernandes refused an award from the Goa government recently to protest against the "loot" of the state by its ministers, Opposition leaders and other politicians. The award, instituted by the state's art and culture department under a scheme to recognize recipients of national and international awards, comprises a memento, a citation, a shawl and Rs 50,000 in cash. Remo was honoured with the Padma Shri in January.
"I refuse this state award or reward as a mark of protest against the government of Goa, as well as the Opposition, both full of ministers and politicians involved in large-scale attempted rape and sale of Goa through the infamous Regional Plan 2011, either actively or through their inaction," the singer said in an open letter to the art and culture department. The acclaimed musician accused Goa's politicians of "unashamed corruption and communalism". His other peeves were the authorities' failure to curb and control garbage and plastic wastes, traffic chaos, excessive immigration and construction, and destruction of the environment. Remo criticized the leaders for "their continued failure to provide us our two most basic needs and rights: good quality health and education". He, however, thanked the state government and Chief Minister Digamber Kamat for proposing and approving his name for the award. Hope the politicians learn a lesson from Remo's protest.