The issue of ban on Lamanis from Goan beaches have reached to the Karnataka Assembly and the Tourism Minister of Karnataka has taken a serious cognisance of the same. According to him, why the Goan minister banning only Lamanis and why not Russians? It looks like the statement made by Goa’s Tourism Minister will be going long way.
It may be recalled that the Tourism Minister of Goa Babu Azgaonkar had released the statement to the media stating that he wants to clean the Goan beaches and make it free from Lamanis and Touts and he ordered the police and special task force of Goa Tourism to implement the ban on Lamanis and Touts moving on the Goan beaches, especially in the North Goa belts. According to Mr. Azgaonkar, the Lamanis and Touts harass the foreign tourists on the North Goa beaches giving a bad name to Goa.
Karnataka is the neighboring state of Goa and most of the people from Karnataka migrate to Goa in a search of employment and in due course of time many of them have also managed to settle down in here with the help of valid ration cards and voter ID card. In fact, according to the sources, many of them also have the AADHAR cards and Passports made in Goa itself.
According to the Goans, it is considered as an encroachment and the recent statement by the Tourism Minister could be considered as the outcome of the same. Goa and Karnataka were already fighting on several fronts including the Mhadei River water which is already sub judice. But now it looks like the statement of the Tourism Minister on the eviction of Lamanis from Goa may lead to the another face-off between the two states.
The Karnataka Tourism Minister has also urged to write a letter to CM Manohar Parrikar on this issue in which according to him highly irresponsible comments have been made the Goa’s Tourism Minister. Speaking to the media Mr. Kharge said “Crime is not limited to one community or country. It is very unfortunate that a minister has issued an irresponsible statement targeting one particular community. It is very strange that the BJP is happy with foreigners but doesn’t want Indians”.
According to Mr. Kharge, such regretful remarks would lead to developing a crack in the national unity and it should be treated seriously. It may be recalled that the Goa Banjara Samaj has also strongly condemned the action of the tourism minister and threatened to hold a protest. The General Secretary of Banjara Samaj Ganesh Lamani quoted that the Banjara Samaj has condemned the statements made by the tourism minister against the nomadic tribe which is listed in the scheduled cast in the federal list of the Union government of India and submitted a memorandum to the minister requesting him to take back his statement, which if not done in due time, the community has threatened to shut down their businesses for a day and hold a peaceful protest.
The Lamani Samaj is very big in the state of Goa with almost 10% of the local population. The sources have revealed that the Lamani community has a strength of around 2 Lakh in the state which includes the floating population where more than one lakh have settled over the past four decades. They run various businesses which serve the tourists coming to Goa in case if they go for one day strike as stated there will be a big impact on the overall business related to the tourism industry of Goa, said the sources. The Lamani samaj has condemned the direct remarks made by the minister against them in the media. Accordion to General Secretary Mr. Lamani, they are not the part of illegal activities that goes on in the state. “We don’t have a problem with authorities taking action against beggars, hawkers, illegal vendors and drug paddlers along the beach belt but why is our community being singled out,” Lamani said, adding that the entire community is disturbed by the ‘unconstitutional’ statement. (source)