Sun, sand and slow pace of Goa polls

Tourism has not lost its bling in Goa, though voting is just a few days away

yoshika

Yoshika Sangal | January 31, 2017 | Panaji


#shacks   #BJP   #AAP   #tourism   #elections   #Goa  


 Goa is all set to witness elections on February 4. I was travelling to the state for the first time with a group of friends a little more than week before the polling date. At first, we were sceptical about going just before elections, as we were expecting intense campaigning and didn’t want it to get in the way of our enjoyment. However, we decided to go.

Coming from Delhi which witnessed its elections in 2015, I still remember rounds of campaigning, especially by Aam Aadmi Party which was contesting for the first time. Campaigns were held everywhere, with youngsters gathering in large groups, leading to traffic snarls; billboards and hoardings flashing contesting candidates, and elections being the ‘hot topic’ for every family or office discussion.
 
But, Goa was different from Delhi. We were staying in North Goa, known for its parties, shacks and beaches. Even though it was my first visit, the Goa scene was exactly the way I was told it would be. We were travelling around in bikes, watching large number of tourists flocking markets, crowded beaches and restaurants, loud music and dancing clubs.
 
We saw the first sign of the upcoming elections when we were informed by a shack waiter that alcohol is not allowed to be served and loud music can’t be played at any restaurant after 10 pm and that police vans take rounds on beaches to check compliance. However, neither did the waiter stop serving after 10 pm nor did we see any police vans the whole night. Few shacks did shut down at 11pm, but they were still serving their customers at the back.
 
One could believe that rules were taken lightly since North Goa is a famous tourist spot and the backbone to Goa’s revenue and that restriction would just hamper businesses during the peak season. But nearer to the city one could expect the election fever.
 
The second and the last sign was the sight of a minivan with posters of Arvind Kejriwal playing loud music (which from a distance sounded like a Bollywood song) and a small gathering by BJP volunteers on the corner of a road. Both these were seen by us once.
 
The debate on closing the casinos of Goa can be heard by contesting parties as all have taken their anti-casino stance during campaigning and releasing their election manifesto. But casinos were seen to be still operating. On the last day of the trip we visited a famous casino near Panaji, Goa’s capital. Though they had increased the entry fee, the casino was overcrowded.
 
With a few days to go for the elections now, Goa is still the bustling vacation spot and high-spirited travellers, many of them (mostly foreigners) have no clue of the approaching polls. Even with the election stir, Goa has not lost its bling.
 

Comments

 

Other News

Amit Shah on India’s languages: What else he said

Home minister Amit Shah’s remark on the need for a single national language has rightly sparked a debate, but the headlines missed much in his speech about language, culture, and identity. Giving away Rajbhasha Gaurav Puraskar and Rajbhasha Kirti Puraskar awards on the occasion of Hin

On A Personal note with musician Apache Indian

Renowned British singer, songwriter and reggae DJ, Apache Indian (originally known as Steven Kapoor) shot to fame with his style of music which came to be known as bhangramuffin (also called bhangragga) – a mix of bhangra, reggaemuffin and traditional dance hall in the early 1990s. His style changed

Traffic fines: Find the sweet spot between penalty and self-goal

When close to five lakh people are killed in road accidents every year in India, road transport minister Nitin Gadkari should have been complimented on his not-so-populist move to impose higher fines for traffic violations. Instead, many people are unhappy and several states – mostly ruled by the BJP

A unique project gives new life to a chaotic Mumbai fishing village

Traditional fishermen or Kolis; synonymous with feasting, song and dance; are the original inhabitants of Mumbai. For generations, they have loved their vocation and prided in it. But their work and lifestyle are facing threats from reclamation, land acquisition by builders, lack of sustainable fishing pra

Modi pledges higher target for degraded land restoration

Addressing the Conference of Parties (COP14) to the United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD), Prime Minister Narendra Modi on Monday announced that India would raise its target of the total area that would be restored from its land degradation status from 21 million hectares to 26 millio



Current Issue

Current Issue

Video

CM Nitish’s convoy attacked in Buxar

Opinion

Facebook    Twitter    Google Plus    Linkedin    Subscribe Newsletter

Twitter