A lost generation from Pakistan
A lost generation of Karachi Goans
United we stand divided we fall
Margao, Goa: Cricket fans in India erupted with joy when the last Pakistan wicket fell which signaled a 30-run win for Mahendra Dhoni’s boys in the semi-final of the ICC Cricket World Cup in Mohali in Punjab.
This is the fifth time Pakistan are losing to India in the world Cup cricket. The last time the two nations met in the show piece event was in 1996 in Bangalore. Saturday's match in Mumbai against Sri Lanka will be India's third appearance in the World Cup final.
On the other side of the border Paksitan fans were pulling their hair in frustration as their favorite team lose to arch-rivals India, with whom they have fought three wars, the last one in 1999.
But for many a Pakistan born US citizens of Goan orgin, there were no nationalists feelings involved.
“I am not a nationalist,” says US based Michale Ali
“I cannot be as my parents hail from India and all my wife's and my relatives are in India, Australia, USA, Canada, Italy and Britain. My wife's only sibling is American and my only sister is Canadian. Furthermore, we also hold Green Cards,” he adds.
The Goans of Karachi have a history of their own. The first Goans came to Karachi by sea in sailboats, called Dhows. Karachi at the time was a small non-descript town and a one-way stop to the important ports of Bombay and Calcutta. It is difficult to imagine the difficulties these early settlers had to face in an alien land, where conditions were hard. But by sheer grit and determination and by their adventurous spirit, these early Goan settlers lost little time in improving their prospects for a better life.
Most of the early Goan settlers in Karachi were single males - they started "chummeries" and moved out, building their own houses and forming their own townships. http://karachigoans.com/index.html
But the nationalist feelings by and large prevails among the Goan community in Pakistan who have been born and brought up in Pakistan and who have lost contact with their Indian roots, thanks largely to the difficulty in getting visas to travel to India.
“The Goans in Karachi...over 95 percent support Pakistan as they are Goan in name only and have lost all contact with Goa...due to lack of knowledge about the place, being cut off from their relatives and also by political/visa problems,” says Ali, who trace his roots to Margao.
Ali supported India in the India-Australia match and his reason was to see Australia off.
“Many, many people supported India including myself. Some did it as they don't like Australia others as they wish to see India clash with Pakistan in the semi-finals which generated more excitement than any other team.”
But for another Goan, Sebestian Telles who traces his roots to Bardez, the game between the two Asian giants was like a final.
“Well everyone I spoke to about the match said it’s a do or die game with pride at stake. You are well aware of the India-Pakistan rivalry because of the political tension between the two neighbours. Many are literally called the match a war between the two teams. For me this match was more or less a Final. I don't think you are going to watch a more closely contested than this one. Its a game so we should look at it from a cricketing perspective rather than two nations venting out their anger with pride at stake,” said Telles, who is based in Australia.
Back in Goa, the properties owned by Pakistani nationals of Goan origins are declared as enemy property and its custody lies with the government.
Goa, a former Portuguese Colony till 1961 was liberated by the Indian army and thereafter joined the Indian Union.
Tags: Pakistan , India , Goans , Goa , Karachi , Cricket , World Cup
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