VICTORIA FERNANDES AS I KNEW HER

In the death of former Santa Cruz MLA Victoria Fernandes our Goa has lost its ‘Jhansi ki Rani’. She was a former Minister and also held the position as Deputy Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly.  Fondly known as ‘Mummy’ to  all, she was a great source of motherly solace to all, especially the downtrodden and marginalized.

Victoria Fernandes graciously conducted herself even after being out of power and regularly kept herself abreast with issues concerning Goa.  We should always remember the contribution of this great combative lady and in particular her role in the upliftment of the deprived sections of the community.

I was so privileged to have personally known Victoria Fernandes for over four long decades. We have worked alongside on various issues, at times argued and even fiercely shouted at each other but we always remained friends. In the 70’s while I was engaged in the student movement, she was engrossed in championing for the rights and welfare of the vegetable and fruit vendors while also seeking justice for our traditional fishermen.

Victoria Fernandes had been ailing for quite some time but even through her illness she was determined to battle it out. She was thrilled whenever I dropped by to visit her. I last met her on this 26th July on her birthday.

She was always extremely outspoken and one who was known not to mince words in what she had to say and convey. A few of Victoria Fernandes’s tribe of politicians remain and will be remembered for the good they have done for Goa. About the rest and in particular some of the current politicians who are navigating Goa down the tube there will be no obituary to write.

The very large hearted Victoria Fernandes had always her shoulders for the poor and impoverished to rest their sufferings while seeking justice. But today Politics is no longer a mission, not even an honest profession. It has today been reduced to a scoundrel’s last resort. It has become a ruthless business, with morals and ethics twisted beyond recognition, thrown to the winds or long buried deep in the slush of ignorance and thuggery.

Victoria Fernandes who has passed way at the age of 85 must have been very sad and anguished witnessing the rampant destruction and devastation of Goa. But I am consoled by the fact that she has been spared the further painful and agonizing ordeal of seeing Goa’s remains being officially laid to rest. May the departed soul of this great Iron Lady that she always was, rest in eternal peace.

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