Prior to my enrollment at the PhD program in Portugal, as a Jesuit priest belonging to the Goa Province, having been on staff at our (Jesuit’s) Thomas Stephen’s Research Centre that works in close collaboration with our Xavier Centre of Historical Research, Porvorim, Goa, I have greatly contributed towards the planning and successful execution of our varied academic programs, such as seminars, conferences, and symposiums. With regards my scientific endeavours, I have written academic dissertations, one each towards my Bachelor of Arts (Sociology, Goa); Master of Arts (Sociology, Mumbai) and Bachelor of Theology, Delhi. I have also written a few papers in completion of my Bachelor’s in Philosophy, Pune. Identity issues have been the themes for my academic dissertations. “Goan identity: do we have one?” written for my BA degree was a quest at investigating how the Goan’s (living in Goa, in the metropolitan cities and at oversees) define their identity and whether they hold “one” or “many” identities. “The Gawda socio-cultural identity: A study in continuity and discontinuity” written for my MA degree led me in pursuit of finding the intricacies of this Goa’s indigenous/aboriginal community’s socio-cultural identity and how much of it is being preserved (presently in-continuity) and how much of it is on a verge of extinct or change (in-discontinuity). In my BTh degree dissertation, I highlighted on the Kunbi community’s identity in the context of their exquisite interplay between their faith and culture. My proposal for the PhD research on Goa’s Mando Festival (a case study) grounds on such a perspective of identity formation, highlighting the phenomena of festivalization as a way of strengthening community ties and promoting a sense of local identity, a perspective addressed by several authors in the field of ethnomusicology and anthropology. I have also presented two papers at the International Conferences held in Goa and have published a few papers on our Centre’s annual research bulletin called SOD (meaning research). One of my paper’s i.e., on the life and contributions of Fr. Thomas Stephens, SJ presented at the conference was published on our Centre’s commemorative issue in honour of the 400th Death Anniversary of Fr. Thomas Stephens, SJ(1549-1619). A few papers that I have published on our Centre’s research bulletin (SOD) focuses on my area of interests, namely, the folklores of Goa. “The Kunbi Songs: The roots and shoots of Kunbi cultural identity” (in Konkani) and “Common vision, different forms: A comparative study on Zagor and Khell” are two such examples. I have also presented a paper on the “Traditional Christian folk songs and dances of Goa” at the local Symposium held at the Thomas Stephen’s Research Centre. Mando, the Goa’s song-cum-dance, the theme of my PhD research is one of the classical “folklores” of Goa. I have written multiple articles on newspapers and magazines for a different target audience. I have also published a Konkani book which focusses on the Indo-Portuguese Christian art and architecture at Old Goa, Goa.
The empire sounds back. Post-colonial music in Goa as a tool for social justice and equity. The case of the Mando Festival (1965-2024)
This project focuses on the processes of festivalization and folklorization of music that were used as political tools for social justice and equity. The project concentrates on analyzing the Mando Festival, an annual event that started in Goa, India, in 1965. Initially, it started as an instrument for endorsing Konkani language and in support of an independent state for Goa, promoted by the catholic elite families. However, during the last 50 editions, the festival was transformed into a mediator for musical, performative, and social transformations. It opened the possibility for Goans, independent of their social, economic, or religious differences, to share the conviviality of the same stage through performance. This project investigates the apparent contradiction of how a colonial legacy acquires a status of social liberation, justice, and equity considering that Mando is a product of 451 years of Portuguese presence in Goa.