The Naked Liberal was uncovered at the hands of Maj Gen (Retd) Ian Cardozo, AVSM, SM, Anita Lobo, voluntary traffic warden, and His Eminence, Cardinal Oswald Gracias.
We are talking about the release of George Menezes’ fifth book, an anthology edited by Selma Carvalho.
George Menezes (84) is an ex Squadron Leader from the Indian Air Force. He was on a Diplomatic assignment with the Indian Embassy in Paris for four years. He was also Liaison Officer to Jawaharlal Nehru on his visit to Europe. Later, he was Director Personnel, of Hoechst Pharmaceuticals for 24 years.
At the launch, George honoured two citizens of extraordinary courage. Anita Lobo’s story is well-known on how she took on the high and mighty for flouting traffic rules. But the generation of today are not aware of who Major General Ian Cardozo is.
As a young major in the 5 Gorkha Rifles in the 1971 war with Pakistan, where in a swift military offensive, India defeated the enemy within 13 days, and liberated a region and that to the creation of Bangladesh; Cardozo had a taste of death. He stepped on a landmine and had to cut off his badly wounded leg with his own khukri!
That he came back and joined the ranks in the Army at the highest level with a wooden leg is legendary. Stuff of what real heroes are made of.
Cardozo remembered with awe his senior, George. “He never feared the four letter word which began with ‘F’,” said Cardozo as the audience broke into laughter. “He never feared FEAR,” continued Cardozo as he spoke of the many things Menezes stood and fought for. “George is like a diamond: Freedom fighter, activist… not bothered about himself but concerned about others. He has packed his life into doing things. George is someone who is not afraid to call a spade a spade.”
Speaking about his writings, Cardozo said, “His writing is held together with the glue of humour.” To this, Gerson DaCunha, brought the house down by adding, “George is a writer, other writers would love to strangle.”
In his rich Baritone, DaCunha brought alive some of George’s writings along with Fiona Miranda.
In this anthology of his writing (The Naked Liberal), George reflects on growing up as the eldest son of the eminent Professor Armando Menezes, a life spent between Goa and Bombay, his closest relationships, youthful experimentations with marijuana, joining the BJP, and being an outspoken Lay Conscience of the Catholic Church.
The book is available at all leading bookstores.