Thursday, 31 May 2007


Hi, a reader sent in this... The plague's really spreading isn't it? Could we measure column inches of editorial in the local pages vis a vis column inches of advertising content in the local dailies. Would make an interesting comparison.

This is getting insane. Look at today's (31/5/07) papers -- three fourths of Herald's page 1 is this kind of rubbish, and so are pages 2, 4 and 5 entire. Navhind Times seems to be jumping on the bandwagon -- see the bullshit on Manohar Parrikar on page 3, on SGF on page 4, and to balance it all out, Dinar Tarcar on page 7, followed by Ravi Naik on page 9.
GT and Sunaparant are okay, lots of ads, but clearly mentioned as such, though the look is that of an article. GT has an advertising supplement of the Congress party (which hilariously has Rane senior on page 1 and his son on page 4).
What are the readers supposed to do? I for one have started reading the advertising leaflets for 'big sales' and 'tuition classes' that are inserted into the papers. They are far more interesting.
Has any party announced an unemployment dole specifically for journos. All journos. should be voting for that party in their own self-interest, there is no space for journos in Goan newspapers any longer.


This is another sell out in the Herald. This one is fashioned out like a 'day with a candidate' report. Hey guys, suggest a move forward. Suggest a move forward. This is just going berserk. Even Gomantak Times has caught up with the trend -- whether they mentioned advertisement or not. Just look at all the gush that flows from Navelim.

Mandopa pledge support to Luizinho

Stanley D’Silva
Mandop village of the Navelim Constituency, a strong bastion of Industries and Education Minister Mr Luizinho Faleiro witnessed an unique phenomenon recently when its most popular candidate embarked on his door-to-door election campaign. (And what was it?)
Over 1500 supporters, from this beautiful and undoubtedly, an important segment of the constituency, walked with Mr Faleiro pledging him their unwavering support.
“This was very amazing as Mr Faleiro’s rival candidate, Churchill Alemao used to shout at the top of his voice that all voters in Mandop supported his candidature soon after the panchayat elections. When he came on his campaign in Mandop on Monday, a very frustrated Churchill had hardly around 15 people supporting him. This is a significant development and the support shown to our MLA Mr Faleiro clearly indicates his popularity in this village,” stated Kovington Viegas. (An MLA proves his popularity in his constituency… That’s a unique phenomenon? YAWN)
Why is Mr Faleiro showered with such tremendous support? (A five line answer followeth)
“The developmental activities including the beautification of various monuments in this area has been applauded by the constituents. They believe that it is only Mr Faleiro who can take them towards progress and work tirelessly for the betterment of the village in particular. His work for the constituency has been a continious and not just an eye-wash merely during elections. He has never believed in such tactics,” informs Flavita Fernandes.
The constituents of Mandop in particular, a elite electorate are not only loyal Congressmen but also staunch supporters of Mr Faleiro. (What’s an elite electorate?) “If we are supporting Mr Faleiro for the seventh time, it is only because we want to pay back whatever he has done for us. (Paid back what he’s paid them?) We support Mr Faleiro for being loyal to his party and his loyalty to the Navelim constituency. He has never hopped parties nor changed his constituency which goes to say a lot about his self-less approach as a legislator,” tells Julio Colaso. (Factually incorrect, this one.)
All eyes are pinned on Navelim constituency as the date of polling for the Legislative Assembly draws near. Even as electioneering experts are of the opinion that the constituency is very sensitive in terms of poll violence, and appropriate measures have been taken to avoid any untoward circumstances, the constituents display a very casual mood. A look around and one understands, despite the hovering of anti-social elements trying to create tension in the other-wise peaceful constituency, the elite constituents are very comfortable pledging support to their charismatic MLA Mr Faleiro. (Hey can anyone explain this elite constituents bit?)
“Winds are blowing in Mr Faleiro’s direction,” states Leena D’Costa. (See that. A lot of wind is headed in Luizinho’s direction. He had better be ready)
Luizinho Faleiro, the front-runner in Navelim The high ratings of Luizinho Faleiro, by readers of the esteemed Goan daily,
HERALD (this one’s classic ‘give and take’. You scratch my back and I’ll even slip it in for you. Herald praises Luizinho and he returns the compliment) ,recently, speaks volumes of his performance, not only in the Navelim constituency which he calls Jewel in Goa’s Crown, but in the entire State of Goa where he is highly honoured for his path breaking resolutions. (It carries on vulgarly... but couldn't take more of this shit)

Wednesday, 30 May 2007


Hi, Check this link out.
Sounds pretty weird to even mention this. The Goa Bharatiya Janata Party actually has a WHISTLEBLOWER section on its newly uploaded website
Guess, with media in Goa slipping into mercenary mode, someone has to do what journalists are supposed to... Ouch the way we said it, doesn't sound too good.
Wondering which is the bigger irony? A mercenary media or band of crooks suffering from a momentary moral spasm
Check this out:


Hi, a reader sent in this...

Was horrified this morning after picking up the papers to see what I initially thought was GT doing the same thing as the Herald -- for Dinar Tarcar this time.
But fortunately, at the bottom of the puff piece is a note saying 'Advertisement'. Is ink so expensive that Herald can't do the same? Or is the money not being shown in accounts?
Can't one complain to the ECI about this? And if Herald's defence is that these are not ads but articles, we can complain to whatever court it is up there that judges incompetent journalists :-) Suggested punishment: rest of these people's lifetimes to be spent reading their own garbage.

PENPRICKS: Another exception was that the piece was written in first person. The monies raked in by the newspaper here appears less grave than the signal being sent to the readers. Someone ought to make a case of it before the ECI. But then rest assured, the edit on the following day would read 'assault on media freedom'. The paper has already made ground for it by claiming that the ECI has been unnecessarily active in these elections. But something must be done. Way, anyone?


This piece in which appeared in The Navhind Times (May 29) is a classic Umesh Mahambrey in almost every sense. Tireless use of the article ‘THE’, endless spelling mistakes... such remarkable resemblance to the deceased reporter's copies. On a more serious note. It’s really strange how this copy passed QC. Wonder who cleared this copy? Anyone knows? Oh btw, we received a stern mail from a Margaret Mascarenhas pointing out to spelling errors on this
blog too. And we’ve apologised.
No excuses, but we work this blog after our respective shifts at work. And there's no sub here to prick our copies, nor an editor to prick our souls.

Goa lacking behind in all fields: Gowda

NT News Service
Vasco, May 29 The former prime minister and Janata Dal (Secular)president, Mr H D Deve Gowda today charged the United Progressive Alliance and National Democratic Alliance governments at the Centre for their failure in building up the Goan economy and questioned whether both these governments had taken any major steps to eradicate the problems faced by Goan’s.
He said that the state is lacking behind in all the fields and JD(S) is the only party capable of solving the problems of the people. He also opposed the Regional Plan-2011 and further said that the plan needs to be modified.He was addressing a public meeting held opposite the MMC building.
Mr Gowda also raised doubts about the achievements of BJP and Congress in the centre and the state and further said that the whole policy adopted by both the national parties needs to be reversed.
Mr Gowda opined that there is a wide scope for the tourism in Goa. He also said that the Goa could be one of the world’s most attractive tourist spots, if it is promoted properly.
Mr Gowda also said that he is not interested in rising the Goan’s and non-Goan’s issue however he opined that the ‘Kannadigas’ are doing a lot to build up the Goan economy and every Goan’s should respect them and not discriminate against them.
He appealed to the people of Goa to vote for JDSfor clean and stable government.
The JD (S), general secretary and spokesperson, Mr Kunwar Danish Ali said that the port town of Vasco is a real India and a symbol of unity in diversity. He said that JD (S) is always fighting for the rights and justice of the downtrodden people in the society.
The JD(S), women’s wing president, Ms Philomena Pares while addressing the gathering said that JD (S) will create a new wave in Goa and would fight against corruption and called on the people to cast their vote for change in Goa.
The JD (S), Vasco candidate, Mr Carlos Almeida criticized Mr Rajendra Arlekar of BJP and Mr Jose Philip D’Souza of NCP for failing to solve the problems of the people of Vasco. The JD (S), Mormugao candidate, Mr Siddanna Meti and others spoke on te occasion.

(You may not have noticed, but the word THE has been written 37 times in this short report and when it comes to bum-kissers – what are bum kissers? E.g. ‘modified.He’ words so stuck to each other, they wouldn't even allow air to pass through between them – there are as many as 5 bum-kissers here. What was the sub doing here? And can you guys count the number of errors you see in this report and tell us the exact number? )


There are times when the Herald reads like a Church rag, but this is something else altogether. A reader sent in this bizzare report written in typically vernacular gush. Keep sending more guys...

Goa Doot, 10/5/2007
Riot-like situation in Margao
Tension over eve teasing
2 arrested at Verna, 3 absconding
Margao, 9 May, Correspondent: A young woman's brother who objected to the teasing of his sister was the subject of a murderous attack by five Muslim youth. In a furious reaction to this, thousands of citizens observed a spontaneous bandh and held a dharna outside the police station demanding arrest of the accused youths. Till late evening, the situation in the city was tense but under control. According to late information, a call has been given for a bandh tomorrow (Thursday) and there is a possibility of normal life being affected.
Today's events in the city evoked memories of last year's Curchorem riots. Furious citizens of Margao targeted some shops in the Gandhi Market, and one began to wonder if Curchorem was going to be repeated here, but the New Market Traders' Association managed to get control over the situation in time.
After Rajesh Cuncolienkar reprimanded youths who were eve-teasing his sister, five Muslim youths from Rumdamol, Davorlim and other places attacked Rajesh with iron rods, soda bottles and knives, and, leaving him covered with blood, fled in an Indica car. Due to this, the entire trader class in the market was enraged. They took a morcha to the police station demanding arrest of the assailants. The shops in the Margao were kept closed after 12 o'clock. As soon as this news spread in Margao, all people in Margao, without bothering about the severe heat, gathered near Pimpalkatta. To express their strong protest over this incident, in the evening thousands of people took out a morcha to the police station shouting slogans and condemning politicians. And they expressed theirstrong determination not to leave the police station until they were arrested. DySP Umesh Gaonkar gave an assurance that they would be arrested by tonight. After that the crowd gathered near Pimpalkatta, awaiting the arrest.
15 days ago in Gogol Housing Board Colony, five Muslim youths had attacked a youth named Pillai. This incident was repeated today in broad daylight and in front of all the shopkeepers. Madgaonkars condemned this in strong words. Rajesh Sitaram Cuncoliemkar has a masala shop in the market, and right next to it is his sister's readymade garments shop.
For the last four days Afzal, a salesman in Gandhi market and resident of Rumdamol, had been teasing the sister. Frightened, she narrated this to Rajesh, who immediately decided to ask Afzal about this. This morning at 10 o'clock when he came here again and started pestering the sister, Rajesh confronted him and they had a verbal argument. Afzal abused him in unprintable terms -- unable to bear this, Rajesh slapped him. After that Afzal went away and after half an hour five youths including came there and immediately attacked Rajesh with rots, bottles and knives.
They threw chilli powder in his eyes. They made a knife attack on him from the backand smashed bottles on both his arms. He was also wounded This attack caused some wounds on the fingers of the assailant. Leaving him in that state they fled in an Indica car.
The sister and others raised a hue and cry and gathered the traders in the market. The president of the Traders' Association, Vinod Shirodkar immediately informed DySP Umesh Gaonkar about the incident and also gave him the number of the Indica car. He also took Rajesh to the hospital.
The police sent the number of the car to all police stations and asked for the car to be stopped. The Traffic Police Interceptor car was near Verna -- it blocked car no GA 01 E 1687 and arrested Mohamed Gawas and Abdul Nabi Shaikh with the vehicle and evidence, while Maqbool, Samir and Abdul are absconding. Police are on their trail.
As soon as news of this incident spread, the atmosphere in Margao became tense and a crowd of 200-300 people collected and asked all the shopkeepers to close their shops in protest against this incident. By 1.30 pm all the shops closed and the crowd moved to the police station and demanded arrest of the assailants. Then they occupied Pimpalkattaand decided to remain at the police station till they were arrested.
By then as soon as this news had spread in Margao and everybody closed the market. The police arrested Chandrakant Pednekar and Guru Borkar and one other who had gone to ask people to close the shops which were still open. As soon as this was known, thousands of people from Margao took a morcha to the police station shouting slogans of protest and demanding their arrest.
Vinod Shirodkar, Rupesh Mahatme, Kaskar, Councillor Raju Shirodkar of the Market Vendors' Association met DySP Umesh Gaonkar and demanded release of these three persons. They charged the police with having picked them up without any reason. They were released after it was made clear that anybody putting pressure on others to close shops would be arrested. But the crowd was not prepared to move away. Vinod Shirodkar and Rupesh Mahatme tried to pacify the crowd but they were not willing to listen. Rajesh Naik, Parodkar and others said that this is a problem of Madgaokars and refused to move away till the assailants were arrested. Unable to convince them even after a long time, they met the DySP again. They demanded a definite assurance on arrest of the assailants, and immediately after receiving an assurance that they would be arrested by night, they left from the police station at 5.30 pm shouting slogans and returned to Pimpalkatta.
Rajesh Naik told the DySP that this is not a traders' issues but that these members of a minority had committed three such incidents. The DySP requested them not to give the issue a religious colour. He said that this is not a religious fight since traders of all religions were with the traders' group.
After today afternoon, the entire city bus transport was closed. As a result, the old bus stand had become an open field. Foodstuffs had got spoilt since the shops had been closed suddenly. This caused losses. And since the buses were not plying people had to go walking. The commuters suffered. The security was tight and good.15 days ago, Muslim youth had attacked a youth called Pillai in the Gogol Housing Board Colony, but the people there foiled this attempt. A youth was arrested and immediately Muslim youth from Davorlim, Gogol, Kharebandh and Moti Dongor gahtered at the police station and fire bullets, but as soon as Margaokars heard of this they gathered at the police station. Seeing them, the Muslim youth fled. This incident was echoed in today's attack. The police were unsuccessful in maintaining law and order in Salcette taluka. Margao citizens are saying that the assailants are getting protection from the police and therefore theiractivities have increased.
When the call for a market bandh to protest the attack was given today, the minority community traders were not ready to close their shops, but seeing the crowd they were forced to do so. People said openly that if the police do not put a stop of the activities of outsiders of the minority community, then Margaokars themselves will jointly put a stop
to their activities and defend the holy land of Sri Damodar with their lives.


Here's another sell out. This time to Digamber Kamat. Hey this series spares none. One question for you guys to figure out and write back. Can you fellas tell why is it that Herald is soliciting itself to sitting MLAs? And the second question, who has brokered these shady deals? Please write back.

Another thing... readers tell us that we've been focussing a bit on the Herald... But there's so much shit happening there, hence the guns trained...

Digambar: The man Margao needs

By Sneha Parulekar

Digambar Kamat has truly established himself as the leader of Margao and his manifesto of ‘Amchem Madganv’ (the Digambernama) is a worthy tribute not only to the changes he has brought about in the commercial capital of the State (can someone explain why this place is called the commercial capital of Goa anyway? This weird phrase was reinforced by Rupesh Samant when he was with the Navhind Times), but also a pledge to the works he promises to undertake.
Just as Rome was not built in a day (neither was Moti Dongor), the metamorphis of Margao occurred over a period of time. But the fact remains that Margao began changing for the better only after Digambar Kamat began representing the constituency.
Today Margao can boast of many first, the foremost of which is the musical dancing fountain the only of its kind in Goa. The fountain at the Old Market traffic island is a treat to the eyes. Besides, the various traffic islands in Margao look so beautiful with the lawns and other plants and the paved footpaths truly makes it a pleasure to walk around the streets of Margao.
(Oh it doesn't stop here... it goes on)


Tuesday, 29 May 2007


The Patel sisters are at it now.
Well, we have Laxmi Patel here and then another Yasmin Patel who sings praises of Babu Kavlekar. Where has this newspaper roped in these Siamese journo sisters from? Anyone knows?

This article on Manohar Parrikar certainly goes against everything the Herald has said and maintained about Parrikar over the years. Pen Pricks has tried to juxtapose claims made in this obviously paid ‘article’ with excerpts from editorials, which have earlier appeared in the Herald.

Its really not strange now. After dubbing Parrikar as communal, corrupt, vicious etc, all it takes is an advertisement (passed off as a story of course) to liquidate all that the paper has said and maintained.

BJP and Parrikar may be saffron, but for the Herald, their monies are definitely a rich, lushy green.

BJP gains grounds in Goa riding on Parrikar popularity wave

By Laxmi Patel

Riding on the popularity wave of Manohar Parrikar coupled with the meticulously planned election campaign, the BJP is likely to get majority seats in the June Two assembly elections paving way for its government formation in the state.
With non-BJP votes dividing amongst several political parties and people feeling disgusted with the infighting within congress, the BJP, feels the experts, will score the magic figure this time.
Restricted use of money and liquor, this time, has also favoured the party, which had planned its candidates and campaigning much before the dates for election were declared.
Political pundits feel that division of votes amongst non-BJP political parties will give an edge to the party in many constituencies. In many constituencies, anti incumbency factor will favour the saffron political outfit, which has promised electorate to get rid of bad governance.
Manohar Parrikar factor will work magical in this election with Shripad Naik, leader of Bahujan Samaj, working along with Parrikar. (But coming back to Sidhu’s remark, one is also startled that he has mentioned it considering that the golden boy of the BJP’s Goa unit, Manohar Parrikar, was at one time hell bent on destroying this identity. EDIT: What Identity Sir?)
Icing on cake is the minorities’ inclination towards BJP that was evident from the fact that leaders like Agnel Silveira (Taleigao candidate) and Antonio Joao Caiado (St Andre candidate) formally joined the party, which was hitherto labeled as Hindu political party. Francisco D’Souza is already a sitting MLA in the party. (Is it a communal Goan identity where all western influences are wiped out as was seen in 2004 with the vandalism at Tonca and Fontinhas by supporters of the BJP... EDIT -- What Identity Sir?)
Parrikar regime between the year 2000 to 2005, which saw Goa getting into fast pace of development, will also anoint BJP’s victory in the legislative assembly polls. (Yes, the peace and tranquility, which is the essence of Goa, was rocked to the core and who was responsible – the BJP.... EDIT: What Identity Sir?) The party has already declared Parrikar as its chief ministerial candidate, who will lead the government for next five years.
Labelled as a technocrat and wizard in economic growth, Parrikar is getting much acceptibility in all the constituencies including his own Panaji constituency where he will win with the landslide margin.

And that is the case with leader of Opposition Manohar Parrikar, who though a brilliant man, cannot accept the fact that many of the problems that are plaguing Goa today, started during his tenure as CM... EDIT: Lost the name) Congress candidate Dinar Tarcar, a novice in the state
politics and who was till recently hobnobbing with former town and country planning minister Atanasio Monserratte, seems to be a no match for giant leader like Parrikar. Voters still doubt his credibility.
What is interesting is that the national trends favour BJP and after Uttarakhand and Punjab elections, nationally it is considered that Goa will be added t o the basket of BJP.
Amongst various factors, the BJP manifesto also seems to be adopted well by the voters, who are promised whole lot of schemes, once BJP comes to power. What drives the entire campaign is people’s trust in Parrikar, who has successfully implemented all those schemes, which he spoke about, during his tenure.
An almost unbelievable cyberage scheme or Dayanand social security scheme, has been an example, before electorate, to have faith in the leader, to implement schemes such as abolition of house tax, proper public distribution system, green regional plan, curbing illegal sale of land and others including the most popular announcement of giving state recognition to football as a sports.
Birth of Save Goa Front seems to be spelling doom for the congress party in the state. Though BJP and Save Goa Front leaders categorically deny that both of them support each other, it is inevitable that SGF wilt indirectly give edge to BJP by weeding out certain Congress politicians, who are always on target of BJP.
The issue of BJP funding Churchill Alemao led SGF seems to be unfound because both the parties are pole apart in their ideologies and don’t share a bit in common.
Parrikar, former chief minister, has also managed to convince his own voters with a progressive looking manifesto which promises basic amenities and infrastructure, disaster management, quality of life, sports and entertainment and preservation of heritage besides promotion of art and culture to the voters. (One remembers with scorn the storm troopers of the BJP, comprising of the Velinkars and that fake freedom fighter, terrorizing and vandalizing works of art and artifacts at Mala and Fontinhas because of their foreign influence... EDIT—lost the name)
“The total water requirement of Tiswadi and Ponda talukas is 120 MLD. Water availability at Opa works during the summer months of April and May improved from 50 MLD to 150 MLD due to availability of additional supply through storage capacity created by constructing more than 15 open type bandharas and also by pumping of 50 MLD water from Selaulim dam into Kale river,” Parrikar’s manifesto reads.
If voted to power, Parrikar has assured complete replacement of old network of water supply distribution pipeline in Panaji city.
Notwithstanding the unwarranted criticism by opponents, who in privacy admires Parrikar for his administrative skills, the BJP leader has managed to create waves in the state, which will give clean sweep to the party in the ensuing elections.

Whats in a preposition?


Imagine, for instance, if a political journalist would tell us that she is the most trusted face of the Indian political scene.
There is an advertisement that is difficult to miss if you are in Mumbai. An anchor for the business news channel, CNBC, is shown and there is the body copy that reads, "He's the most trusted face of the Indian Stock Market." (Disclosure demands that one shares with reader that this gentleman, Mr Udayan Mukherjee, was a colleague in the same channel about a decade back, and also that one has affectionately known him as a friend's younger brother long before he got into journalism). The problem with this ad is not whether Mr Mukherjee is competent or otherwise, but whether a journalist or indeed a channel can use the possessive preposition "of" when describing the relation between oneself or itself and the area that is covered.
Imagine, for instance, if a political journalist would tell us that she is the most trusted face of the Indian political scene. Or for that matter, would an entertainment reporter suggest that he is the most trusted face of the Mumbai film industry. Or even in a more incestuous area, literary journalism that includes the writing of reviews by friends and family, if someone were to say that s/he was the most trusted face of the Indian literary market. And yet no one in CNBC and Television Eighteen, which if at least all the hoardings are to be believed comprises of people with greater acuity than any business school in the country, possibly thought of this as a problem that ought to have been remedied. A rather uncharitable explanation that precision in language should not be expected of television channels, can be provided. But that would be unfair. Another explanation that television advertising should not be confused with editorial precision since they belong to different realms would be unsatisfactory because finally it is news (and/or analysis) that is being hawked.
There is more to it than just prepositional misdemeanour.
There are some journalists who do not think of themselves as being in the business of reporting. They think of themselves as actors in the field that they report on and comment upon. And this is not a problem confined to business journalism. One has met journalists who have said that they were responsible for making a particular politician or even a political party what it is today. And then there are journalists who suggest that they have made and unmade film personalities, cricketers, and artistes. The list goes on. In other words, their job has been much more than just being reporters and commentators. They are active participants. Some journalists may feel the need to ensure particular political and social results, or even bring about diplomatic resolutions. Such a belief may be considered noble. But in this rather dismally limited profession that ought to confine itself with accurate and fair reporting, such beliefs border on the unethical. When some actions have to be initiated in a purposeful manner and one brings to bear upon that task one's pen or personality, then the task is that of a public relations professional or apologist or agitprop artist. One can even argue that in business journalism, especially when reporting on the stock markets, this might even be construed as participating in the market in a way that would make it problematic as per regulatory guidelines.
Now, it is not my case that this is indeed what is happening. Rather it is the self-imagination that is critical here. Do we as journalists imagine ourselves as participants or observers or participant-observers? It may be fine for anthropologists to be using the participant-observer method for their research since a closer entry into their subject (or object) areas would be otherwise difficult, and the lived sense can only be had from such a relationship. But that would not be proper for journalists. Even when we decide to go along with the actors of a particular story that we are covering, it has to be done as observers, as reporters. To imagine that we as journalists are active participants, especially when such complex social events and processes as social change or political upheaval or congealing of political/social forces is happening, is to have hubris. More than anything else it is this self-belief of one's power or ability that makes the journalist think of himself or herself as more important and crucial than is the case. Apart from a pomposity that detracts from newsgathering and reporting, it also leads to possible collusion that can be nothing but patently unethical.
It is possible that such is the self-estimation of the channel, CNBC-TV18, where the channel is seen as part of the process of stock market trading rather than as its competent, fair, and accurate reporter. The fact that this hoarding looks down with such a preposition rather than saying that "he is the most trusted face among those reporting on the Indian stock market" or "his word is the most trusted on the Indian stock market" is reason enough for us to examine our own locus in the force fields of communication.
Or may be it is just a Falstaffian moment that I make too much of. "A plague of all cowards, I say, and a vengeance too! marry, and amen! Give me a cup of sack, boy. Ere I lead this life long, I'll sew nether stocks and mend them and foot them too. A plague of all cowards! Give me a cup of sack, rogue. Is there no virtue extant?" (courtesy thehoot)


See even national dailies aren't too different from us.
If in Goa, The Navhind Times would have the gall to publish and go gaga over a picture of Baba Dempo planting a sapling in a village, where mining silt would have devastated all sorts of vegetation, recently the Hypocritic 'HINDU' newspaper published a huge spread story on Jyoti Basu went for a root canal. Some days back Hindu editor-in-chief N Ram's daughter featured on the front page for having topped her batch at the Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism.
Here's a lame response from the newspaper's readers' editor to some flak the story received.
This is being reproduced courtesy a reader, who sent it to us.

I've been writing for nearly a quarter century now. An Indian student topping a class at a prestigious university for journalism is not, by any stretch, a front page story. It is a story on the media or education page, yes. But not for the front page. That's the first mistake the Hindu editors made, even if she were not the daughter of N Ram. Her getting applauded as she collected her prize, too, was not worthy of a page 1 story. This is not to undermine Vidya. I hope she will delight us over the years with fantastic journalism. But this sounds jingoistic, like Times of India's campaign.

Have they placed other Indian achievements abroad similarly, such as, for instance, Sree getting the student deanship, or being voted as the most popular professor at Columbia? Have they placed Prof Govindarajan's many achievements at Tuck at Dartmoth, the oldest B-school in the world, and the top-ranking one for the past few years? British universities, too, have
Indian achievers. Have they got page 1 treatment?

Now, to the lame response from the ombudsman:

>For a professional newsman — I have been one for over
>half a century now — an Indian woman topping the class
>in a prestigious journalism school, and bagging a
>fellowship to boot, was really hard news.

Really? Hard news? More so than a student getting the top rank at a medical school, or an engineering school? Isn't it being terribly parochial, to see journalism as a profession that important?

>She topped this highly
>competitive school's 2007 class of 250+ M.S. programme
>students — it is extremely rare for a foreign student
>to do this — and received a Pulitzer fellowship for

Can we have statistics, as to how many foreign students have secured it, and why is it so rare?

Many foreign students who study in the US get prestigious travel grants upon graduation. Does the Hindu cover each one? In that case, they missed one in 1985. Let them do some digging, and they will find out what I mean.

>The inclusion of this news in the main paper,
>"not tucked away in a corner of MetroPlus," as one
>reader suggested, was a question of judgment. In
>heading, display and positioning, the element of
>subjectivism also comes into play. As with any
>judgment, there will be dissent, sometimes strong and
>loud. This was neither local nor provincial news to be
>called parochial.

These are very lame explanations.

>As for "dynastic politics", The
>Hindu is a 100 per cent family-owned newspaper and the
>family has been in control. Vidya and her cousins will
>be the fifth generation of the family working in the
>newspaper, should they decide to join it (so far, it
>appears, nobody has). "Dynasty" and "family" have
>acquired an unsavoury connotation in recent times, but
>that need not extend to all cases.

That explains nothing. I have no problem with Vidya Ram working at the Hindu
- may she become a fine editor there, and she probably will be a fine editor
- but the Hindu is not the house journal of the family.

>Would the daughter of an ordinary employee have got
>the same coverage, asked one reader. She would, and
>should, for any similar achievement or distinction.
>The Civil Services examination topper from Tamil Nadu
>this year (K. Nandakumar, all-India 30th rank and
>State first) was a lorry driver's son and his feat
>received due notice. Eight school students from India
>participated in the Intel International Science and
>Engineering Fair (Intel ISEF), Albuquerque [New
>Mexico, U.S.] a few days ago. The Hindu wrote on their
>participation and work.

Was it page 1?

I repeat: Ms Ram's achievement deserves to be on the media page, or the education page. It is not by any stretch a story worthy of front page. There are many good things that dinstinguish the Hindu from the Times of India. Here, the Rams behaved like the Jains.


Hi, a small break from the usual. A flipper coming through. Its a small piece on the oft repeated ego-tiffs between TV and print journos... If any of your guys, come across interesting moments, please send them across...

It was a hot and humid day keeping quite in sync with the political developments zipping by.
Apparently, this chap from the newly floated TV news outfit, `Goa News' (the one who goes Balle Balle at the drop of a spat) happened to get on the wrong end of this female print scribe's stick.
These days it doesn't take much for journos to lose their cool. The hot seasons' here. And to add to that, these are poll times and there are a million errands to run. So many stories to pitch. So many hours that some journos spend considering -- hey, will my story get carried, considering the fact that this candidate gave a 10X7 ad yesterday? Will they kill it? Will they carry it? Will they snip off the critical ends? Other journos worry about -- "What's Churchill serving for his press conference? Hope its batata wadas from Tato? Hope Babush holds his PC in the Mandovi? With so many political PCs these days, there are hardly any business PCs. No cocktail dinners!!!
Phew... Even the cool breeze flowing from the Mandovi doesn't help issues.
The action happened at the Returning Officer's headquarters in Taleigao, on the day of scrutiny, May 16 to be precise.
The focus was on King Monserrate who was sweating it out (he isn't used to it), not knowing what fate had in store for him.
Guess everyone was eager to see the suave Monserrate sweating, fuming and worried (normally this guy literally dresses himself in the swankiest of cars).
Unfortunately for our Balle Balle chap from the electronic media, his foot... rather, his fate, got entangled with that of a lady scribe. It so happened that in the middle of the tensed proceedings, which understandably were being followed keenly, and parked himself bang opposite this lady.
One cannot not know these truths of life. He surely didn't know this cardinal rule.
No one messes with lady-bees, lady-ants, lady-journalists.
That was it. When she couldn't take it no more, our journo lady immediately got into the act and sternly told him to park himself is such a way that she could see the events unfold.
Which he did, rather reluctantly!
The proceedings however were dragging and with a battery of lawyers breathing down the neck of the RO, the officer decided it was time for a break.
The proceedings restarted again and the man proved yet again, that only men could be men.
Balle Balle -- who was perhaps unable to stand the earlier snub -- parked his arse in the same disputed slot.
This enraged the journo who once again asked the guy to bugger off.
This time the channelwalla turned around and tried to snarl her down. He also threw in, what he must have thought was a scary stare.
Like we said, there are three truths of life. Never mess with a lady-bee, lady-ants and lady-journos... He had done the latter. Sensing her colleague's predicament another lady scribe came to her rescue and told Balle Balle in no uncertain terms, to piss-off.
The whole incident happened right under the nose of the RO and the media, who perhaps had begun her day by thinking that the toughest thing she had to do that was tackle Monserrate.
The last we heard the lady scribe gave written complaints to the RO, police and some other authorities.
Of course a complaint was also submitted to the toothless GUJ, which immediately issued a press-note to all the media houses. If one passes the road along Shramshakti Bhavan, one can still hear a munching sort of a sound, all the way down from the GUJ's 6th floor office.
They must be still chewing on it.

Monday, 28 May 2007


Hi, here's what a reader just sent in... Keep the vigil up and send us more observations to keep the blog going... Thanks a ton. Can someone reproduce both the interviews to be put up on the blog?

The Save Goa Front (SGF) president Churchill interview that appeared in the HERALD on 20 MAY on page 2 was borrowed from the Navhind Times coastal correspondent, a reliable source in the NT informs. It even contradicted its earlier statement on the number of seats the SGF party was contesting that it had mentioned in the earlier third para. While earlier the same 'fictitious' writer wrote that the party has fielded 18 candidates in the forthcoming assembly polls, it later quotes Churchill as saying; 'the party intends to contest 30 seats and win from 20-25 seats.' Now someone please explain how is it possible to win from a minimum 20 seats when one is contesting from 18 constituencies. This one really takes the cake for being poorly edited by the one on the desk responsible for inserting this copy in the paper. But this is to be expected from an editor who is well known for plagiarising his editorials as pointed out by one of his former staffers.


This time we have a Leslie St. Anne who is all praise for Filipe Neri Roderigues from Velim...
The only Leslie St Anne the web throws up is some former deputy sarpanch of Velim panchayat... A freelance writer perhaps :)

By Leslie St. Anne
If performance, perseverance and practical thinking blended with a streak of humility are the hallmarks of a good leader, then Filipe Neri Rodrigues who seeks another term as Member of the Legislative Assembly from Velim constituency certainly fits the Bill. (A pretty long-winded bill. Wonder how much Herald billed this guy?) And if one’s face is an index of the mind, then, the, by now, familiar countenance of Filipe Neri reflects an aura of ‘trust’ and reliability. (Surely not a face that launched a thousand ships... but a face that has flipped parties several times).
In a chequered political career that took root in 1999, Filipe Neri has proved a dynamic go-getter, a man motivated by intellectual concepts and an inherent passion to fulfill the aspirations of the people. The tremendous infra-structural development that has transformed the Constituency of Velim into a better and improved living habitat for its citizens is mute
testimony of Neri’s dogged dedication to match words with deeds! (Does he speak... how many of you recall this guy talking?)
Born into a humble family, at Sirlim, Filipe Neri Rodrigues has had a bitter-sweet childhood. He has known hunger and deprivation. This experience has stood him in good stead in understanding the needs of the underprivileged and poorer masses in his Constituency. Endowed with an indomitable spirit and through sheer hard work and dedication, young Filipe, perused with his studies and procured a professional diploma in Civil Engineering.
This academic qualification opened the doors to a career with the Public Works Department (PWD). As a PWD Engineer, Neri gained popularity for ensuring that development schemes of the then MLAs in his constituency were carried out promptly. He quit the PWD for a private career as a builder, but later realised that his calling lay in social-work and a quest for
improving the lot of his fellow men — especially those who were needy — like he (Filipe) once was. (A young Robin hood here. Hey sorry, its Robinhood. The words ROBIN & HOOD need to stick together to make perfect sense)
Recognising the tremendous potential in the young engineer, Filipe’s friends and supporters, urged him to contest the assembly polls in the early ‘nineties’. This proved a baptism of fire. He lost. But the defeat did not quell his zeal. He resolutely continued his selfless community work. And in 1999, when he once again contested the polls from Velim constituency he was elected on a thumping majority! (For Mauvin the constituency appeared to thrust itself, for Filipe Neri it seems to thump).
As Velim MLA, Filipe Neri has proved the constituency’s saviour. His detractors may have been wearing ‘blinkers’ not to perceive the development revolution that has undertaken Velim since Neri took over as MLA. With painstaking and futuristic planning, Neri has set-about the ‘transformation’ of his constituency by toning up the infrastructure — such as introducing
wider hot-mix roads, augmenting of water and electricity supply, improved drainage, better irrigation facilities, setting up of new faster telephone exchanges, building sports grounds, community halls, market complexes, beautification of religious and other important places etc. The list goes on. (Hey remember, all this done SELFLESSLY ;))
And bringing about such development was no cakewalk. The youthful MLA showed his prowess as a diplomat and skilful negotiator in convincing sometimes difficult landowners to sacrifice portions of their land to the cause of progress.
Says Neri, “In this age of rising expectations the people expect much from their MLA. There is nothing wrong with that. As an MLA I have put my best efforts for the development of my Constituency and its people. With experience comes perfection. So is the case with me. As an MLA and later Minister, I am now even more aware than before of the need to honour the trust that people have placed in me. During my tenure I have taken up several projects. These projects have all met the approval of the people. Trust me; I shall not take up any project without first consulting my constituents. In this way there can never be a people’s movement against any project as seen in other parts of Goa. However, there has not been enough time to take up all development projects that I have dreamt about. If re-elected I shall endeavour to complete pending works so as Velim constituency shall stand out as a model example in the State of Goa.” (All this in one breath we are sure, while the non existent reporter scribbling ferociously).
Easily accessible to all and sundry, Filipe Neri has initiated government schemes that have been for long in cold–storage much to the delight of the aged and needy of Velim constituency. His dedication to humane causes was evident – in his quick reaction to offer help and consolation to the flash flood victims of Ambelim and the bus mishap just outside Goa. Evidence of Filipe’s compassionate side came to fore when even in the heat of his current election campaign Neri made time to listen and help a needy old woman from Chinchinim who pleaded for monetary aid to repair her ‘roof’ before the monsoons. (See see...Robin hood commits a code of conduct violation. Hey Herald, if you guys are so keen on selling space, atleast do it right)
On the political front Neri has shown that he too has apprehensions over Mopa Airport and a 6-lane Expressway which could directly or indirectly affect his constituents. Neri has gone on record stating “that the voice of protest raised by the ‘Dabolim Action Committee’ has ensured that the Airport project be kept on hold”. As for the Expressway, Neri has endorsed the view, ‘that the protest raised by the people of Chinchinim, Dessua, and Assolna over the highway alignment was justified!
Neri’s practical, mature and professional result orientated style of functioning has not been lost on his cabinet colleagues.
He has held portfolios of rural development, tourism, water resources, weights and measures and legal meteorology as well as the post of Dy Chief Minister.
Given Neri’s proven record it’s hardly likely that Velim constituency shall vote for a change. As one of his supporters, aptly puts it, “when one plants a seed and it turns into a fruit-bearing tree it makes no sense to uproot the tree”. (So this sums it up all. Neri is a seed that has grown into a huge tree, with fruits hanging!!!)

Sunday, 27 May 2007


Here's another eulogy masquerading as a report published in the Herald praising Luizinho this time. Stuff like this would even put the mega treatise by Luizinho about himself 'My Goa' (shadow written by Mario Cabral). There's another one coming up soon. Filipe Neri is the knight in armor this time.

Navelim blossomed under Luizinho

By Ajay Dessai
In a recent scientific study conducted by the Abbe Faria Post Graduate Department of Psychology, Mapusa, it was found that Navelim constituency is the ‘best nurtured’ and ‘best developed’ constituency in Goa, enjoying the highest quality of life in the State over a sustained period of 15 years. (this one is novel. So novel, that this PR writer deserves a medal)
It also has the most number of Panchayats. Indicating that much care and attention has been imparted at the grass-roots level itself.
In attaining this high quality of life, the spread of education has played a decisive role. To quote the report: “Among all the Ministries of the present Government of Goa, no Ministry has been so active in the enrichment of the quality of life of the people of Goa as the Ministry of Education”. (Hey, isnt this just like the dictation Luizinho shoves on to you at press conferences, where no journo dares interrupt him. One interruption could mean Luizinho complaining to you editor about your credibility)
The report makes this telling conclusion “This constituency and this ministry are presented as models to all the Legislators and Ministers for replication”.(No, no, not another Luizinho!!!)
This high praise, coming as it does from an independent source, must be sweet music to the Education Minister and MLA of Navelim constituency, Luizinho Faleiro. And since the quality of life parameters include ‘physical environment, health, education, transport and leisure activities’, Faleiro should be doubly pleased with the all-round development of his
For nearly three decades Faleiro has been the direct instrument of change in this now booming constituency of Navelim. (A corkscrew is also an instrument isnt it?) Through his efforts and initiative, it has been transformed into a dynamic hub of trade, commerce and culture with wide, spacious, brightly illuminated roads, new bridges, augmented power and water supply, beautified landmarks, well-equipped gyms, and verdant parks.
Much of the success is due to the easy accessibility of Faleiro to his constituents and his even-handed approach to all of them, cutting across lines of class, caste and community. On the larger front, it was with the support of the people that Faleiro piloted the Goa, Daman and Diu Official Language Bill in 1985 which culminated in Konkani being made the sole official language of Goa. It was his resolution passed unanimously in the Goa Legislative Assembly that was responsible for conferring Statehood to Goa. (Debatable? But thats alright, when you pay for an 'article' to be published, no one questions asked... Just make sure the envelope is stuffed)
Given the debate and controversy surrounding the airport issue in Goa, it is pertinent to note that it was during Faleiro’s tenure as Chief Minister in 1998-99 that he took up the issue with the then Defence Minister George Fernandes to upgrade Dabolim Airport from its domestic status to that of India’s 13th International Airport. Faleiro’s initiative eventually culminated in the broadening of the runway, additional air traffic controllers, night landing system to make the airport operational 24 hours, and the transfer of additional land from the Defence Ministry to the Civil Aviation Ministry. It is a most curious fact that in the Assembly session of April 3, 2000, Churchill Alemao, in a congratulatory motion, supported and seconded the cause of Mopa airport along with Dabolim.
He has kept the Congress flag flying even in the party’s worst phase when defections and counter-defections were rampant. When it fell to its nadir with just 5 MLAs, it was Faleiro who stood firm and became the rallying factor as the President of the Party to pull the Congress out of trouble. With the welfare of Goans always in mind, as Industries Minister he has restored his earlier policy of 80 per cent reservation of jobs for Goans.
Performance, transparency and accountability have been his mantra while developing his constituency of Navelim. He appeals to the electorate of Navelim Constituency to repose their faith in him so that he can continue with the good work already begun.


This is the worst yet? This is supposed to be a news report? Selling this stuff off as news is being treacherous to the readers of Herald. Things were already bad with guys like Congress fixer Milan Burman calling the shots in newspaper offices, but when editors and the managements stoop to these levels!!! Guys something more must be done about this (whether in the Herald or anywhere else)...

Mauvin to focus on employment

By Amitabh Shetty
Panjim, May 18 — Mauvin Godinho is a man of action and a person willing to walk the talk.

He can indeed be called the modern day Midas (sure he could smell out gold buried below the Zuari) as everything he touches truly blooms.
His alma mater, MES College was recognized as one of the top institutes for curricular and extra curricular activities when he was its general secretary. As the president of Goa Pradesh Youth Congress, he achieved the impossible of making this organization more recognizable and popular than the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee.
In fact, he was the first Goan to feature on the cover of India Today, the ountry’s premier magazine, as a part of the 10-member Rajiv Gandhi brigade (would have been even easier now. All it would need maybe is a wire transfer to the good old Prabhu's acount). Cortalim assembly constituency turned out into a model constituency when he was representing it (a model of what?). Following his defeat at the last elections Mauvin had decided to take a back seat from public life and concentrate on his home and hearth. (ha ha ha. This is hilarious? Home and hearth? Wonder why the writer doesn't mention a jail cell?) However, some people do not have the luxury of deciding their lives as the community thrusts responsibilities upon them. (Man, when you have an entire community thrusting on you... :)) Mauvin is one such person as the people of Cortalim constituency finding that their current MLA was not accessible to them, compelled Mauvin to get back into public life and take up their issues.
Public memory, it is said is short. Therefore, it would be relevant to highlight some of Mauvin’s achievements as MLA and minister. During his tenure as MLA of Cortalim constituency, it was said that darkness never descended on the constituency as every nook and corner was well lit. (hey Amitabh Shetty, do you write film scripts too... Say Sholay? Hey remember this guy came up to inspect a huge mess of electricity cables outside the Herald office. Hey inspected them with Deadrie, Raul's wife. Why are we telling you this? Mauvin's gone, Deadrie's gone too... The wire's remain)
Travelling through the constituency was a pleasure not only because of the heritage houses, but because the roads were well maintained. Water supply was never a problem for the constituents as the pipelines were constantly upgraded to keep up with the demand. That today every panchayat in the constituency has its own panchayat ghar is testimony to Mauvin’s commitment to rural development and empowerment of the people.
Zuarinagar, which was considered to be the slum of the constituency did get the necessary attention it required. (Thats where the votes are arent they?) When he was the Revenue Minister, Mauvin made sure that the proposed four-lane highway from Verna to Vasco was re-aligned to protect the many houses and small business establishments from Zuarinagar that would have been demolished for this highway. Thus, he enabled the residents of Zuarinagar to live their lives with dignity.
As sanitation was a major issue in this area, Mauvin got the government to spend over Rs. one crore to set up four Sulabh toilet blocks in Zuarinagar. Not only did this help in improving the sanitation but also protected the womenfolk of the area from the embarrassment of using the open areas for their bodily functions. Thus, he enabled them to live with dignity. (Hear hear. Think this must be the only minister after Narvekar to take the onus of dignity of womenfolk on themselves, no?)
And when a fire destroyed some of the houses in Zuarinagar, it was Mauvin who rushed there to give his helping hand. Not only were the affected persons immediately given place to take shelter in but were also provided with alternate land so that they could be rehabilitated with dignity.
Gainful employment is a cherished dream of every youngster, which if not fulfilled, makes the person bitter and negative and ultimately a burden on society. That is why, throughout his career as MLA of Cortalim constituency, Mauvin always strove to ensure that the youth from his constituency were gainfully employed either in the public sector or the private sector and if
both these were not possible, then he would help them get self employed.
Thus, Mauvin functioned like a true representative of the people, making sure his electorate got what they required to make their day to day lives easy and being there for them in their times of travails and difficulties.
As an MLA, Mauvin has left an indelible mark on the State of Goa which nobody can deny. (Amen. Indelible mark. yes. yes) As the Industries Minister in early 90s, he set the ball rolling to develop the then moribund Verna Industrial Estate. Today if others boast that the Venia Industrial Estate can be compared to such establishments world over, then the credit goes to Mauvin as before he became the Industries Minister, Verna Industrial estate was all set to become like any other industrial estates in Goa.
As Power Minister it was Mauvin who brought in the first and only Independent Power Producer in Goa thereby giving much relief not only to the industrial sector but even the domestic consumers as Goa then was facing a sever power crises which would have only increased if we had to solely rely upon the power allotted by National Thermal Power Corporation, the Independent Power Producer is today catering to most of the requirement of the industrial sector where quality power is of essence and the NTPC’s power can thus be supplied to the domestic consumers without any power cuts.
Besides, today the Electricity Department boasts of being the only Government department making profits. Well, the foundation for that was laid by Mauvin and the entire State is today eating the fruits of the saplings he had planted then. (Traces of a film script writer again) With all these achievements, it was but natural that others would feel insecure and start targeting Mauvin and that is what happened. Following a vitriolic campaign accusing him of fraud and corruption the BJP government filed cases against him.
However, two of these cases were thrown out by the High Court following arguments before admission thereby making it crystal clear that these cases could not be admitted because there was no substance in them. There is no doubt that the other case that is being argued before admission will also follow suit. Goebell believed that repeating a lie over and over would make
believe it to be true. And though that did seem to work in Mauvin ‘s case for some time, ultimately truth prevailed and the lies were nailed.
Following persistent demands from the electorate, Mauvin is back in public life and once again he has shown is caliber. (prohibited bore, surely ;) )As General Secretary of Goa Pradesh Congress Committee he strove to make that organization vibrant and alive to the aspirations and hopes of the masses and that this is happening is visible.
When the residents of Cansaulim were faced with water shortage, he made alternate arrangements to tide over the crises. When the toilets blocks in Zuarinagar were in unusable condition because of nonpayment of water and electricity bills, he ensured that they were cleaned and available for the people to use. As the youth of Quelossim were getting agitated over the playground for them, he intervened to solve the problem.
There are many other things that Mauvin has done which the MLA ought to have done. But then having been a MLA for so many years, he feels it is his moral obligation to fulfill his electorate’s wishes and dreams. Today Mauvin is all set to take on the mantle of being the MLA from Cortalim constituency once again.
And there is no doubt that the electorate of the is truly behind him.

Friday, 25 May 2007


This is what happens when you own a newspaper. You want to be on it. Each opportunity you get. Giving away keys, lighting lamps, molesting kids (no you dont get your mugshot on it then, cause you leave it behind at the police station) giving away vouchers, giving away cheques. Look at this here. Some bloke has won a bike and look at the amount of heads the photographer Dinesh Sakhalkar has managed to squeeze in. Seven including the winner. Who are the familiar faces here? The bald patch reaching out the most is the deputy general manager Navhind Times Vijay Kalangutkar (chances are he has bulldozed a sub editor into publishing this one). The one on his right with the moustache with the spectacles is the general manager Navhind Times Pramod Revankar. And by the looks of it, the guy on the extreme left... The guy with the black shirt and the extremely threatened look on his face looks like the winner. He's merely won, but the others need the need the warmth of camera's flash-gun.


Here's another plug which appeared in the Herald. And correct us if we are wrong, this thrash was published on the day of Churchill Alemao's birthday. Wonder how much money this piece has brought in for the newspaper?

Goa’s charismatic leader confident of making to the top
PANJIM, MAY 19 -- "I have already made it clear that I don’t have anything to do with BJP. We are contesting the election on seven point agenda, which also includes oppose to Mopa international airport and Roman script. When BJP is supporting the cause of airport and Marathi, how can I ally with them," Churchill questioned. "Everyone knows that congress always has an understanding with BJP on certain seats…. It’s a seat fixing. This time, their seat fixing has gone haywire as Save Goa Front has launched itself with the full vigour," he said. The Save Goa Front leaders, who are burning their mid night oil deciding election strategies, feel that their manifesto, which puts across their vision meticulously to the voters, is enough to give them edge in all the 17 constituencies they are contesting. "If I wanted I could have given tickets to any person with winnability. But for SGF, just winning is not a criteria. We don’t want to create political liabilities who are likely to shift sides and create political instability," Churchill said adding,`We have given tickets to only those candidates, who have their integrity intact and want to save Goa. The tickets have gone to youths and new faces whereas the party like congress has sidelined its own youth president.’ "There is no looking behind now. The fight is not just restricted only to this election itself, we are entering into a long inning. I know people are with me," Churchill said."All possible attempts are being made to malign my image but people know me. They have seen me closely. They know my style of functioning. Why do I become a criminal for the opposition only during elections? Why do these false cases crop up only during elections? Why they shut their mouth when I was member of parliament?" the former MP questioned. The Save Goa Front leaders, who accompany Churchill, vouch for the increasing acceptance to the new political outfit. "Incidently, we have got election symbol as an aeroplane….. We are opposing Mopa airport and supporting upgradation of Dabolim airport. The symbol of aeroplane is indicative of our victory in this election," stated Sidhanath Buyao. Buyao, founder president SGF, feels that people will relate themselves with the election symbol as Goans know that if aeroplane lands on Mopa airport, it will finish Goa and benefit maharashtra. In 1966 Goa was saved from merging into Maharashtra, now if Mopa becomes reality Dabolim will shut and entire Goa’s economy will be in shambles giving edge to Maharashtra. The SGF leader said that no party has come out with their manifesto in so much clarity, the way SGF has done. "We just don’t talk about problem. We have identified solutions for them too. We have given solutions through our manifesto. The SGF is not shooting in darkness but we know the target and are aiming at it," former revenue minister and General Secretary SGF, Dr Wilfred Mesquita said talking to this reporter on Navelim election trail. For Churchill Alemao, the focus is entire Goa though he himself is contesting against established politician like Faleiro. "As the days are passing, campaigning is becoming easy. People are identifying themselves with me which is indicated through recent panchayat elections. All this time, they had MLA who never listened to their problems and was busy making money for himself," Churchill said. Buyao recalls how Faleiro leaned infront of Manohar Parrikar to shield himself from EDC scam. "I was witness to the incident and let Faleiro or Parrikar deny it," he dared. People can recall how Faleiro post-EDC scam had shut his mouth and even abstained from legislative assembly sessions. He did not spoke a word against BJP, Buyao said.The SGF leaders recall how initially when the idea of forming the political party was floated, there were few people. But later, many more have joined hands converting the party into a full force. "Goans are fed up of national parties and their delhi centric politics. The time is ripe for regional parties. When UGDP has failed to meet people’s aspirations, SGF is undoubtedly people’s choice this time," confident looking Churchill says while shaking hand with an aged person during his campaign. The door to door campaign is focal point for Churchill, who needs no introduction whenever he reaches any household. Known for his straight forward speeches and bright smile, Churchill does not require much of talking during his campaigning. "We know everything. We have read in newspapers. Don’t worry, we are with you," a middle aged Navelim voter said greeting Churchill at his door step. Says SGF treasurer Ghanashyam Shirodkar,‘we are thankful to election commission of India for imposing restriction on banners, hoardings and posters and prohibiting sale of liquor after prescribed hours. The campaign has really turned into money free affair and we need not spend a single penny on such things.’ Scorching sun and unbearable heat does not restrain this leader from visiting most of the houses in his constituency. "I am a football player. I have worked hard throughout my life. I don’t get tired," Churchill says while moving ahead in the constituency while this reporter loses the strength to move forward in the noon. Sounding confident, Churchill moves further along with his supporters while I decided to retire for a day and move back to the office.
Churchill Alemao, who resigned from the Lok Sabha and the Congress, has formally joined the Save Goa Front and said the regional party will contest 35 of the 40 seats in the June 2 assembly elections. Alemao said he would go to any extent to defeat the Congress and BJP in Goa. "I am fielding a candidate against my own brother Joaquim, the Congress candidate in Cuncolim," he told reporters here this afternoon.
The leader, who represented South Goa constituency in Parliament, quit the seat on Tuesday. A few hours after joining the regional party on Wednesday night, Alemao was elected its president at a party meeting here.
"Regional parties have a better future in smaller states like Goa as leaders need not rush to Delhi to take the high command’s permission on the tiniest of issues," he said. The Save Goa Front will fight elections on issues which are dear to the common people or were affecting them, he said.
"The Congress and BJP, with their evil designs, are out to rob Goa of its beauty. We will not allow it. We work with a seven-point programme," Alemao said, listing issues including opposition to SEZs and the setting up of an international airport at Mopa.
Vowing to keep an equal distance from Congress and BJP, Alemao claimed both parties had failed to fulfil the aspirations of people, forcing the electorate to look for an alternative.


So how far will we go? How far will the media go to profit from these elections.
Having run shrill campaigns and aggressive posturing on probity in public life, 'surveys on dishonest MLAs' and indulging in other moral orgies, Herald probably needs to be told that one can only be as clean as an itch in your crotch can allow you.
Herald is indulging in clearly unethical practice by upgrading political advertorial underwear to the status of an editorial garment (read the post below this). It's consciously misleading its readers and clearly violating the Code of Conduct enforced by the Election commission banning direct advertising in newspapers.
Its shameful. Passing off advertisements as editorial content.
Friends in the Herald's advertising section tell us, that the Joaquim Alemao eulogy was actually slotted as a 10" by 7" ad valued at around 13,000 bucks. And with fictitious bylines to boot.
Its still understandable for the advertising aides to push such a proposal to newspaper owners, but does an editor who's moral outpourings rival only those of the equally dubious Rajan Narayan, have to agree to this shit being published?
Amitabh Shetty, Peter Noronha? Wonder whats the next byline going to be Anthony Gonsalves?
Can someone complain to the Election Commission about this hanky panky?

Wednesday, 23 May 2007


Beginning today, Pen Pricks will try to bring to you some 'fishy' reports, which often find their way into newspapers, around election time. That time of the year, when journos return from bustling constituencies with a warm meal in their belly, a hastily stuffed wallet and integrity pawned to candidate/s. The two articles which appear below featured in the HERALD. One is a press note and the other, a constituency report from Cuncolim. Something smells bad here. That no one spotted something amiss here reflects the state of affairs in Goan newspapers.
Someone in the Herald has sold out.

Comba locals show support to Vijai

PANJIM, MAY 22 — In a dramatic development, while on a door to door campaign, the people of Comba came out vociferously in support of Vijai Sardesai, the Congress candidate from Fatorda.
Vijai was appalled and expressed deep distraught on seeing the stinking open gutters, garbage choked narrow roads, bad wiring and a total failure of public infrastructure.
The pathetic state of the area compelled Vijai to collectively address the residents wherein he made a profound and strong commitment “when elected to power, if I do not improve the area of Comba and make it a well developed part of the urban fabric … I will not contest the next election’.

P.S. Someone actually cleared this? These are times when the space crunch is at it's worst. This rot sneaks in?

Cuncolim constituency takes giant straides under Joaquim (considering his size, giant strides makes sense, doesn't it? ;)

BY PETER NORONHA: In the post liberation period of Goa, the villages of Guirdolim, Chandor, Guddi-Paroda, Sarzora and Cuncolim together constituting the Cuncolim constituency witnessed a low rate of infrastructure development.
Prior to 2002 i.e. a period of about 4 decades since liberation the people of these villages reposed faith in their MLA’s with a belief that the political leaders will transform the areas falling under the jurisdiction of Cuncolim constituency by doing speedy and sustainable growth of development. However, the people’s expectations were not fulfilled by the elected representatives.
The dawn of 21st century opened a new era as Goa legislative assembly elections were scheduled in the year 2002. The people of Cuncolim constituency were dreaming for a candidate who would fulfill their long pending demands and issues, which were required to be implemented immediately. The dreams came true when Congress President Sonia Gandhi nominated Joaquim Alemao to contest the assembly elections from Cuncolim. He too deemed fit to face the Cuncolim constituency electorate keeping in mind the fact that he was a resident of Cuncolim during his schooling wherein he was a student of Our Lady of Health High School, Cuncolim (his school record... someone tell about his school record). It was during this period he experienced the low level growth of infrastructure.
The emergence of Joaquim Alemao on the political arena of Cuncolim Constituency in the year 2002 changed the entire scenario and paved the way for the speedy development of the four panchayats and the lone Municipal area.
Joaquim Alemao won the 2002 election with a comfortable margin of 2,450 votes even though he was not that popular in Cuncolim (Awesome line... Awesome line isn't it?.) Unfortunately, the Congress was not in a position to form government in the state as a result the MLA of Cuncolim Constituency had to be in the opposition for a period of more than 1,000 days. However he did not lag behind but tried to fulfill the aspirations of the people.
Even the ruling party members in the BJP Government appreciated the determined efforts of Joaquim Alemao’s concern to do developmental activities in the constituency. During this period, Alemao tried to improve the basic amenities like roads, water supply, power, etc.
The mid year of 2005 brought showers of blessings on the people of Cuncolim constituency as the Congress managed to form a government in Goa. Joaquim was made a cabinet minister and was allotted Urban Development, Labour and Employment, Fisheries and Non-Conventional Energy. After taking over these departments with his organizational capacity and a battery of his hard working private personnel and dedicated government officials, Alemao managed to fulfill the election promises beyond the expectations of his voters.
As far as his constituency is concerned within a short span of 735 days he managed to fulfill some of the long pending projects. The infrastructure comprise of a modern bus stand, a floodlight play ground, crematorium, a recreational centre, beautification of religious places, a super road network etc proved his commitment and dedication to the task of which he was entrusted with.
The highlight of his tenure as a Cuncolim MLA from 2002 –2007 was his steps to control pollution at Cuncolim Industrial estate, and the scrapping of housing board site, which was cleared by the previous MLA had to be abolished by a sustained agitation by the residents of Panzorconi and the people of Cuncolim which was spearheaded by the local MLA Joaquim Alemao who was even arrested alongwith the other agitators.

P.S. Is this supposed to be a consituency report? This is worse than payroll reportage... Is Peter Noronha, a correspondent in Cuncolim? What is this farce? A report or a fairytale?


Papa’s paper
The most striking item on the backpage of the Hindu on May 21
related to the picture of an attractive girl called Vidya Ram and
a 3 column story on how she had topped her batch at the
Columbia University Graduate School of Journalism. The
story told us some more about her which explained why
the item was there.
She was the editor in chief ’s daughter.

(courtesy... thehoot)

Tuesday, 22 May 2007


this is a mailer from the King Solomon of Goan Journalism...
If Frederic Noronha has taken names to cite trends, then
there must be something to this. For this bugger rarely
takes names unless he has the story by its balls.

Herald is pro-Churchill/pro-Congress/pro-plagiarists/anti-BJP
Goan Observer is pro-Congress/anti-Churchill/anti-BJP

Goa Doot is pro-BJP/anti-Congress/
Goa 365 is pro-BJP
Waman Prabhu is pro-BJP
The Gomantak supports even a totem pole propped by Pawar
And If the Navhind Times continues to support paedophiles
and sleep with every potential winning horse




It's election time in Goa. It seems to me that this time,
with the
spurt in the number of new cable-news
operations, and newspapers, various
sections of the
media are willing to take a much more blatantly partisan
towards various politicians and parties.

What do the others feel? One could perceive Goa
Doot's clear pro-BJP
slant; the Goa Observer's anti-
Churchill, anti-BJP (and pro-Congress colours),
pro-Churchill, pro-Congress line; Goa 365 (and particularly

Julio Da Silva's) pro-BJP, pro-Churchill and anti-Congress
tirades; and some
other cable TV's operators (Waman
Prabhu's for instance) BJP-supportive and
-backing tendency.

From what I could recall, in no election so far has the media
been so
partisan. If this is the case, what are the factors
involved? Just the
increase in competitive pressures?
Attempts at re-shaping the media

within Goa?

Would the others agree? FN

Monday, 21 May 2007


Every elections, a certain coterie of journalists are known to publicly express their political sentiments and leanings. But speaking on behalf of politicians or supplying them with suggestive replies to pesky queries posed during press conferences (PCs) certainly takes the cake that too by certain senior journos.
So also a new trend being observed in the print media these days is the eye-catching front page and half-page regional party or scam-tainted politician adverts appearing in the disguise of news items supposedly written by either reporters, correspondents or freelance writers in two of the state's leading English dailies.
What makes a sharp reader smell a rat and be extremely suspicious of this tomfoolery is the very fact that the articles in the two dailies read verbatim, parantheses by parantheses.
And I strongly feel if this is not opposed or protested by us journos, this trend could spell the demise of active journalism in the state with certain publications now deciding to sell their print space to the higgest bidder and openly express their political viewpoints instead of maintaining a neutral stand and letting its reader be the judge of the various political parties in the state.

Thursday, 17 May 2007


A reader sent us a link to this game. PACMAN once upon a time used to inspire a warlike passion amongst the staffers at HERALD. Play it, see if it does the same to you guys. The best part about it, is that you can play it offline too. Its best remedy for getting your focus back on track, immediately once you are on your workstation. Are there such quirks which makes other orgaisations tick? Pls write back to us.
This here is the link to the game PACMAN and a few words about it.

The History of Pac-man

Pac-Facts by Doug Trueman

We've compiled a list of facts you probably never knew about Pac-Man. Some of these are also included later in this feature, but we thought it would be best if we assembled them into a list of small, bite-sized pieces.

  • Pac-Man is the best-selling coin-operated game in history. Forget Street Fighter 2 and Tetris. In the game's debut year alone, over 100,000 Pac-Man machines were made and sold around the world.
  • Namco estimates that the original Pac-Man arcade title has been played more than ten billion times in its 20-year history. Namco's total Pac-Man revenues have reached $100 million... one quarter at a time.
  • Pac-Man was inspired by a pizza with a slice missing. Namco designer Tohru Iwatani went out for the evening with some friends and then dove for dinner. The rest is history.
  • 1982 saw the debut of ABC's animated cartoon, The Pac-Man Show. It ran for two years as Pac-Man tried to save his friends and Pac-Land from the evil Mezmaron.
  • Jerry Buckner and Gary Garcia spoofed Ted Nugent's song Cat Scratch Fever and turned it into Pac-Man Fever. The song hit number nine.
  • Dozens of hacked versions of Pac-Man and Ms. Pac-Man exist. These games give the Pac character a speed bonus with the push of a button or more challenging mazes with complex series of turns.
  • It took eight people 15 months to complete the original Pac-Man arcade title. Four worked on the hardware, four worked on the software.
  • Pac-Man and his fellow Pacs travel 20 percent faster through mazes that have been cleared of dots than when they're eating. If you've got a ghost on your tail, head for open ground.
  • Pac-Man has been licensed to more than 250 companies for over 400 products. There are Pac-Man air fresheners, cereal boxes, flip phones, costumes, record books, and even a hot rod.
  • The business world has co-opted Pac-Man's name as a technique to protect against a hostile takeover. The defending company would instead swallow the larger company in a move known as the Pac-Man defense.
  • In July of 1999, Florida resident and die-hard Pac-Man fan Billy Mitchell achieved the first perfect score in Pac-Man (3,333,360) after playing for six hours straight. He beat all 256 screens eating every dot, fruit, and ghost (all four ghosts were eaten with each power pellet) - using only one Pac-Man!
  • The author of this article has a huge Pac-Man pillow on his sofa. He also inexplicably gained 50 pounds over the course of writing this feature.


Herald’s claim that its news channel will set the news scene in Goa ‘ablaze’ is certainly well grounded. The news channel will operate from the top two illegally built floors of the newspaper’s building on Rua de Ourem road.

From what we hear, for the last several years, the Herald owners have been trying to get a clearance from the Fire Department for these two hastily constructed floors, but in vain. Attempts made in the recent past have also come to naught following the Fire Department’s claims that the floors are not safe for habitation. But damn the law, the control room of the proposed news channel has been set up precisely in these illegal and unsafe premises.

But guess that’s no big deal in an organisation, where the owner himself mauls chunks of mangrove and landfills the area for commercial use.

To give you guys a small backgrounder, the Herald building is that large grey breast -- sans shape and form and – that stands out as remarkably in mediocrity as honourable Shantaram Naik’s press note. Considering the beautiful and tastefully done abodes in the Rua de Ourem – Mala – Fontainhas region, it’s a very architecturally insulting piece of work.

The groundfloor has two doorways inviting visitors within. One gilt-edged and classy, the other, coarse. The former obviously makes way for money (advertising section), and the other gobbles up journos.

Above this is a five foot tall mezzanine floor, which would give Liliputians a complex. The accounts and the one woman HR force slog it out here.

The floor above this mezzanine section, is the newly done up editorial section, where all the journalists, plagiarists, editors, sub-editors, reporters and pasters work from. Its the two floors above the editorial section, which are in question.

Tuesday, 15 May 2007


Mofussil correspondents' pay packet?

They probably earn much more on the sidelines then what their organizations offer them.

Know what, receiving haftas is no more the prerogative of cops alone, nowadays. A seasoned correspondent gets his due from all over his fiefdom.

These correspondents are virtually the Mafioso of their own area.

I know of one of one such Mofussil Mafioso (MM), from a town in the North. He’s not only treated with fear by the cops in the region, but is also a terror amongst the matka bookies. and others engaged in slime.

Well without intending to give the English Media a clean chit, this chappie belongs to the vernacular section. This MM has the capacity of even getting a cop -- usually the constabulary -- by using his clout with the seniors.

With matka bookies and other slime-dung activities … his strategy is simple.

Whenever the tap of moolah stops flowing, he just files a story on the purported rise of such activities in the region. The cops are the forced to follow up the issue … (you know what I mean).

There was a Baina based journo, who in fact had imposed a regular hafta on the Baina police outpost. This guy who used to work for Tarun Bharat would regularly extract money from the police in return for not filing any adverse story against them.

Election time is definitely a boom time for journalists of this tribe and stripe.

There was another based in South Goa who belonged to the Herald who used to often drop by at the Margao police station and tell the officers there that his purse had been flicked and would bide time until the officer slipped him a few notes.

Well times have changed and now journalists from the electronic media have taken this act of "making hay" to another level all together.

Remember the Mandarin Hotel attack in Mapusa? Apparently, Anil Lad was the only one who captured the event live. He made a number of copies of the CD and distributed to various stakeholders for a price.

Of course journalists enjoy a symbiotic relationship with politicians. Perhaps it is stronger with mofussil correspondents cause of their ‘localized roots’.

Perhaps the low perks offered by their bosses encourage them to indulge in such extracurricular acitivities. Perhaps no one back at the Panjim headquarters don’t care about them. Newspapers like Goa Times make it very clear that all they are willing to offer a mofussil correspondent an ‘Identity card’ and not a penny more. Perhaps these identity cards are used to blackmail folks back in their territory.

Perhaps there is a need to keep a watch on them??!! Perhaps they need to be paid respectably too.