Sunday, 22 July 2007


That politicians, ministers and the so called policy makers, have no love for Goa but only lust for money is no earth shaking news. But in spite of knowing this, our society (which includes intellectuals) seems to care to hoots and won't mind to pander and bootlick these politicos at the nearest opportunity.
During the ongoing monsoon session of the Assembly, our hallowed (and also most controversial) Minister of Finance, His Excellency, Dayanand Narvekar put a spirited "talk show" on the importance and the need of setting up of SEZs and IT Parks in Goa to curb the rising unemployment graph, in the august House. (During the agitation against the Cricket stadium in Tivim, this same Narvekar had said, albeit off the record, that Goans were fit to get jobs as sweepers and caretakers at the stadium!!!).
Sorter D'Souza in his write up in Herald of July 20 (edit page!) has rightly and literally screwed the lopsided government's policies and nailed the Finance Minister's constant lies and half-truths in his inimitable style.
If we rightly recall, Narvekar, as all pompous politicos do, last year, came out with a full-page advert on his birthday in all the local newspapers. He had at least two to three prominent persons singing hosannas for him on the special supplement.
One of them was the eminent principal of St Xavier's College, Professor Newman Fernandes. Why is this college notorious for slimy profs. Remember this guy called Satish Bhute, the guy who heads the Konkani department, who is also prone to writing laudatory advertorials for equally slimy politicos and Narvekar is his particular favorite.
We are aware of the credentials of Prof Newman as an educationist, but we are completely in the dark over his compulsions in publicly sucking up to a politician whose credentials have been publicly dented time and again. This should make a fine example for his students. Prof Neuman... have a care... have you washed your hands since you've written that article committing obeisance to the overwhelmingly tainted minister?
As we've said, Penpricks would try to bring the rare honest and sincere rib amongst the Goan media (its been a long time coming) and therefore Soter's article finds place in this blog.
To those who dunno Sorter, he's one of the guys who's neck deep into the ground-roots governance movement. He's also a journalist who has a fetish for letters. Letters to the editor i.e.
His is often the STAR letter (the best letter of the day) published on the Herald's Edit Page. Don't know how he does this with Robin dear around...
Hey and you often see him at the unofficial press-room at CP (Café Prakash), Panjim, where he whiles his time other bearded folks like Doctor Sushrut Martins and Frederic Noronha... Let the Star shine, buddy.

Mental bankruptcy of government
Sorter D'Souza
The arguments put forward by Goa's Finance Minister in defence of SEZs and IT Parks in the State only manifests the mental bankruptcy of our policy makers. The accusation that NGOs have not come forward with alternative economic development models is not factual in the first place. Several initiatives have been taken to highlight alternative economic development policies for Goa. The editorial pages of local newspapers constantly present views by thinkers and experts, besides the innumerable workshops and seminars organized by NGOs over the years and even perhaps innumerable files forwarded by well-meaning government officers only collecting dust at the government secretariat, about the path that development policies in Goa
should follow to ensure self-reliance and sustainable development. The question is whether Goa's Finance Minister is willing to look at these options considering that the alternate models leave less scope for politicians and real estate promoters to make quick and big money.
When NGOs highlight disastrous consequences of economic policies they are brushed off as being anti-national and anti-development. The Finance Minister should know that Goans are intelligent and competent enough to generate alternate development models rather then be copycats of models successful in other States and countries. But the politicians who have
their eyes on raping Goa's natural resources for their self-profits do not want well-meaning Goans to contribute their mite which explains why Goan experts are forced to migrate and have prospered outside their own home-land. They are comfortable in hiring outside experts and entrepreneurs for developing economic policies for the obvious reason that it leaves ample scope for commissions and omissions which the public may never get to know about. They keep feeding the public with false illusions about future job prospects in order to generate public sympathy and support for their lucrative land deals and projects.
The Finance Minister will be on a more solid ground to market his SEZ and IT theories provided he has the courage to first undertake an evaluatory study on how Goans stand to benefit form the economic and industrial policies implemented since liberation. What the conclusion of this study will be may be well known to the minister himself even before it is conducted.
The disturbing outcome of the disastrous development policies of our corrupt policy makers is visible even with the naked eyes for all Goans who care to see.
When a government that calls the present 16.6 % agriculture activity in Goa -- which stood at over 60 % at the time of liberation of Goa – as progressive development and a major economic activity, one can only imagine the blatant lies Goans are being fed with day in and day out.
The government is only busy cultivating non-Goan industrialists to grab the land under the guise of generating job opportunities (of course with miserable salaries and sexual exploitation) rather then empowering Goans to become entrepreneurs themselves. The government's economic policy till date has only managed to encourage Goan youth to being gadekars (kiosk owners), real-estate brokers, matka agents, drug peddlers, goons, sex workers, bar girls, waiters, cooks, butlers, drivers and pimps. The government is only busy in systematically corrupting Goan society and destroying its rich moral and cultural fabric. That is why so-called learned and respected resident and ron-resident Goans label these miserable politicians in spite of their rampant corruption and disastrous policies as `capable legislator' and `Mr Clean'.
One should not expect much form petty-minded policy makers who advocate construction of six-lane roads based on the increase in population of vehicles and as a means to avoid accidents. This is just the opposite of what sustainable development requires. As long as Goans remain gullible and naïve, Goa's Finance Minister can be content with dishing out such non-substantive arguments, resort to deceit and boastful claims. After all that is what the present Goan society seems to appreciate and enjoy most, or else they would have sent these miserable policy makers home.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I fully agree with Soter... But there are some people like Soter who will have to decide whether they are journalists or activists... Don't mess up both.

22 July 2007 at 17:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I do suscribe to the comment of anonymous.
Soter should specify not decide whether he is a Politician first because he was a member of a political outfit before he became a activist. Obviously everyone knows it that he was part of the Kamal ka KAMAL Party.
Subsequently he became a activist and which activities are never known in print.
Thereafter he became a part time journalist and part time activist.
Therefore I call upon Soter to specify what he is, because one cannot be at 3 different places at the same time when all the above 3 professions doesnt not go hand in hand.

30 July 2007 at 16:10  

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