Wednesday, 31 October 2007


Hi guys, we had requested yesterday's writer to send us more dope on the Vaman Naik story. The writer who we hadn't identified yesterday is Augusto, who has also been closely associated with the case. He gives us the story which a section of the media led by The Navhind Times would not give us. And Augusto, thanks for this bit... But we didn't get the blue film sequence bit...


Thanks for posting my comments. Here are some more.
The role of the management in this affair has been very very fishy, and I'd have called them sinister and vile, and used other such badwords, if not for the fact that they are so stupidly incompetent. After Vaman took the step of sacking not only the victim but also two other women lecturers (all NET qualified; all having been cleared by university interview panels), the staff tried to plead with him to reverse his decisions - good experienced teachers aren't that easy to find. He refused to see reason. Then in March they went to Pallavi Dempo, Trustee of Dempo Charities Trust, but widely regarded as the de facto controller of the Trust, and explained what was going on, and particularly pointed out that the sackings were a fallout of his not being able to get his way with the victim. She, after being apparently convinced of the genuineness of the case, directed them to make a representation to the Chairman Srinivas Dempo. This they did and on 5 April, he met the victim and in the presence of another woman lecturer, promised to give justice to the victims, but requested them to keep the matter under wraps. Now came a long wait, and as no action was forthcoming, a series of meetings occured through May with the staff representatives and the management.All they got was evasions, threats and delaying tactic. One would have thought that after the Sinha affair, these people would have goyt wiser, but no, history repeats itself. Finally in June the staff decided to go public on the issue, and the Dempos were made to slowly backtrack under pressure from students, teachers organisations and the general public. Still they continued with their senseless games. Vaman is till today not suspended; he's on leave enjoying his full salary at the cost of the public exchequer (not the Dempos BTW) and continues to play his vile game of trying to besmirch the reputation of the victim. The victim who's not that well off delivered a baby girl recently and has to fend for herself having to undergo the stress of facing inquiries and uncertain about the future. I wonder if the Dempo egos will permit her to rejoin. There's another thing- the Supreme Court has very clearly stated that in cases of sexual harassment only a Vishaka committee should inquire into the matter.(This committee should be of at least 3 persons, headed by a woman, should have at least half the members as women; and should have an NGO representative who has expertise in dealig with the law on sexualharassment on it) Yet the management went and appointed a one-man committee to inquire into the matter (one-man, mind you, not even one-woman!)- and with procedures that would cause even more harassment to the victim. The staff has protested against this but as we all know, millionaires are above petty things such as the law, the Supreme Court, the Constitution. Who knows, maybe they can even buy off God. Would you like me to narrate some blue film sequences?

Tuesday, 30 October 2007


Hi guys, we received this comment from one of our readers who has identified himself, but we would not like to name him at this stage. We are thankful to him for this input. We found the information he has provided quite up to the mark as we have cross checked facts before uploading his comment. We would also appreciate if the person who mailed us this, could provide us with some more inputs which could help us carry the story forward. Pls mail us at, if there is some more information on the Vaman Naik story to be shared.


Your article is spot on. Being quite involved personally with the case I should know. However may I just say that while both you and GSCW may be technically correct that the lady lecturer was temporary, I'd like to say that she had been cleared by a full university interview panel, and the Directorate of Higher Education had approved her case "subject to workload". This means that she would have been permanent if Vaman had sent D.H.E. a justification that there was workload. Instead of doing this routine beaureaucratic procedure he connived to first make her temporary, and then sack her. BTW I wonder who is the anonymous making the preceeding comment (as if it needs much imagining to know)? The remark about medical examination and abortion is especially senseless. The GSCW asked Vaman to appear before it on 4 separate occasions. He kept avoiding the interview. And BTW he demanded, and was given copies of all statements made before the commission. I hope that this same anonymous knows that the Supreme Court has laid down that in cases of sexual harassment at the workplace it is the Vishaka Committee that has to investigate and report on the matter, and give recommendations regarding punishment. The GSCW took up the case suo moto because the college did not have a Vishaka committee in place at the time they took up the issue.Now the Vishaka committee has been constituted and its work is underway. The last comment of the above anon is particularly sick. Does s/he not know that it is against jounalistic ethics to reveal the name of the victim? Incidentally Vaman's chamchas have already done this on at least 2 occasions and I'm afraid Herald and Tarun Bharat have been guilty of aiding them in this. penpricks may be interested to know that there is an attempt to gag the teachers by who else. At least one person does not care a hoot.


Baina is out of business. But newspapers have taken over the trade. And the season’s begun, yet again. It’s election time. And it isn't courtesans we are talking about. Newspapers don’t have a courtesan’s patience. These guys are the sort, who open the door with a condom in hand and reach out for your zipper rightaway. Make the most of the season. Elections don't happen every month.

The fishy ads reappear. The Navhind Times has kicked the season open with this ad which appeared on page 1. It is pretty obvious that this is a BJP funded ad, cause surely Francisco Sardinha wouldn't pay for a hair-dyed pic of Wilfred Mesquita in a newspaper. Of course, we didn't miss the puny 'advt' down at the bottom, although we must admit that we almost took this bit for an article for a minute or so before we got to the four letters at the bottom right corner in that puny font. And of course we are reminded of Executive editor The Gomantak Times Derek Almeida's words on Goajourno, 'the world is changing'.
Guess it is, cause the fonts are sure shrinking by the day.
And if you are convinced that this is an unethical practice, bombard these guys with phone calls and speak your mind to them. You could also call them and to listen to their side of the story if you wish to... here are some numbers on which you could get the guys who are responsible for this...
Arun Sinha -- Editor, The Navhind Times -- 0832-6651120 and 0832-6651123 (direct line)
The Navhind Times news desk -- 0832-6651119 (Ask for Assistant Editor Arun Srivastva)
Vijay Kalangutkar (Advertising manager) -- 0832 2224033

Saturday, 27 October 2007


Hi there guys, sorry we took a while. But we had to meet Juze Cardozo’s lawyer today morning. You heard about Juze Cardozo haven’t you? The guys who’s been accused of molesting a 11-year-old girl in South Goa. We read it in The Navhind Times.
Ok, like we were saying, we met Juze’s lawyer at Children’s Park Campal. He’d called us pricks up earlier, saying he had something to tell us. We wondered what was it he had to say. He also insisted that he would meet only one prick and that we shouldn’t have company around us. We thought about it for a while and then decided that the toughest of us pricks go out to meet him.

When we met him at Children’s Park. He standing under a pine tree, chewing on what appeared to be a pine leaf. He led us through the thicket on to the beach where there is that huge fallen piece of driftwood. When the prick asked him why couldnt we meet in a café in Panjim, he insisted that he wanted to keep this meeting a secret. He sat down on this log, wiped his glasses with what appeared to be a withered remnants of a bail application. And then said that he wanted to discuss his client's defence strategy with us. This is how he went about it.
“In the same way, US renegades sought refuge in Mexico and militants in Kashmir used Pak Occupied Kashmir as their safe haven, it appears that The Navhind Times too takes kindly to menfolk accused of molestation,” the attorney claimed. When we asked him to justify what he said, he went on to illustrate his reasoning.
“You don’t seem to be reading these very newspapers you critique about. So much for your diligence. See, the editor of the newspaper himself has a molestation case against him. And yet he sits pretty.”
We told him that this was old hat.
“Will you let me finish? Haven’t you been reading the paper on Saturdays?” he shot back?
“There, there... I think they overrate you as a media critiquing blog. You guys are a bunch of inflated egos... Haven’t you read Vaman Naik’s column in the Saturday issues? Despite the molestation accusation Vaman Naik continues to write his career counselling column. Didnt you guys notice it?”
We kept a straight face. “So what is your strategy exactly?”
“Well I have a great plan here. I have asked my client to send in an application to The Navhind Times for the job of a sub editor. In case it’s not available, we are even open to a position of a columnist on issues related to gender sensitivity. We are sure it will work. He'll get the job. And once he's with The Navhind Times, no one dare touch him.”
We shrugged our shoulders a bit and asked him if Juze had any qualifications that could accompany his resume?
The lawyer very confidently replied. “Of yes, a XII std passing certificate and a copy of the FIR of the rape case against him. That's a notch higher than the mere molestation charges against the Editor Arun Sinha and Vaman Naik... Do you think it'll work?”
When this prick came back and told us about this we were stumped about this Vaman Naik bit.
We had indeed missed out on this. To give you a quick recap, Dr Vaman Naik principal of the SS Dempo college of Commerce (A Dempo run institution like The Navhind Times) had been accused of molestation by a lecturer teaching in the same college a short while back.
And can you beat this, Vaman writes a career-counselling column in The Navhind Times. We’d still love to give him a benefit of doubt until some days back. But now, even the Goa State Commission for Women has endorsed the complaint and says Vaman guilty of sexually harrsing this lady lecturer who was working there on a temporary basis. The report, excerpts from which were reproduced in the Weekender claims that the complainant was sexually harassed by Vaman Naik "as he has exhibited on several occasions unwelcome sexually determined behaviour towards her, both directly through his conversation about sex, blue films…"
And it does looks like The Navhind Times columnist Vaman took his career-counselling credentials very seriously cause the GSCW report claims that he also peppered the victim with “queries about her personal sex life with her husband, physical advances and by advising her to have an abortion.”
Man how pervert is this?

But the issue which nags us more is, despite the fact that these findings were published some days back, Vaman continues to counsel students on career related matters in The Navhind Times.
It was just an accusation till some days back, but now it has the endorsement of an organ of the state. And yet the newspaper continues the column. Will someone survey around Goa and show the Dempos a place where they can mine some ‘shame’, along with the manganese and iron they’ve been drilling the earth for all these years.
They really should be ashamed at the way things are going.
A newspaper with an alleged molester for an editor and a molester as a career columnist. What next a serial killer running ‘your forecast for the day' column?
And if you are convinced with what we’ve written out here, do call em up and speak your mind to them/or you could also call them, if you want to listen to their side of the story... here are some numbers on which you could get the guys who’ve kept the story from you...
Arun Sinha -- Editor, The Navhind Times -- 0832-6651120 and 0832-6651123 (direct line)
The Navhind Times news desk -- 0832-6651119 (Ask for Assistant Editor Arun Srivastva)

Friday, 26 October 2007


Here’s one more reason why you can never trust THE NEWSPAPER YOU CAN TRUST. 30,000 odd readers (kick us between our legs if this readership count sounds inflated) of The Navhind Times and the half a dozen Navprabha readers (OK…this probably compensates for any loss of accuracy vis a vis the TNT readership… joking) never got to read the story of the alleged involvement of a young scion of the mining industry, in the Marianho Mascarenhas shooting saga. Here’s a newspaper, that claims it’s moored on the principles of trust and yet hides news from its readers. Scan the TNT pages end to end guys, you’d never find a story about cops suggesting that Sarvesh Timble of the Timble family could be involved in the Marianho murder case. Why? Because he’s family you see. Because folks who run the newspaper that you are ‘supposed’ to trust are related to Sarvesh Timble. Navhind’s editorial director Pallavi Dempo hails from the Timble family. And Sarvesh is a very close relation. We would be in a position to confirm whether Sarvesh is her brother or cousin or second cousin tomorrow sometime. Maybe you guys could tell us that. Its not speculation we are talking of here. It’s no investigative story, no shitty sting operation (which Arun Sinha seems to have an aversion for anyway), no speculative fart in the editorial, no ‘off record comment’. The story has its origins in the quotes of a Goa Police Superintendent of Police (Crime) Vishram Borkar, who claimed he had recorded statements in course of investigations into the Marianho murder, where folks claim that ‘young industrialist’ Sarvesh Timble had a hand in the shooting. What more Sarvesh Timble’s anticipatory bail application was also rejected by Sessions judge Nutan Sardessai. That means Sarvesh’s name is on record in connection with the crime in two places. With the cops and with the judiciary. And yet, there’s no story. Every other newspaper in Goa (perhaps Goan Observer won’t) has carried the story big time, but not The Navhind Times and its lil sister. Well, on the same day, these guys have the cheek to carry a story about two minors who eloped from Bangalore being ‘nabbed’ at Miramar. ‘Nabbed’ guys, that’s what they called it… And to top it all, these incompetent oafs even carried the name of this minor girl… What is this Mr Editor, don’t you know, you shouldn’t be naming minor girls in such stories? What do you have against minor girls Mr Sinha? And if you are convinced with what we’ve written out here, do call em up and speak your mind to them ask them why the story was blocked? Or you could also call them, if you want to listen to their side of the story... here are some numbers on which you could get the guys who are responsible for keeping the story from you... Arun Sinha -- Editor, The Navhind Times -- 0832-6651120 and 0832-6651123 (direct line) The Navhind Times news desk -- 0832-6651119 (Ask for Assistant Editor Arun Srivastva)
Coming up next... another TNT SHAM... we prefer to call it... "BIRDS OF THE SAME FEATHER, STUCK TOGETHER"

Tuesday, 23 October 2007


More than one person in The Gomantak Times need to visit an ophthalmologist. Is there one near Gomantak Bhavan? Even if there is one, these guys had better be escorted when they drop by there for a thorough check up. It's our sincere request, please escort these chaps ok guys. Cause since yesterday, we think these guys have been seeing things, where no one else in the fraternity can.
Some poor chappies sure messed up big time with that SEZ story.
And their luck sure must have completely played out after The Gomantak Times played up his story
'FIR filed against IDC BoD, others' as lead. Thing is, no FIR was ever registered at all. It was merely a complaint filed by Charles Fernandes the president of the 'People's movement against SEZs' group at the police station.
Either the reporter was wrongly informed by his sources or he misinterpreted the scene. And to top it all, the newspaper boomed the story and hoisted it up like a roof right on top of page 1.
You know, there are basic issues which a journalist -- especially ones covering the crime beat -- need to know. Like say, the difference between an FIR and a complaint. The difference between police custody and judicial custody. Fine this guy missed it, but there were others in the heirarchy who should have spotted the goof-up.
Surely, the chief reporter Vithaldas Hegde went through this report. Its completely baffling as to how he let this story through. Hegde is well connected in Margao and having covered the crime beat for a long stretch of time, he should have sensed something fishy here.
Then the story would have been passed on to Ashley, as deputy news editor. He should have nipped this story there and then. Ashley has reported on crime too. For an observant eye, the story's first para has 'HEY-LOOK-HERE-I-SMELL-FISHY-DON'T-I?' look all over it.
Which cop in Goa has the balls to file an FIR against a list of accused which includes a minister, ruling party MLA, three top ranking government officials and a GCCI bigwig, unless of course these guys had an orgy at the DGP residence last night, during the latter's absence and were caught later.

Be interesting to see how they take this story forward tomorrow. So guys, give em some dark glasses tomorrow and lead them to an eye specialist somewhere will you. (reworked)


Here's a comment from an anonymous reader...

Here's a major example about the morons who run the media in Goa. Last weekend the Goa Marathi Patrakar Sangh and the NIO organized a very informative workshop on ill-effects of global warming which cause sea levels to rise.
As per data provided by the NIO, parts of Panjim and the coastal belt would be under water. Some of the info already indicated that some parts of Goa have already lost beaches due to rise in sea levels by just a few millimetres.
Claude Alvares pointed out how the Morjim beach is being swallowed by the sea.
But did any of the main Goan papers cover the event? No. Most didn't even bother to send reporters though a few intrepid souls came of their own volition.
Only Sunaparant, the Konkani paper, covered this in a decent way. Editor Sandesh Prabhudessai even put in an appearance.
But for Navhind Times and Herald, coastal Goa could have been another planet altogether.
Only you guys should have seen the national participation. ToI, Star News, Hindu and journos from Calcutta and Orissa.
The Goan media needs to be pricked up the appropriate orifice, I say.


Ok guys, here one more from our DIGU-DEKHO series. You have the idol of Durga on your extreme right crushing the demon. Then, it's either Digu's bulge or his devotion that makes him lean towards the idol. He is followed by a Mr Pal from some Bong association. Then the lady in purple is Mrs Digu and now now now... the couple of on the extreme left... Srinivas Dempo and his wife and executive director of Navhind Papers, Pallavi. And guess you guys don't have to think too hard to figure in which newspaper this pic got printed... Oh yes The Navhind Times and this time round Gomantak Times too. Is the Dempo couple going in for an image makeover or something? Or is it that these guys are trying very hard to mollycoddle Digu for some reason! Digu never featured in their scheme of things when he was a 'mere' power minister... We didn't see no 'see we are together' pictures then...

Monday, 22 October 2007


Sometime back remember we wrote some stuff about the ‘inverted pyramid’ technique of news-report writing?… Remember remember… damn cause if you guys don’t, we’ll have to repeat what it means all over… or still better here’s the link to the previous article.
Got it… Now this report which appeared in the Herald tells you about a completely different sort of a technique. It’s called duh ‘bottoms up’ technique of report writing. Cause the deskie who cleared this story, has either downed a few before he checked and released the story or he is completely incompetent.
Just check this story out.
Its actually about the communidade restoring a local parish school, but begins with the conquest of Goa by Afonso Albuquerque in 1510. Then about how missionaries worked zealously to propagate Christianity and so on. The crux is buried way below.
But it's once you reach somewhere towards bottom do you realise why this story could have probably appered the way it has. Cajetan Rapose, the attorney of Assagao has been quoted generously in the story. Chances are he is the one who probably drafted it and sent this press note to the Herald.

Cajetan teaches at a Mapusa college and this piece out here has the same pedestrian stamp... the sort of signature teachers generally leave behind. Hey, is Cajetan is professor already? Is he? Isn’t he a lecturer at St Xaviers?
Anyways… this is a very badly reproduced plug... Anyone know which sub cleared this? Have they stopped editing press-notes in the Herald? Because this is not the first time this week that such shit has slipped through. And are we to read essays in lieu of news reports in this newspaper then?
Communidade restores parochial school
PANJIM, OCT 20--Soon after the conquest of Goa by Afonso de Albuquerque in 1510,the Portuguese introduced few traits of western civilization, essentially Christian which is the long run have kept as enduring influence that makes this place something different from the rest of India.
By the end of the XVI century, the Portuguese power had reached its zenith, but soon saw its decline due to various reasons. However Christianity made deep in roads due to zealous propagation of faith by the missionaries. While conversions were in progress the new converts were also taught to read and write. In each village the missionaries started construction of magnificent churches where a school was always attached.
There schools were known as escolas parochial. Here the new converts were taught the elements of western music, singing and musical instruments like violin, harmonium etc.

One such school was Escola Parochial de Assagao. These teachings of music made Goans to be known today as”Italians of the east.” With the academic background obtained in the parochial schools, youth with propensities for higher education could join any college like Royal College of Reis Magos in Bardez or seminaries of Chorao Rachol in Salcete or even any college under various orders established in Old Goa like those of Francisco, Dominicans, Jesuits.
The elementary education imparted in the parochial schools was the beginning of new era for the Goan population right from the XVI century. These schools were being run successfully till the 1930’s when the Portuguese government spread a chain of offical schools through every village making there parochial schools redundant. By the end of1950’s Diocesan schools were established in almost all villages of the Old Conquest.
These shifts in educational set up resulted in neglect of parochial schools with some in ruins today. Not for Assagao, however. The structure was no doubt in a bad state with timber falling apart and walls giving way to the vagaries of nature.
It all started when Prof Caetano Rapose Attorney of Commundidade de Assagao took up the idea of restoring and renovating the parochial school a year ago. The communidade put up the proposal to the Fabrica da Igreja de Assagao and the Attorney Rodney de Souza got the necessary clearances to give a go ahead to the communidades. Rapose stated that within eight months over Rs 4 lakh were raised and today this beautiful piece of great heritage with bottle shaped pillars, elevated galleries and Portuguese insignas has been restored to its pristine glory.


Guys, like we said earlier. Here's your chief minister's pic published in The Navhind Times again yesterday. This time round he was the chief guest at a musical programme organised by Navprabha. But this is a new trend in the Navhind Group. Sure, they'd publish Digu's DI pictures, but you rarely found Srinivas and Pallavi Dempo lusting for these photo opportunities. But this sure is one binge Pallavi especially seems to be relishing...
Here's a story bully brother TNT carried about it's lil sis Navprabha about one of the latter's music inspired do.

Newspapers should undertake various projects of social, cultural value
NT Staff Reporter
Panaji, Oct 19 The Chief Minister, Mr Digambar Kamat today said that the newspapers, apart from carrying out the task of disseminating news and information to public, should also undertake various projects of social and cultural value. (Perhaps, the media is doing everything except do what it supposed to... churn out quality news. organise singing competitions, sponsor orchestras, ramp shows, event management. Guess newspapers are legitimately doing every shady thing one can, including pimping. What's there to complain about Digu bab? Maybe you could fit this in your cultural policy too)
Mr Kamat, who earlier inaugurated the programme ‘Juney Sur Pan Noor Nava’ in a unique way by playing some musical notes on the harmonium, at the Black Box, Kala Academy Complex, (hey Digu, you got real job to do. Do that first lad, then let's play music. Fine tune your government first buddy) further said that the Marathi daily ‘Navprabha’ should be lauded for organising the event. “More and more newspapers should come forward with such unique concepts,” he added. (Concepts like what? Selling editorials? Does Digu know where to go guys? What other unique propositions hmmm can you think of any?)
‘Juney Sur Pan Noor Nava’ is a musical presentation of parody on popular Marathi songs, earlier serialised by Laxman Pitre on the Sunday edition of ‘Navprabha’ - ‘Prabhaval’, organised in association with the Kala Academy.
Speaking further, Mr Kamat said that the musical presentation fits in the concept of programmes promoted by the department of art and culture.
The executive director of the Navhind Papers, Ms Pallavi Dempo, in her address said that ‘Navprabha’ has undertaken the programme as something, which is far different from the field of journalism, and the Navhind Papers would support such programmes, every year, if ‘Juney Sur Pan Noor Nava’ turns out to be successful. (Thank you Ms Dempo. You fascinate us with your wisdom. You could have turned around and consulted your publisher Vilas Sardesai about this dance and music bit. Oh... does he know about 'dance' and music! Oh does he... Wonder how many Savoi Verem homes played host to him for these 'dance' and music soirees)
The parody on popular Marathi songs has been done by taking into consideration modern context, and without disturbing the form of the original songs, she observed. (Modern context... You expect guys who bring out the Navprabha to preach folk about modern context? Take look at the paper and tell us will you...)
The editor of ‘Navprabha’, Mr Suresh Walve, in his welcome address recalled that ‘Navprabha’, a decade ago, had organised a 2-day musical festival. “The paper would also try to give something valuable to the public, in the future,” Mr Walve pointed out. (Right, when is the next one coming up Mr Walve, a decade later? Say what how bout 2018? Looks a near enough date? And about giving readers 'something' valuable? How bout giving us giving us some quality news and a slightly better newspaper)
The publisher of the Navhind Papers, Mr Vilas Sardesai and the member secretary of Kala Academy, Dr Pandurang Phaldesai were also present on the dais.
Among those who attended the programme were director of information and publicity, Mr Menino Peres, editor of ‘The Navhind Times’, Mr Arun Sinha, Ms Neeladevi V Dempo, and noted poet and playwright, Mr Vishnu Wagh. (Sinha babu...this tail was here to do the wagging routine too? Pallavi's sure moving around with lots of bouncers around guys... First the beefy bhat Suresh Walve and now this Bihari hunk Sinha... not bad at all and then they have to giant frame of Sardesai to duck behind if they want to... And of course Vishnu Wagh's buller-proof belly)
Singers Shridhar Garde, Ramanand Joshi, Balkrishna Marathe, Meghnad Devari and Geeta Shetty presented the musical programme.

Saturday, 20 October 2007


We don't remember this, can you jog your memory a bit guys and tell us... As power minister or MLA or during his councillor days, was our chief minister Digu so photo crazy? Or is it The Navhind Times that is buttering the Digu up a bit too much. We'll try and run a few photographs here over the next few days to put this claim in perspective. But here's one picture which we feel really show brazen our politicians have become. And this pic was published both in TNT and Herald we think.
Guys, Digu was our power minister in the last three (or is it more) political dispensations. How correct is it for a chief minister to go temple hopping with a vice president of Reliance group and then slip these pictures to the media with a caption (mentioning the presence of the top reliance man) to boot ? Reliance is the only private power manufacturing company in the state. Here's our Digu outdoing even his wife in that blazing purple (purple isn't it?) vastra that he's wearing. Unfortunately for Lord Tirupathi, poor Digu doesn't have any hair on his head to be spared for the lord.

Friday, 19 October 2007


Sawal gone, the scene in the Navprabha has heated up a bit now. They say the turbulence out there is so bad, that Sanjeev Verenkar has taken to wearing suspenders to keep him fastened to one place and they've put in velcro strips in the loo too. Rumour has it, that Walve has fastened the chairs and tables to the ground with nut -bolts, so that they stay-put in the positions his hips slot them into.
Thing is, Gurudas Sawal was the buffer that cushioned the turbulent relationship between the editor Suresh Walva (guy with long sidelocks and the brown shirt with the cupped left palm) and Sanju.
If you were present at Sawal's felicitation function, you'd have perhaps noticed Sanju's sly barrage targetted at Walve... Stuff like 'everyone retires', 'someone who has come has got to go' and 'one should not forget human values'.
With Sanju its like this. He delivers some of the finest barbs and retorts we have ever heard. Oh... he is super. Sanju won't say it in too many words too. Just a sentence or so. He doesn't ramble on, the way we do. The typical classy Sanju master-piece works out this way.
Say... you some something to Sanju that hasn't really gone well with him. Here's how he would generally react...
Short-statured that he is, he'd pause for a minute and turn to his left or right (depends on where one of his pals is). Then he'd tug his pants up a little in that cutely inimitable way with one hand. Then with the fore-finger on the other hand, he'd push back his spectacles back over the bridge of his nose slowly, raise his eyebrows and start, "Babu...."
Anyway that was quite digression. Where were we... the rumblings in Navprabha.
Gurudas Sawal's exit has now rendered the position of chief reporter vacant. The claimants for it are Sanju himself, Baban Bhagat and Kishor Kubal. Sanju feels its his rightful turn now for the years he has put in the newspaper. But he fears that his 'issues' with Walve would hamper his chances, leaving the options open for the two others. You guys have anymore dope on this?

Thursday, 18 October 2007


Hi guys, got a comment from a guy called Paresh Prabhu from Goa Doot. He wrote in to say that he should not be confused with Waman Prabhu's son Pravesh Prabhu. And Waman's son's name is Pravesh and not Paresh as we had stated... Do take note. Sorry bout the bother Paresh...

Sigmund Dsouza
because as editor of Goa Messenger he leads one of Goa’s saddest news oufits, whenever its published that is. Because the time between two issues of the monthly Goa Messenger issue exceeds even a she-elephants' menstrual cycle. Because you can never shoot this ‘Messenger’. Because you never see it around.
Peter Desouza because he is perhaps the most misunderstood journalist in Goa. Because he shouldn't mind being misunderstood because it suits him fine. Because if he is understood, people would stop ‘raving’ bout him.
Abdul Rauf Beig because his integrity is like Churchill’s pledge to his constituents. Because The Navhind Times is not the only mammary he sucks up to. Because he is the epitome of of mediocrity celebration in TNT.
Prakash Kamat because in one moment of weakness, the journalist in him bowed to the brother-in-law. Because for this Hindu correspondent in Goa, BJP's controversial mahiti ghar project was more of an inhouse venture. Because to his credit, he didn't scoff at these allegations, he merely 'Shroffed'.

Wednesday, 17 October 2007


This three column photograph appeared in The Navhind Times a couple of days back. You see this small girl wearing this pink tee-shirt... she won the third place in the Global Goan children Art competition. Guys, perhaps you guys could be our sounding board for a moment. Shouldn't the kid who won the first place be in the foreground of this photo rather than this girl in pink who has won the third place? Isn't this the way it's supposed to be? Wonder why is this girl in pink out in front... Give it a thought. Wonder where's this kid from... She couldn't belong to Sanvordem, Curchorem, Honda any of these places, could she. Cause the dust and silt from the mines there would never allow for such cherubic face on a kid. Going to and from school would cover your face with that fine sort of silt, that would also eat its way into your lungs. She couldn't be from any of these places up there. She has the makings of someone whose frolicked in the highlands of Panaji. High altitude does that to you... lends you that pinkish glow on your cheeks.
Look up that caption again guys. Her name's Girija S S Dempo. The daughter of Srinivas and Pallavi Dempo, the owners of the Dempo group and The Navhind Times. Let kids be kids you TNT chappies. Come on... If some child has won the first slot through his or her efforts, don't push em in the background, just because your's owners daughter is also in that photograph too. Let kids be kids guys... Don't push your sycophancy to these levels. And Ms Pallavi Dempo, your daughter maybe number one in your eyes, in this public competition, she is still a joint third.


Hi guys, we are really thankful to one of our readers who suggested that we run a post on this Tajikistan bit.

Could penpricks do a story of the 'Training for trainers' programme for journos of Tajikistan?
After reading 'Stray Thoughts' by Rajan Narayan, it appears that this programme is a sham. Looks like journos deceiving other journos, kind of programme!

This post and the one we’ve put up before are dedicated to this anon who put in this request. It may not exactly have come out the way he/she could have wanted it to be, but hope he/she appreciates it.Moving on with the sequel to our earlier post, it just struck us, that we would need a mascot of some kind for our seminar. We hunted around a lot. And finally came up with this picture taken by Rajtilak Naik. This here is Pandurang Gaonkar chief reporter (or perhaps the seniormost reporter at the Sunaparant) who seems to be just about getting ready for a press conference. Don't mistake this for sleeping guys. He is actually conserving energy for some press briefing to follow. What more could we have wanted? This picture really puts the workshop in perspective. We have decided to slug the photograph as STATE OF THE AHHH!!! JOURNALISM.
Now we carry on with our list of delegates who we would be inviting for the workshop. We’ll try and make this list pretty exhaustive and fit it folks in newspaper wise so that we don’t miss out on folk. And we begin with our favourite newspaper, the good ole Herald.
Francis Ribiero ‘Choppy’ because he is the flat-footed Cinderalla who never comes to the ball. Because he is never late to work, because he is never around. Because he has blurred the lines motivation and motivated.
Sergio Almeida because his silence always lets his colleagues down. Because as news editor, he thinks the story of a drowning white cock makes for a great story idea. Because he cannot lead his men/women. Because his shadow has more nerve than he does. Because at least his shadow shows up.

Joel Afonso because as deputy news editor he knows he is higher than most on the ladder. Because the last time he worked really hard was when the advertising season dried up. Because when he talks only when he thinks he stands to gain. Because when he is silent he is sure to gain. Because he was once a good sub, who lost his gift to the 5X3 in the obituary column.
Melvyn Misquita because he is intelligent, hardworking and obedient. Because his well oiled hair parting can put an international border to shame. Because he is the good boy of the Herald. Because when he greets you, it’s as if you’ve known him for the last 20 years. Because only on rare occasions, does the façade drop.
Vijay De Souza because you rarely see his byline in the Herald. Because sometimes when you walk behind him, you think Lionel Ritchie is in town. Because he leads one of the weakest reporting teams the Herald has ever had. Because if something drastic doesn’t happen soon, he won’t need a scooter to head for work, a flying carpet should handle his weight.
Joseph Deva because he writes sentences that can potentially choke readers to death. Because he is a nice guy who uses grammer like wrench.
(Part III later)

Monday, 15 October 2007


It’s not that we are regressive.
We aren’t desperate guys with knives slashing all over.
We too try to look at ways in which we could improve the media scenario in Goa.
We too are inspired by the good things in life, like that training programme which was held at the Goa International Centre for journalists from Tajikistan.
In fact we have already drawn a blue print of such a programme for our Goa journos too. If these journo chappies from Tajikistan can come over here to sharpen their skills, why can’t our journos do it in their home itself?
Here are some of the details we chose to leak out to you guys from the blueprint we have prepared for the event.
We ensured that we put a big asterisk on the invite, asking journos to read the bottom of the page, so that the message was communicated without any misunderstanding. The footnote reads.
We were thinking that we would hold this workshop at a casino on a Sunday evening. We narrowed down on the Caravela. The casino owners would really be glad to let us have one of their gaming rooms for free because, if someone in Goa needs the media on their right side right now, its the casino lobby. We could ask someone from The Navhind Times to get this arrangement going.
For a panel of experts we thought we should try and rope in folks not just from the media, but also other walks of life. So here’s some of the names we came up with. We would also like to state here, that we did draw some inspiration from the Goa Union of Journalists here in choosing the chairman for this experts panel. GUJ generally calls politicians for this job. We followed suit.
Aleixo Sequeira chairs the panel, because few are at home in a casino as our power minister is. Beacause even though he runs a major liquor brewery, he doesn’t want his linemen to drink. Because getting him to Caravela would be easy. Because it would save him a trip to Nepal.
Ujjwal Mishra to deliver the keynote address, because his one quote is a three-column story, two quotes are a page 1 headline and three quotes are a few feet down his throat. Because this man in khaki has perfected the art of cultivating beat reporters. Because if crime reporters don’t get a story in this DIG’s cabin, they atleast get a cup of tea.
Manohar Parrikar, because he knows what it is to be the perfect media darling and the perfect media whipping boy. Because the latter phase taught him that the media is fair only when you control their pay cheques. Because he is one of the first politicians in Goa to have a direct stake in a mainstream newspaper GOADOOT.
Luizinho Faleiro, because this man virtually dictates terms at press conferences. Because he tells you what to write. Because he even gives you the adjectives. Because he is a master at cultivating journos and newspaper owners.
Dr Wilfred de Souza, because he knows the art of abusing the media and getting away with it. Because he can pass off nonsense as news and even make the dumbos who drop in at his press conferences believe so. Because he is presently out of a job.
Mickky Pacheco, because he knows how to use his fists, in case a journo crosses the line.
Arun Sinha, because he knows how to survive adversity. Because he has managed to hold on to the chair of editor even after facing charges of molestation of a minor servant in his house. Because you never know whats ticking in his mind. Because you never even see him outside his cabin and yet you see The Navhind Times out on the stands the next day.
Rajan Narayan, because he knows how to create adversity. Because if Karn (Mahabharata) was born with a kavach kundal, Rajan was born with a lifejacket. Because he was the first editor to give journalism in Goa’s its first hint of colour. Because after that first hint of promise, the colour went yellow. Because he can sell bull-shit to you. Because you still buy the same bull-shit and call it investigative, bold, fair journalism.
Raul Fernandes, because he shows more interest in a furniture store than a newspaper. Because he needs the newspaper to supports his other failing business interests. Because at least this workshop will get him back to Indian shores from the Philippines. Because like Aleixo, Raul also likes the fish and the ‘chips’.
Robin Abreu, because he has made work, simple. Because if you put his techniques into practice, you won’t need to work anymore. Because he popularised the art of plagiarism in the Goan media. Because Robin has reduced a newspaper to a rag.
Suresh Walve, because he gave up a career in Bollywood for journalism. Because during some of the innumerable times he combs his hair in office, he still has second thoughts about Bollywood. Because as editor he thinks his brief is to clear the passage from his cabin to the loo using his hips.
Uday Bhembre, because he is a former editor. Because he heads the Goa Pradesh Congress Committee think tank. Because he thinks he can think. Because he thinks thinking actually matters in the Congress.
Chandrakant Keni, because you need grease to smoothen things up. Because he can ‘fix’ anything. Because he can pass off two eulogies on the chief minister Digu and within a day and get both newspapers to publish it. Because Parkinson is not the reason why his journalism has always been wavering.
Prakash Sakhalkar, because as the owner of Café Prakash, he knows what it is to tolerate journalists. Because his café keeps journalists away from work most part of the day.

Saturday, 13 October 2007


Someone pass around the hat please. Dempo’s acquired kin have run out of money and are struggling to survive. We aren’t saying this. It's from the horse's mouth.
Haven’t you guys read The Navhind Times? Let us see when was it… Ok, the October 7 issue. “Goa channels find ‘huge’ cable operator fees unviable’…
Didn’t you read this story? No?
Perhaps you should… once again and in new light. The Suhan Karkal who has been quoted innumerable times in the story is Srinivas Dempo’s brother-in-law, who started Goa365 a cable news outfit in partnership with a journo turned political dildo. Suhan also runs a successful pastry shop in Panjim. And why would you think The Navhind Times carry a story, that informs the readers about the impending penury of their owners?
Maybe it was a sense of right?
Maybe it was a notion that the story comes first.
Or maybe that Sinha is plumb tired of the Dempo’s, decided to let it rip.
But then we thought about it again… It's The Navhind Times we are talking about.
News here, is the stuff that finally comes out of advertising's rectum.
We bundled all our theories out of the fourth floor and started thinking anew.
Maybe Suhan Karkal just walked into the TNT office and dictated the press note to Sinha. We almost hitched on to this explanation, when one of the other pricks butted in saying, does Karkal really have to walk into the office if he needs to plant a story in The Navhind Times?
‘What Suhan probably did was dicuss the story with Big boss Srinivas over the breakfast table, while scraping marmalade on buttered toast. And by the time the next batch of toast popped from the toaster, some minion would have communicated to The Navhind publications general manager that Srinivas’s Suhan wants something published in the newspaper. SEE TO IT.’
We just sat stunned, while the prick went on about the story. This seemed most likely. We have no qualms in calling the story a plug. You can see through it as clearly as some of the lingerie they display in the Victoria’s Secret shows. And damn it, its not even lacy. Leaves nothing to your imagination. They have quoted the owner’s brother in-law Karkal about nine times. These quotes are then followed by quotes from Goanewsline owner Waman Prabhu, who we have featured earlier in the blog. This is followed by a quote from the director of Prudent media Sonia Kunkolkar. You need to see through this story again guys. Don't simply believe what we say. Think over it. But it's necessary that you guys see through 'news' before you swallow it like a pellet into your system.
The TV news scene in Goa is evolving into two camps. One the one hand are the two news channels Herald Cable News and Goanews who claim to have their own uplinking facilities and on the other are a host of illegal cable news bulletins including Goa365 (Karkal and Dhume), Goanewsline (Waman Prabhu, Mrs Prabhu, Shammy Prabhu, Paresh Prabhu and Waman prabhu’s mom too, we think), Prudent (Rajan Narayan bedding the Timblos and CM Digu the latter is unconfirmed), GoaPlus and In Goa who peddle news in form of CDs to cable operators who then slot them in on other channels, that are on air.
What the newly formed Electric Media Association of Goa (started by these illegitimate news bulletin guys) is trying to do is wedge in a GOAN v/s NON-GOAN rift as leverage against the cable operators to obtain their end. Its very sad, but festering this Goan v/s Non Goan scar is the first thing these media houses try to do, when things comes to a crunch. This is exactly how The Navhind Times has tried to project the story, at the same time masking Karkal’s business interests under it.
If you guys are convinced that this horse-shit of a story is a plug, you can call the newspaper editor on these numbers and give him a hatful of what you have to say as a reader. Register your protest. Or you could listen to their side of the story if you want to.
Arun Sinha -- Editor, The Navhind Times --
0832-6651123 (direct line)
The Navhind Times news desk -- 0832-6651119, 0832-6651120

Goa channels find ‘huge’ cable operator fees unviable
NT Staff Reporter
Panaji, Oct 6 Already struggling for survival, television cable news channels in Goa are now facing a demand for huge transmission fees from a group of cable operators. Faced with the new demand for huge fees, five of the cable news channels have formed an association called the Electronic Media Association of Goa. The association includes Goa 365, Goa Newsline, Prudent Media, Goa Plus and InGoa.
Speaking to `The Navhind Times’ today, the director of Goa 365, Mr Suhan Karkal said that a group of cable operators have formed a cartel and are demanding between Rs 2 to 2.5 lakh per month from each channel. Mr Karkal said the news channels earlier paid the cable operators a nominal amount to show their news bulletins and the agreement has been functioning well for the last three-four years.
But with the arrival of a satellite channel in Goa, the cable operators suddenly formed a group and started demanding Rs 2 lakh, sometimes more, from each channel.
Said Mr Karkal, “This is not viable for us. Even the advertisement revenues are not enough to meet our running costs. So paying this Rs 2 lakh transmission fee is not viable.”
Mr Karkal said the five cable news channels have now formed an association and have given a proposal to the operators. The channels are willing to pay Rs 75,000 every month on behalf of all channels.
Mr Karkal said the operators are demanding Rs 3 lakh from all channels and added that this sum is also not affordable. Besides, the operators want to have control over the content and the right to increase the fees every year, Mr Karkal said.
He also blamed the cable operators of “blacking out” their news bulletins even before negotiations could start. He said cable operators have already blacked out the news bulletins in parts of certain areas like Mapusa, Vasco, Margao, Ribandar, Divar, St Cruz and Taleigao. The cable news channels bring in live images to the viewer but instead of encouraging them, this group of operators is trying to “kill the nascent cable news industry in Goa,” Mr Karkal said.
He also said that “direct-to-home” (DTH) television is not the answer to the viewer because DTH television does not telecast local news and locals want news related to Goa. We are hoping that good sense will prevail on the operators, Mr Karkal said.
Mr Waman Prabhu of Goa Newsline also said the new rates of the operators are not affordable. “Our revenue is limited. In half an hour, how much can we get? People watch our news bulletins regularly but some operators have stopped telecasting the bulletins. We are still discussing with the operators and trying to find out ways. We are ready to make the payment but the amount should be reasonable.”
The General Manager of Prudent Media, Ms Sonia Kunkolkar also said the new demand from the cable operators is “beyond our reach.”
She said the news telecasts have stopped in some areas. “We want this problem to be solved. We have sent them two letters and are also discussing orally. We are willing to pay them something but not what they demand. Besides, they have to improve their services.”
Meanwhile, a representative of the cable operators from Mapusa, Mr Michael Carrasco defended his group saying they have hiked the rate by only 10 per cent from what the news channels are already paying. He said the news channels had agreed to the hike earlier but subsequently changed their minds.
He said the operators have centralised the distribution system by combining most of the networks and will now have one central control room. Mr Carrasco said the news channels are now paying the operators individually. Instead, the operators want the channels to pay one entity. “We want them to send one CD at one place and pay at one place. We have raised the amount slightly by about 10 per cent or so,” he said. Mr Carrasco also said the some of the channels have stopped sending their CDs for telecast and that it would not affect the operators but the news channels.
But a Panaji-based cable operator, Mr Rudresh Chodankar, who is not part of the group of seven cable operators who have demanded the hike, differed with Mr Carrasco. Mr Chodankar said the news channels give local news and should be encouraged.
He blamed the non-Goan channels for paying huge sums to the operators, who in turn are demanding the same kind of money from the local channels. Mr Chodankar said the amounts demanded are not feasible. “If they pay that amount, they will be wiped out,’’ he said.


Navaprabha chief reporter Gurudas Sawal finally winds up his long career stretching over 35 years. The short-statured Sawal was one of those guys, whom you saw about everyday, but could never figure out. In many ways, his personality appeared to match the Marathi newspaper he served for decades. Small, somber, sober, harmless. Thirty years in the same newspaper is not a joke, especially if you have had to serve under eccentric characters like editor Suresh Valve (who also has this weird habit of pushing tables and chairs into position with his waist as he walks from his cabin to the loo and back, often during the day). And Sawal also had to contend with the portly senior reporter Sanjiv Verenkar who sees the world in a queer way, when he winces and looks across the bridge of his nose and over the spectacles. Sanjiv supports the Konkani cause, while Sawal espouses the Marathi cause. Sawal the journalist was known for a legendary weekly column 'Chakravyuh', which he wrote under a pseudonym. His excellent political acumen, which made this column a huge success however deserted him in the latter part of his career, when he began dabbling in things other than journalism. In the 90s Sawal was pipped to the post by another Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) aspirant for a ticket to the assembly elections for a constituency located in the heart of the MGP stronghold. Sawal also held positions in the board of directors of the controversial Mapusa Urban Co-operative Bank and Bardez Bazaar, both ventures backed by former deputy chief minister and former MGP strongman Ramakant Khalap. Sawal has also been active in the Bhandari samaj movement and held positions in the Gomant Marathi Academy and has been ersthe president of the Goa Union of Journalists for several consecutive terms.

Friday, 12 October 2007


Is this guy for real?
Is this guy really for real?
How consistently can a newspaper feed incorrect information to its readers? And how often?
This editorial is such a lamentable piece of work... Why? Cause it begins with the wrong premise and then goes on and builds a case around it. One could still fathom a wrong interpretation... but such a glaring factual error?
How do they choose editors these days?
Measure the crown of their heads or their girth?
In one of it's recent editorials, Herald editor Robin Abreu actually describes the Mormugao Port Trust (MPT) as a private company? How can anyone be 'this' wrong? Here's the MPT website, check it for yourself. It's a government concern with an Indian Revenue Service (IRS) officer as the chairman.
All Robin had to do was call up his counterpart in The Navhind Times on this number 0832-6651123 and ask, 'Arun, that organisation you were a trustee in... was that a private firm or was it a government run affai
Arun's... Arun Sinha for the uninitiated. Sinha held the position of trustee at the MPT, when his fellow Bihari chum Nitish Kumar called the shots in the NDA government at the Centre.
Effectively during his tenure in the MPT, you could say Mr Sinha played the contrasting roles of people's watchdog and a government lapdog with characteristic skill.
Ok where were we... MPT and the Herald...
Well, there's something else Robin could have done.
He could have called up Frankey Fernandes... Franky works in the public relations dept at the MPT, works as the Goa stringer for NDTV and when he has a couple of free fingers to string around some more, he writes for the Herald as the Mormugao correspondent. Robin didn't call him too.
We guess he went with the spirit, that was vehemently articulated in Herald's A BIG THANK YOU notice.

Herald says “ask and you will receive”. Some will have questions and Herald says “ask and you will be answered”

Looks like this is one Oracle, that's probably lost it.
You could call Robin on his mobile and remind him of his mistake and ask him to get his facts right in the future or you could call on the Herald board numbers and leave a message. Or as we usually urge you to, listen to his side of the story, if you wish to.
Robin Abreu: 09822122325 and 0832-2433373 (direct line)
Herald board numbers: 0091-832-2224202,2224460,2228083
Above the state
Can a private company have the right to claim possession of certain areas of the state? And is a private company above the law of the land where it can supersede any governmental decision? The sudden claim by the Mormugoa Port Trust that "all the water areas of River Zuari, West of Agacaim-Cortalim ferry (excluding the ferry and the landing stages), along the villages of Agacaim (Mercurim), Goa Velha, Siridao, Bambolim, Cacara, Nauxim, Odxel, Vainguinim, Dona-Paula on the North; Cortalim, Sancoale, Dabolim, Chicalim, Vasco-da-Gama on the South as well as the sea front at Sada, Baina, Bogmalo, Chicolna, Issorcim, Velsao, Cansaulim, Arrossim, and Utorda, the Islands of Piqueno, Grande, etc and the specified areas of Betul, fall within the limits of Port of Mormugao may have surprised one and all. Is MPT trying to tell the people of Goa that they are a state within a state and they can do what they want? Is MPT trying to tell Goa and Goans, that if a fisherman from Betul wants to repair his jetty he cannot do so but is made to wait for the lordships at MPT to grant permission? What is happening to Goa where the ordinary and average Goan does not have access to the land he was born in? It is a sad state of affairs today that the state is unable to protect the rights of the common man who wants access to certain areas but is denied by private companies. One can understand a situation where there is a dockyard making defense equipment as in Mazagaon Docks or even Vishakapatnam where the surrounding area is acquired from the national security point of view. But this decision by MPT is extremely surprising and it has not explained to the people as to why it has made this claim and why was this claim not made when Bharati Shipyard was making plans to start a shipyard at Chicalim. But if one considers what is happening in Goa do not be surprised if companies are invited in to set up shop and then slowly start usurp the land around them and deny the average Goan the right to these lands. Companies set up shop in Goa and before the people know what is happening restrictions are in place for the non movement of local people and certain areas are place out of bounds. What is happening here? Be it multinational corporations, even for that matter non governmental organizations and certain private parties who take the law into their own hands and do not care a dam for the local people. What is the government doing about this? Now the government is planning to have Special Economic Zones, which as per Central government rules are a law to themselves. In addition there are other projects coming up – will these projects also dictate to the government? The MPT example is a clear cut case where a company has tried to lay down the law claiming land which rightly fully belongs to the state. What about private individuals or organizations which do the same, as it is happening in the costal belts. Why is the government not acting there? In many cases, these private hotels have wantonly damaged people's fields, bunds and property so that their guests can have access to that hotel. Is this also not a violation of the laws? The MPT is a clear eye opener that today the average Goan has no say in his own land. Yes, Goa is not for the Goans.

Wednesday, 10 October 2007


We are shocked today.
Someone out there is tarnishing Herald editor Robin Abreu's image…
Have you read the Herald anniversary issue?
It has this small piece thanking its readers, well-wishers, advertisers and contributors for making the newspaper a success. The second sentence reads… “To those who wish to tarnish the image of the Editor with allegations, you will not succeed.”

Hey there whoever you are out there… don’t you dare tarnish whatever’s left of the editor’s reputation, will you?
For you shall not succeed.
For he shall not cede.
For the sheath swinging on the left of Robin's armour is home to the famed blade of Damascus steel, honed over the whetstone of plagiarism and smelted in the furnace of the Cash-For-Editorials scandal.
So, you unsung bastard, who seeks to tar this man of letters… beware.
Ok… enough melodrama. Back to work ;o)


Hi guys, here's what Margaret Mascarenhas, a Goa Today columnist has to say about us. We quite liked the 'Penpansies' bit (classy isn't it? We've been called yellow-bellies too, sometime back), otherwise it's quite a charming attempt at log-felling... We reproduce this excerpt from the Goajourno mailing list.

Media whores, Penpricks, and a lot of hot air...
Margaret Mascarenhas in Goa Today

... And how come the media isn't all over this escaped convict story? Maybe it's because such stories have become so run of the mill, or been there, done that. Or maybe it's because, if we are to give credence to an alleged "group" of allegedly "professional" journalists who on their blog-site claim the mainstream media in Goa is just a whore.
One English daily in particular
[] is, according to them, charging money to anyone who will pay to cook stories and editorials. "Editorials For Sale at a whopping three lakh per piece" screams the teasers.
It's a nice try at a Tehelka-type sting, but falls short of actually proving that the email exchange it claims occured between one Mr Mann (who allegedly implies that reportage, bylines, and editorials can all be readily purchased), and the investigative reporters, has anything to do with the newspaper in question.
The creators of the watchdog blogsite call themselves Penpricks, and you can take that to mean whatever you want it to. Posing as guardians of journalism's soul, implying that their contributors are all professsional journalists, and conducting "sting" operations on their own colleagues, they indulge in some pretty dubious journalistic practices.
Some of these practices include: allowing innuendo and opinion (without bylines) rather than facts and sources to comprise the bulk of their "investigative reportage", and "reporting" in such colloquial language as to make it exceedingly difficult to determine whether they are trying (and failing) to write satire rather than "deep throat" inspired news scoops.
Though the concept -- that of taking the predominantly lazy, illiterate and corrupt Goan media to task -- Pen Pricks have made a rather unfortunate bhaji-puri of it all and have ended up sounding like some pathetic wannabe, a poor desi kickoff of 'MotherJones'. They also attack dead journos, which seems pointless, given that the tragets are, well ... extinct, and unable to either defend themselves or change their ways.
But the grossest journalistic faux pas the Pricks commit, is to refuse to write under *their own names*. Maybe they should call themselves PenPansies instead. Maybe they should do an expose of themselves next.... (Goa Today, Oct 2007 P 61)

Tuesday, 9 October 2007


Sorry guys, we could not give you enough notice for this, but Harry Mann is no longer amidst us.
On Sunday October 7, Harry Mann left us peacefully on a flight to Philippines.
But things we presume will not change much at the Herald, cause not one, not two, but a fresh batch of 13 Filipinos will be taking his place at the Herald in the coming month. That the newspaper is such a startling manifestation of its owner Raul Fernandes state-of-mind, can be judged by its current pre-ocupation with Filipinos. Here we find Harry Mann looking straight into your eye, mike to his mouth, telling you... THIS IS WHAT WE SELL. Please believe us when we say that the small caption on the upper left side of the photo was not devised by us. It reads, "Harry Mann explaining the principles of marketing." hahaha

Here, in this pic we see Harry interacting with the staffers at the Herald. These are guys from the accounts section. There's Chandrakant (the guy who's belly Mann seems to be touching). And the balding head in the lower right corner belongs to some guy from the advertsing section.

In this third pic, we see Harry Mann discussing the finer points of marketing with his assistant marketing manager Tulshidas Desai. Now if someone goes around marketing ware, wearing a star and stripes tie with American Bald eagle on it, he needs to sit down with his shrink and deliberate on issues of much graver significance like cerebral health, rather than marketing. What say?

Monday, 8 October 2007


The chairman of PRESS COUNCIL OF INDIA, Justice (Retd) G N Ray who was in Goa recently spoke a lot without really saying anything. We are not even suggesting that the PCI is a toothless body.


Hi guys, we don't aim to make it a habit but Penpricks will be off and on this week.
One of us pricks is down ill again.
We suspect it's some kind of an STD, cause yesterday he walked unprotected right into a newspaper office.
He hasn't been feeling too well since.

Saturday, 6 October 2007


Know what, when The Navhind Times begins a series of articles on a particular issue, rest assured there’s something fishy… about their intent i.e.
Remember the series against that scrawny, skin-on-bones and menacingly gentle social activist M K Jos? He’s not in the news anymore, right? Know why?

Cause, the headstone you see on the tomb of his public avatar, was chiseled somewhere in the heart of Navhind Bhavan.
When Naguesh Naik (a lecturer in one of the colleges run by the Dempo’s) committed suicide, somehow a long, a really long ‘and winding’ trail apparently led to M K Jos. The latter was accussed of abetting the suicide. And somewhere around there, somewhere around time began this most journalistically disgusting ‘campaign’ against M K Jos in The Navhind Times. Unsubstantiated stuff, anonymous quotes – if he wants to kill a hard-hitting story, especially where bureaucrats are unwilling to come on record, Editor Arun Sinha has a great formula… he insists that you have to get at least three quotes from government servants, one won’t do, neither two... Three... there goes your story smashed up so bad, that you could roll it into a ball, dip it like you would a litti in chokha and stuff it down your throat...
And why are we saying this?
The timing... cause a little while before TNT's 'campaign' started, Arun Sinha and M K Jos were in the midst of a war of correspondence in the Press Council of India. By the time the campaign was over, a lot of aging Malayali blood was shed on The Navhind Times pages that week.

And then there was Editor Arun Sinha’s TAXI PRESS campaign against the rest of the media in general and Rajan Narayan’s Goan Observer in particular, after all newspapers -- barring the Herald -- reported and followed up the child molestation case which was registered against him.
And now, there’s something about this CASINO series, which stinks… Stinks really bad.
We will not delve into the debate about the merits and demerits of the casino industry. What we are against here is a furtive attempt by a newspaper to slip an agenda through.
Without sounding too bashful we are reminded of the lines we wrote in the CASH FOR EDITORIALS story .

We were only bloggers interested in exposing a wrongdoing in the media industry, but imagine if we had ulterior motives… Just for a moment, imagine us as sophisticated lobbyists on the payrolls of the same gang of crooked realtors, who are trying to push controversial regional plan through. It would have been so easy to buy off editorials and cultivate public opinion.

We fear the casino industry is lobbying hard via the pages of The Navhind Times here.
Figure this out.
Goa’s leading newspaper begins a debate on Casino… It carries a piece by the JACK-IN-THE-BOX Juino de Souza, then an article by the Father of Casinoes in Goa, Sunder Advani. And then indulges in such consistently suspect reportage. One sided reportage of the worst quality. We are left with no option, but to say that these reports are clear no-holds-barred plugs favoring for the casino industry. Not one or two, but a series of them.
In publishing these reports TNT clearly appears to be lobbying for the Casinomen, under the pretext of a furthering debate on the issue.

The newspaper begins with a story on September 8, filed by newspaper’s Margao bureau. It quotes from a memorandum submitted by the the Cavelossim Citizens Action Committee headed by Churchill Alemao crony Kennedy Afonso, which starts with this sentence.

The Cavelossim Citizens Action Committee today said that tourism was on an upswing in Goa, but it needs to have proper infrastructure in place, like golf courses, casinos, etc to lure more tourists in the state.

Then in a very Pierce Brosnan in TAILOR OF PANAMA fashion, the story informs you of a ‘silent' majority which they claim supports their cause.
It further claims that this 'silent' majority of people from Velim, Ambelim, Assolna and Cavelossim demanded dredging of the entire river, wherever applicable from Khareband to Mobor.
Then they follow it up with Juino’s article, which supports the idea of a debate on the subject of casinos, but winds up its say in this fashion.

Why are we viewing the casino industry as a threat to our security and harmful for both humans and the environment? Why is there resistance to change and the attitude that `we’ve always done it this way, why change now?’ Change has become a necessary factor and there is no escape from it. We have to eliminate fear and pursue continuous improvement and encourage innovation and entrepreneurship if we have to succeed in a globalised world.

Till this point, TNT is still subtle. The skirt's is up, but the garters are still on.
But the floodgates open with Abdul Rauf Beig’s signed article on September 26. The article itself is a disgrace to journalism…

You know, when we were kids, we played a lot of cricket and rank amateurs that we were, some of us wold often bowl such a howler of a delivery that pitched about four feet wide of the leg stump on the on side. We’d call such a delivery ‘avoi-bapui naslolo ball’ or ‘bina maa-baap ka ball’… It was slang for a ball without line or length.
This story reminds us of those days. The story just does not make sense.
It has no head nor tail.
It begins this way, by telling you that…

The state government has permitted managements of five-star hotels to operate casinos, wherein only slot machines were allowed, but somehow the authorities failed to tap the source of additional income that could have flowed from them.

Then it goes on to explain, that since the state does not have enough infra-structure or amenities to retain tourists for a longer period, casinos could help Goa hold fast to its visitors.
This story is nothing else but the media's viagra pill for the Casinomen, whom they are willing to bed. The story is bereft of any journalistic sanctity. TNT’s BJ to the casino industry has only begun.
Beig’s piece is more like a hors d'oeuvre, as compared to the treat reserved by the maitre d' Arun Sinha and The Navhind Times management for the Casinomen.
TNT’s Margao man Minoo Fernandes proves true to form. The sort of rotund form, you assume after a good, warm, free meal inside you. He is also at his corny best. Funny for a school teacher. Here’s how be begins.

And it is not only for sun, beaches and scenic beauty they come here, but to enjoy other things as well. A manager of a star hotel in the coastal belt of Salcete taluka puts it well: “Do you think these tourists will enjoy Goa without having casinos in star hotels?’’

After refusing to elaborate on the 'other things', Minoo tells you about a Surya Kumar who claims that casinos are cool. Surya Kumar seems like one of those fictitious guys from the Robin Abreu monsoon collection... Here what Kumar is supposed to have told Minoo about casinos... They apparently are

“…sheer enjoyment and entertainment for those who can afford it”

Then there’s another quote from a waiter, who speaks with Solomon like wisdom, on how casinos are different and better than this other form of gambling…matka. Read this.

When asked whether casinos can cause social problems, a waiter reacted by saying, “It is not a damned thing like the matka which ruins families.

Minoo then devotes a couple of quotes to local sarpanchas, whose posture appears to be anti-casino. And then he does it again. he quotes hotel guys, who claim that the casinos they run are not really casinos, but ‘games for entertainment for their clients'. Does this make any sense?

However, these hotels insisted that what they operate are not casinos but only games for entertainment meant for their clients.

These are the heights of absurdity, which The Navhind Times correspondent Minoo Fernandes manages to scale despite his age. The next peak was scaled by TNT’s Bogmallo correspondent Sudesh Bhosle (not to be confused with the singer Sudesh Bhosle, although this guy does sing looney tunes here).

In order to take tourism industry to greater height, the state government has given permission to star hotels to operate casinos in Goa. And the state is getting its foothold in casino business, especially offshore casino. The state casino business is picking up, beckoning casino lovers of the world.

In the first paragraph of his report itself, Sudesh hands a gilt edged certificate of merit to the Chances casino. Furthering the ‘debate’, Sudesh further states how the casino ‘augurs’ well with the state.

A visit to the Chances Casino at Bogmallo Beach Resort revealed that there is an age limit – only those who are above the age of 18 years can enter the casino. Every customer has to pay the entry fee of Rs 200 which a direct revenue to the government. The casino pays annual revenue of Rs 8 lakh to the government.

Sudesh too hints at the same silent majority bullshit, without quoting anyone on it.

People here feel that the government should do more to make the casinos popular and attractive among the tourists. However, they gave a word of wisdom saying that the casino culture should not affect the local youths

This is followed by Beig’s second installment of horseshit.
This report too has to be read to be believed and is crafted to give a clean chit to the casino operations.
The last report has been filed by Agnelo Periera, which seems to have atleast a semblance of balance and finally some genuine looking quotes.
You know, one could nail a lone correspondent or a journalist, if he/she filed one suspect story. You squarely put the blame on his head. But when a newspaper runs a series as shady as this, the blame has to find its way upwards. It's no longer the solitary guy on the field alone on whom the onus should lie. If Minoo, Rauf and Sudesh have filed a story, where it appears that journalistic interests have been compromised, then the story has been checked by someone on top. And slip ups can't happen five times in a row...

Here are links to all the stories we have mentioned...
Casinos generate income for state
Golf courses, casinos need of the hour, says CCAC

Need for debate on concept of casinos
Five-star hotels allowed to operate casinos

Locals too frequent casinos in Salcete
Chances Casino at Bogmallo has entry age limit

Goa’s only floating casino enjoys monopoly
Local youngsters do patronise Casinos

Go through them if you want to.
And if you are convinced that the reportage is suspect, do call em up and speak your mind to them/or you could also call them, if you want to listen to their side of the story... here are some numbers on which you could get the guys responsible...
Arun Sinha -- Editor, The Navhind Times -- 0832-6651120 and 0832-6651123 (direct line)
The Navhind Times news desk -- 0832-6651119 (Ask for Assistant Editor Arun Srivastva)
The Navhind Times (Margao bureau) -- 0832-2700997