Tuesday, 11 December 2007


The Russians Are Coming the Russians Are Coming
Director: Norman Jewison
Writers: Nathaniel Benchley (novel)William Rose (screenplay)

When a Soviet submarine captain comes up for a look at America (off the coast of a small island in Massachusetts) he runs aground. He sends his two English speaking crewmen to procure a boat with enough power to pull them off. The 2 English speakers, along with 7 other Russian sailors, don't exactly blend in and the town is convinced that they are being invaded. (courtesy IMDB)

If print journalism is literature in a hurry, then TV journalism’s a woman of lesser virtue, hopping from bed to bed, trying to warm as many of em as she can, before sun up.
This small story we've done here, is dedicated to all those one-street towns and two-town states, which have had to suffer from the marauding excesses foisted on em, by these big-town TV cowboys who storm in riding from the capital, ‘chasing’ a story once in a while.

And by the time they’ve made ‘sense’ of the story and gotten under it’s ‘skin’ and ‘nailed’ the conclusion, you’d do well to observe that these fat-assed punks, haven’t even gotten their butt off the saddles even once.
Now that we’ve done the sermonin bit, let’s get to business.
There are times guys, when news doesn’t look 'beautiful' and FACT simply isn’t ‘enough’ to be put on the table for supper. It is around times like these, that newsmen start getting ideas. And in the quest to make a small, but factually correct story ‘grand’ and of ‘mammoth’ proportions, journos botox it with an ounce of fiction and a few pounds of that Sagarika Ghose kind of make-up.
And where do these new age journos seek inspiration from… Books? No... journalists today have nothing much to do with books. They look to films to spice things up.
And we believe that is what exactly happened with CNN-IBN Russian-‘mafia’-in-Goa investigation, that was broadcast sometime before the state assembly elections here.
Instead of sticking to facts, the investigation team perhaps 'fell' for how the story would sound later, whenever they recalled their moments of glory… ‘Russian mafia’… oh yes… it does have that twang. T
hat’s just the kind of spice you are looking out for. A fancy phrase to pitch your story to your commissioning editors.
There are just about so many holes in this story, that Rajdeep surely won’t have any trouble finding one to sink his head in, if at all he figures this con out.
First allow us a premise…
Fact: Politicians have received kickbacks for land deals in Goa
Fact: Babush Monserrate is no babe in the woods and his role as Town and Country Planning department minister is shady and sickening to say in the least.
Fact: Land grabbing by non-Goans (read foreign nationals and non Goans included) and is a major issue in Goa.
However, the 'facts' which have been ‘exposed’ by the CNN-IBN investigation (you guys can corroborate it using these links) are grossly off the mark in some cases and in one instance a complete lie)

Impact: Goa govt probes land mafia
Goa leader's pals: Russian mafia
Russian mafia usurps Goa land
This is what the CNN-IBN claims are the main findings in their story.

  • The Russian mafia is buying up copious amounts of land in Goa. They claim they have proof to prove the same.
  • CNN-IBN claims they caught Town and Country Planning minister Atanasio Monserratte alias Babush Monserrate on camera taking a bribe for a land conversion deal.

Guys, the evidence we have to prove this story wrong, is no earth-shattering scrap of paper, which we 'dug out' after six months of toil. Neither is it a product of an undercover operation that we launched earlier or some bullshit like that.
The information we are putting up now is available with every accredited journalist in Goa. It’s no confidential document. This piece of information was tabled in the House during the last assembly session. It’s a starred Legislative Assembly Question (LAQ) tabled by an opposition MLA Ramrao Dessai from Curcorem, which was answered by the government on July 17, 2006.
Dessai in his question has asked the minister for Revenue for the number of cases that have been received by the government in which foreign nationals have purchased land in Goa…
If any of you guys need this document, you could obtain a copy from the Goa legislature wing. We have uploaded a scanned image of LAQ in question. There are about two dozen sheets of annexure giving details of these land deals. You'd find your answer there.

According to this document, do you know how many pricks from the dreaded Russian ‘mafia’ have brought land in Goa? Well out of the 482 cases where foreigners have picked up land in Goa, only two cases involve Russians. Two guys… a mighty big mafia operation ain’t it? Well, if two heads can make a Russian mafia, three heads could make the Russian infantry na?
And to top it all guys, you know what the CNN-IBN investigation team have missed?
Contrast this bit of info.
While there were two chappies from Russia who’ve bought land in Goa, there are 311 Britishers who’ve done the same in a similar timespan. Imagine guys, while CNN-IBN went sniffing up the wrong tree with the Russian land mafia bit, there were actually 311 Brits who’ve brought land in Goa within the same timespan. Now, that's fishy isn't it?

And the mighty investigation team missed this! Pooh…
And about the part where CNN-IBN claims they have Babush on tape, guys read this post which we’d filed sometime back… This is a lie.
The entire investigation was based on two factors one of which was a documentary trail, which the channel claimed was enough to convince them about the existence of a Russian land mafia. This documentary trail was one case? One case... that was enough for them to arrive at a conclusion that there’s a Russian land mafia? You guys should come to Café Prakash and hear the conspiracy theories there… you could even get a lead to a land mafia operating Mars at Café Prakash… Secondly, Babush was never caught on tape taking a kickback. The channel lies when it says this. Unless they have him on camera and they haven’t shown the bit… now that would mean something else altogether.

Guys we are going to put out another bit on this Russian mafia scare in a few days… Maybe Monday or Tuesday next week… It’s a small observation we’ve to make on a similar story which was carried as a cover in Outlook some time back called ‘Molotov on the Mandovi’… if you guys have the patience do look it up next week… if you think this is cock-and-bull stuff you could ignore this request…


Blogger Debanish said...


Nice post. I'll try to run a story on this for a niche magazine at least. No newspaper will take this story since it runs against their marketing strategy.


11 December 2007 at 20:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ditto. CNNIBN & NDTV should not be blamed for their Russian obsession after the Hippies there seems to be nothing left in Goa to pep up these infotainment channel. Remember Rajan Ghate the NCP Youth President (recently removed) who made a big noise about land being owned by foreigners and actually ended up being a pimp for another non-Goan land shark (Nirvana Nest). As for Pramod and the big hoo-hah with Russian Mafiosi, here's the modus operandi.

Everyone descend at the Relaince Webworld in Campal. Next, one guy shoots and footage is shared by all and sundry CNNIBN, NDTV, ANI, Zee News, ETV are actually sharing footage rather than competing! There is no investigation nor sting in Goa. Goan Journos actually behave as old hags in a village hanging around wannabe politicians (who could not make money), Cafe Praksh's & Cafe Bhosle's...the not-so-classier at Old Press Room. Then someone in Mumbai or Delhi wakes up seing babes on Baga...Israeli drugs, Ukrainian & Georgian sex & Russian lies..all on video tapes. Off loaded from You Tube. These Guys can't even shake their scare...

Hi Rajdeep how 'bout sitting on my bike and driving up North via Morjim and Ashvem at 10 pm this weekend? How 'bout Uday Shankar (STARNews CEO)..why don't we take a stroll down Chapora Fort on a Saturday at 4 am?

11 December 2007 at 21:01  
Blogger Rahul said...

Facts are what you have written, problem is the information shared is only amongst a few English speaking people, neither the Goans nor the country at large would get to read this until of course some TV or Print medium is ready to publish this in a local or nationally read language. Good luck and keep up the good work.

12 December 2007 at 02:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rajdeep must be having some gr8 nightmares about the Penpricks guys. Look Rajdeep, this is your own fruit of stings you have planted as GBN. In the other way, your own Monkey will ask you to Dance. - Nach meri bulbul tujhe paisa milega, Sting ki lag gayi, ye tujhe kaisa lagega ?

12 December 2007 at 10:46  
Anonymous udays said...

Horrible fact of acteniesm. & the shortest fact of pritorism. What the shit now a days our maharastra guy is doing. He should atleast have good peoples in cnn/ibn to let it give good stories properly.

12 December 2007 at 10:48  
Anonymous ss said...

While sting operations have gone mainstream since 2001--some with decent success like the recent Ghoos Mahal episode in Aajtak and the ones that Tehelka has continued to mount for its paper, The New Comer : CNN IBN is just trying to do so. But a fall & a sad end of that by them is always coming over & over.

One was that airforce retired guys story of running an Security firm ( this was stinged by them as false sting ). And now this GOA land scam.

I appreciate penpricks for their story. Good luck.

12 December 2007 at 15:21  
Anonymous ss said...

While sting operations have gone mainstream since 2001--some with decent success like the recent Ghoos Mahal episode in Aajtak and the ones that Tehelka has continued to mount for its paper, The New Comer : CNN IBN is just trying to do so. But a fall & a sad end of that by them is always coming over & over.

One was that airforce retired guys story of running an Security firm ( this was stinged by them as false sting ). And now this GOA land scam.

I appreciate penpricks for their story. Good luck.

12 December 2007 at 15:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

penpricks... do you guys have any idea if that paedophilia case tehelka covered is loop hole filled too?

I have always had the suspicion that there are some individuals/NGOs who project such things for ego gratification.

12 December 2007 at 18:29  
Anonymous Anniesen said...

While I have no doubt that the CNN-IBN story is full of holes, your argument, too, is flawed. The fact that only two Russians have legally bought land does not preclude the possibility that many more -- including the land mafia vaunted by Rajdeep's Rangers -- have done so illegally. It's been a long time since the story aired, but if I remember right, it did talk about the fact that the purchases were being done through fronts, such as companies set up with Goans as sleeping partners. These wouldn't necessarily raise red flags on the Government records.

12 December 2007 at 20:41  
Anonymous ss said...

Words for Anniesen :

I think, you have not referred yourself with the documents penpricks have provided.

12 December 2007 at 21:10  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Isnt it about time someone does a sting of our TV channels, to expose their wrongdoings?

12 December 2007 at 21:53  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those persons who have been conned in these land deals will now be wanting to make distress sales.

It is a foregone conclusion, that some IAS bureaucrats or some politicians will make easy pickings out of someone else's misery!

12 December 2007 at 23:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What is the proof? Have you got documentary evidence??
Rajadeep and his wife Saga dance to the tunes of Bengal Marxshits..

13 December 2007 at 02:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Good job guys...but don't forget the local dailies... especially Herald, slipping in those articles praising paricular bureaucrats...

Some bureaucrats with the right media contacts can easily portray themselves as victims.

I think it is a victim of some forces who keep cutting the cable to prevent its broadcast.

On Vaman:
Think enough has been done on your part...Now, it is up to the judiciary to do its part, real fast.

On your writing skills:
I really like that apt part about Babush not being a babe in the woods.
You guys have talent. Hope you keep it Goa and don't migrate to some foreign land & preach from there.

13 December 2007 at 17:46  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Penpricks...I like the new online users counter, but I found it transmitting/receiving about every 5 seconds... to some website called myonlineusers.com.

I thought it a bit snoopy; invading my privacy. So I just firewall-ed it.

13 December 2007 at 23:27  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anon @ 13 December 2007 02:01

The last word of your comment is real cool. Hehehe

14 December 2007 at 00:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

penpricks, I found this website (blog) whilst seaching on google.


You might like to add it to your "links" section. I have not verified its authors, but it appears genuine.

14 December 2007 at 23:38  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Great going Penpricks. But hey guys, I think you all are missing out on some hot stuff happening right here in Goa.
Read Navhind Times edition dated 12 December. Page 1 anchor features Parrikar's interview. No great shakes really, coming as it does from the sycophant par excellence, who else, but Ramnath Raikar.
Wonder why the interviw figured in the first place, that too suddenly on 12 December?
It is only when you realise that 13 December is Parrikar's birthday that things fall into plac.
Guys, Raikar is turning to be disgrace in journalism. Penpricks, just jog your memory when this blog referred to Raikar as another 'Chandrakant Keni' of journalism. He seems to have surpassed even this degree.
Reporters on BJP beat will bet on how Raikar rushes to Parrikar soon after the press conference to get more cozy with him. The modus operandi is simple. Rush to Parrikar with some stupid questions in an effort to pull wool over other journos and spend more time with the opposition leader.
Read this in the light of Parikar going ga-ga over Raikar while addressing a press conference immediately after the conclusion of voting for the Assembly elections.
Incidentally, Raikar did not cover election beat. He was away on a official trip to Malaysia. But, according to Parrikar, Raikar rushed to Goa just in time to cast his vote. To the utter shock of all journos, Parrikar recounted this to all journos prior to his press conference. And going by Parrikar's body language that day, it is anybody's guess that he wanted other journos to understand that Raikar had cast his vote in favour of Parrikar.
Not to be left behind, Sadguru Patil followed up Parrikar's story in Gomantak. It featured as Lead on 13 December, with Patil praising Parrikar to the heavens. Never mind, the IT Habitat story that day(lead in almost all other dailies) was buried in a corner in Gomantak, relegated to a single column status on page 1.
Penpricks, Sadguru figured on this blog as well. He went ga-ga over Parrikar, that time in an advertorial of BJP. But Patil goofed up by filing the stoy carrying his own byline. "This is not journalism, it is prostitution", Penpricks had commented.
It is sad to see how some journos are bending overbackards to a man who had tried to muzzle the press in his heydays of power.
Shame on you two, Ramnath Raikar and Sadguru Patil.

15 December 2007 at 12:04  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

a pro babush prick in da house... interesting!!!

16 December 2007 at 00:11  
Blogger blue said...


16 January 2008 at 18:50  

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