Friday, 18 January 2008


You can't escape the hype that CNN-IBN has managed to generate for its Indian of the Year awards.
But you can certainly escape contributing to the kitty of television and telecom companies.
Award ceremonies that require the public to vote are revenue generating business ideas.
They are high premium sms and call based services that play upon the emotional sentiments of people to generate mass voting hysteria.
The result is revenue sharing between the channel/advertiser/organiser and the telecom service provider at the cost of the gullible sms voter.
Have we forgotten the hype created over the marketing gimmick that made suckers of thousands of Indians to vote the Taj Mahal as a modern wonder?
Now we have a leading Goan daily, which earlier used its front page blatantly to hail political candidates, heralding the need to vote for Dr Oscar Rebello on its editorial space and even carrying the sms number.
I'm presume the editor is doing it out of genuine support for Dr Oscar Rebello.
Otherwise I would award the advertising agency of CNN-IBN next years "innovative use of media award" for having got its advertisment placed in the editorial with the "money making" call to action planted as well.
Dr Oscar Rebello does not need the sms/e-votes of a small english speaking segment of society.
He has the support of all right-minded Goans and lovers of the soil.
So spread the word that if you wish to "donate" send the money instead to support the GBA or Mother Teresa's Home in Panjim or any other place other than a commercial revenue generating award campaign.
With awareness,
Cajetan Vaz


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent! Wish this was forwarded to all suckers

18 January 2008 at 23:59  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Who is this Cajetan Vaz? Pls enlighten.

19 January 2008 at 00:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


19 January 2008 at 00:28  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


Dr Oscar Rebello nominated as Indian of the Year in the public service category awards of CNN-IBN?. Bah! Gimme a break guys CNN, Penpricks et al. I didn't vote for Oscar as Indian of the year. If I did vote my choice would be E. Sreedharan.
Don't get me wrong guys. I've no axe to grind against Oscar. I wouldn't vote for Oscar as Indian of the year. Ill justify my stance with a few reasons.
What Oscar did ,in preventing landsharks from usurping Goan soil by galvanising public opinion, is nothing pioneering or new. Oscar has certainly contributed to a cause, but it definitely wasn't a singular achievement.Oscar didn't discover the DNA code or calculate how to make the atom bomb lighter.
There was Medha Patkar of the Narmada Bachao Andolan before Oscar.It was Patkar who On March 28,2006 started a hunger-strike to protest against the decision of the authorities to raise the height of the Narmada Dam. Oscar is a brilliant physician. Medha too is an intellectual being a former member of the Indian Institute of Social Sciences. What Medha did had worldwide implications. That too much before the ruckus caused by the Regional Plan in Goa. Medha has won a couple of awards but nobody ,not even CNN-IBN, has ever dreamt of bestowing on her an Indian of the Year award.
oscar and Medha are social activists. But there is nevertheless a difference, albeit a subtle one. Unlike Medha who on her own initiated peasant movements in Maharashtra, Madhya Pradesh and Gujarat, Oscar did not initiate the anti-regional plan campaign on his own. It wasn't he who sought the Goa Bachao Andolan, but the GBA who sought him. The GBA-Oscar relationship was a mutual one. Neither could do with the other. Each minus the other would total a cipher.The GBA needed Oscar as its mascot because he was a prominent social figure being a highly respected city doctor. Surely the well-heeled would have taken notice. Like him or not Oscar is certainly more civil and more persuasive than the warmonger social activist Aires Rodrigues. Oscar's is a soft, gentle approach.But much as I admire Oscar for his suave mannerisms,I do not think that Oscar alone could have stopped the Regional Plan in its tracks. Even if he wanted to do a solo performance, he wouldn't be able. He needed the GBA to reach the grassroots, to goad the underdogs.
Oscar is not too comfortable in speaking the language of the downtrodden.He definitely understands Konkani but he is more at ease resorting to making a speech in English to make a point. With a communication malfunction like this, it would be difficult for Oscar alone to garner mass support without the GBA. Unlike Mathany Saldanha, Oscar neither has the skills to communicate with the lower rungs of society, nor does he hobnob with them to elicite their views. Oscar is a social activist but not such an engaged one as to be able to rouse mass opinion on his own like Mathany.
So if Oscar's isn't a singular achievement why bestow him with a singular award. The award says Indian of the year. It doesn't say Indians of the year. Oscar has only been the mascot of the GBA, he's not the GBA's substance, if you get my drift.
The award should have been aptly titled 'Indian body of the year' and given to all GBA activists and their associates who tirelessly worked against the Regional Plan. Not just Oscar alone.
Aswhin Tombat has argued that an award for Oscar would mean an award for every Goan who stood against the RP. But that's a quaint argument for its tantamount to saying that an award for Bill Gates for writing the first Windows programming language is equivalent to honouring the achievements of all Microsoft employees. Bill Gates spent sleepless nights to write the Windows programme alone. No one else could or would. He built the wagon and rode it himself.Dr Oscar Rebello did not start the public campaign of the RP. He did not build the wagon, he just rode it. But so could anyone else if he was prominent and politically unattached. Charles Correia would probably.
Mr Tombat if and when Oscar recieves the award, millions of viewers within and without the country are going to see only Oscar receiving the award.At that precise moment everybody is going to think that it is Oscar's solo achievement cause it proclaims boldly 'Indian of the Year', not 'Indians of the year.'They are going to say "Hey hats off to Oscar for what he's done." An award for Oscar translating as an award for other diehard is symbolic rant I don't subscribe to. The limelight is and will certainly be on Oscar the day is award is presented to him. But what about the activists and others for their ceaseless endeavours on whom not even the shadows will fall? Will Oscar receiving the award bring them into focus Mr Tombat? People, universally see what is infront of them, not what's beneath or behind anything. No one notices the unsung heroes. It is to these anonymous persons that my deepest respects and salutations go to. Oscar led the GBA movement as its convenor, but he isn't its founder or its soul. An organism with only a head, but no body is no organism at all.
If you know of anyone who has contributed to the cause as much as Oscar, vote for him or her with your conscience and congratulate that person. Even if you cannot send an SMS. I know of one person who deserves equal mention as Oscar. Patricia Pinto is her name. There could be many more to whom we Goans should owe our gratitude, They need not be outstanding physicians or IITians.Most Goans seem to have this misconception that only doctors and engineers are intelligent or brilliant people. Gary Kasparov, a chessplayer for instance, has an IQ higher than most average doctors or engineers.
An Indian of the Year award shouldn't be given to someone only because he is the first Goan or the first Keralite to get it but it should rest solely on merit and on singular achievements from which the entire nation benefits. I am thoroughly appreciative for Oscar lending a hand to ease the common man's plight but he shouldn't accept the award, simply because it would mean that he is taking credit for the battle won.

19 January 2008 at 01:09  

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