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INTERVIEW: Vijai Sardesai slams the BJP regime as anti-Goan and vows to take Goa Forward RNI No. goaeng/2015/60455

MyGoa `10

14 january 2017

the complete goan newsweekly

vol 2 | issue 13 | panaji - goa | 16 pages

The BJP is contesting this Assembly Elections without a Chief Ministerial face. Did Laxmikant Parsekar fail to demonstrate his work over the last two and a half years? Or is it that he suffers from image deficit?

laxmikant parsekar

the fall guy



how much is too much politics?

Harshvardhan Bhatkuly


grew up in an environment of politics. As a school going-child I knew the symbol of the Janata Party and was fascinated by the famer with a plough on his shoulder. Back then, Janata Party was a big force. Of course, the MGP lion was as ubiquitous as Bhausaheb Bandodkar’s photo – many places would have both. When TV came into our homes, thanks to the Asian Games of 1982, the voice of Indira Gandhi began booming into our living rooms. When the iron lady was assassinated and Rajiv Gandhi took over, there was no dearth of listening to him on the tele. Later it was the regime or Mandal and Masjid with V P Singh, Chandrasehkhar and L K Advani taking centre stage; and by then 24x7 news coverage from a series of TV channels had already begun to inundate us with ‘Breaking News.’ My one lasting memory of a political meeting was in 1994, when a Prime Ministerial hopeful Atal Behari Vajpayee delivered a rousing speech outside Panaji’s Mahalakshmi Temple. Growing up in Panaji, and being neighbours with a very senior and influential journalist, watching politicians of various hues dropping into his home was normal. Politics was debated and discussed vociferously while the elders downed their drinks. It was part of the social consciousness. Goa, then was just coming out of the colonial hangover and was on the cusp of the language movement. Unlike the outwardly show of political agnosticism today, then people would take political sides openly. There was healthy political divide even within families. And, mercifully, there was no trolling then. However, I remember that politicians were living in a world of their own.

They were practicing politics. And people were discussing politics. There was no overlap between the two. Politicians would not stray into society and there were no selfies taken with your local MLA. But, to their credit, politicians then were ordinary people with extraordinary delivery. One would often bump into Prof Surendra Sirsat, who later became Speaker of the legislative assembly, waiting for a bus at the ferry boat bus stop in Panaji. He was a rather celebrated professor and writer of textbooks, prescribed for students of commerce. Not to mention the fact that he was also a powerful MG party man. I have seen another stalwart of Goa Assembly Dr Kashinath Jhalmi drive to the Assembly (then housed at the Adil Shah Palace at Panaji) on his Kinetic Honda scooter. Madhav Bir, once Panaji MLA used to walk around in the capital city wearing his trademark khaadi kurta pyjama; and everytime we bumped into him, my father would tell me that it was the teacher-legislator who had taught him how to swim. Probity in public life was valued so much that an errant legislator like Francisco Sardinha, when exposed in the marks scandal or when Dayanand Narvekar, when accused of molestating his staff, became news that refused to move out of page one of the local newspapers. I still remember the day, and it was the Narkasur parade day, when Narvekar was denied ticket for the elections by Congress party – the daily Gomantak put the headline above its masthead. There is no denying that Goa’s villages are more politically wired than its towns. The barberia at a village junction will be able to conduct a poll survey better than what you have today.

Saturday, 14 January 2017

Asmitai Dis talk by Sanjeev Sardesai

16th January observed as the ‘Asmitai Dis’ or ‘Identity Day’ will also behold a talk by Sanjeev Sardesai, as he seeks to cover the unfamiliar facets of Goa. To be held at 6 Assagao, Sanjeev will mainly focus on the unknown lands of Goa. He will also put some light onto the folk arts of Goa. Speaking of an era over 3500 million years ago, also included will be the “Hippie” years that has left an indelible mark on the foregone years of Goa. Forever described and defined as the laid back slice of the country, Sanjeev looks forward to bring the true picture of the hard working community of Goa that respects nature

idea of the week

through folk arts and the culture that the state beholds. 16th January gains its importance from 1967, when the people of Goa voted against the referendum for the merger of Goa with Maharashtra. Though India rejoiced over its Independence in 1947, Goa’s share of freedom came along 14 years later with

in the news Eduardo Faleiro Prime Minister of Portugal Dr. Antonio Costa honoured former Union Minister Eduardo Faleiro with the ‘Grande Oficial da Ordem do Infante D. Henrique’ at the residence of the Consul General of Portugal in Panaji. Speaking on the occasion, the Prime Minister of Portugal said that he was proud of being a person of Indian origin with roots in Goa. He said that his acquaintance with Eduardo Faleiro is for the last several decades and that Faleiro regarded increased cooperation between India and Portugal as being in the interest of both the countries. Faleiro speaking on the occasion said that it was a pleasure and a privilege for him to be honoured with this

very important condecoration, the Order of the Infante D. Henrique. He thanked Dr. Antonio Costa for this great honour. He said that it was an honour for all of us to have Prime Minister Dr. Antonio Costa as the Prime Minister of Portugal. Faleiro said that during his visit to Lisbon sometime ago he found that almost all major countries of the world had a cultural centre in Lisbon. For example, the United States has the USIS, UK has the British Council, France the Alliance Française, Germany has the

Many people are amazed at the political maturity that Goans have shown over the years – from electing a Maharashtra mergerist Bhausaheb Bandodkar’s MG Party to the assembly; but rejecting him at the Opinion Poll. Goans must be gifted with an inborn political acumen.

How else do you explain a population that had scant exposure to democratic politics for over 450 years of Portuguese rule, taking to democratic practices like a fish would take to water?! I am the happiest when elections are declared. There is a conversation starter anywhere

the public supported by the Indian military. The historic poll that decided the future of Goa, we are living today was held on the 16th January, 1967.

16th January gains its importance from 1967, when the people of Goa voted against the referendum for the merger of Goa with Maharashtra Goethe Institute, China the Confucius Institute but there was no cultural presence of India in Portugal. Faleiro said he then spoke to Dr. Karan Singh, Chairman of the Indian Council for Cultural Relations and to the Director General of ICCR and asked them to finance a Chair in Indian Studies in Lisbon. The ICCR agreed to do so and a Centre for Indian Studies in the University of Lisbon has been set up and was inaugurated last April. So far, 240 students have enrolled for the Hindi language programme there. There is a programme of scholarships granted by the ICCR to Portuguese students to study in India. The ICCR has also supported several Indian performing groups of music, dance and drama to perform in Portugal and a dictionary of Hindi-Portuguese is under preparation. you go – at parties, in queues, in the lift, just about anywhere – you can ask a question – and a barrage of political opinions will flow. The fun times are here… and although the weather is cool and pleasant these days, the political mercury is shooting up. Email us your feedback at


Saturday, 14 January 2017


Why has the BJP shied away from projecting Laxmikant Parsekar as its Chief Ministerial face?

For the politically tuned Goan, Laxmikant Parsekar’s term as Chief Minister for two and a half years is not the disaster that his critics would like to label it. But then why has his party refused to make him its Chief Ministerial face for the ensuing elections?

Laxmikant Parsekar

My Goa news desk


ight from the time he took over the reins as Goa’s Chief Minister, Laxmikant Parsekar has had a long battle trying to prove his critics – who ridiculed him for his incompetence for the role – wrong. Further surprising even the Opposition, one cannot say that Parsekar’s two and a half year tenure was uneventful. The Hardboiled Sangh Man Certainly not a new face to the BJP, Parsekar had remained in the shadows of his more vociferous colleagues, till he assumed the top job as Chief Minister of Goa. Very rarely do we see any party going for polls without declaring their incumbent chief minister as an official face of the elections. Why is Parsekar not chosen as the Chief Minsiterial nominee this time, even though the party is boasting about the work that has been carried out under his leadership, is the question that is vexing many political watchers? Does Parsekar suffer from an image issue, has he

not been able to demonstrate his grip over state affairs, or were the shoes that (Parrikar’s) he was filling, his undoing? Laxmikant Parsekar was a Chemistry Teacher and Principal of Harmal Panchakroshi Secondary School before and even after he took a plunge into politics. He had joined the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh and was a RSS volunteer from Pernem from a very young age. When he started his political journey from Mandrem as a BJP candidate, he ended up losing the deposit. Parsekar’s own family had shown strong disapproval towards his political aspirations, because he was taking on a politically strong regional outfit – the MGP. “I had almost packed my bag and left the house as my family refused to digest the fact that I was contesting against MGP candidate Ramakant Khalap. It was in the year 1988 when BJP was hardly known in the state. I was looked upon as a rebel,” he had said in an interview after he became the CM of Goa in 2014. Along with Manohar

Parrikar, Shripad Naik and Rajendra Arlekar, it was Parsekar who had gradually helped BJP gain electoral ground in Goa since its inception in the state. Fast forward to the current regime where Arlekar had been promoted up to the cabinet rank, and Naik and Parrikar enjoy the Central Ministerial duties. Similarly, Parsekar too, was rewarded by BJP to become Chief Minister for reasons best known to the Party high priests, when Parrikar left for

Delhi to become the nation’s Defence Minister. Next-inline for the post, Deputy CM Francis D’Souza, however, was ignored for the top job. Parsekar, a chemistry degree holder, has admitted on number of occasions that his chemistry in politics is weak. If one is to think that Parsekar could win an election based on his charisma, as what Parrikar managed to do in 2012, it would be difficult to stomach the idea. Manohar Parrikar, with his single handed rabble-

rousing in the Assembly as Leader of Opposition helped create a strong image for himself. He also managed to capitalise strongly on antiincumbency against the then Congress government. Parrikar’s persona grew so much, that even at that time, he was considered a national leader. Parsekar has lacked that mass appeal. However as an administrator, Parsekar was able to change his perception to a large extent among the politically aware class. He has



Saturday, 14 January 2017 My Goa


been vocal and has maintained a strong stance on most of the policies floated by his government. Realpolitik The Dhavlikar brothers from the MGP rightly gauged the larger public sentiment on perception issues against Parsekar. Having stayed in Parsekar’s cabinet for more than 2 years, at the near end of the tenure, the MGP leaders consistently led attacks on Parsekar’s leadership capabilities. Following which, led to their sacking from the cabinet. Now it’ll be interesting to see the poll results on how much the MGP has gained from this strategy. Further, a new entrant on Goa’s political canvas, Aam Aadmi Party had started an advertising campaign comparing tall leaders from both sides. The campaign had portrayed Parsekar as having a corrupt image in Goan politics and Elvis Gomes (AAP’s CM candidate in Goa) to be honest in the eyes of the people. BJP had issued a written complaint against AAP to Chief Electoral Officer on attempts of maligning Chief Minister Parsekar by the ad campaign spread over the entire state with “derogatory remarks”. The campaign did more damage to his public reputation, and he was even accused of

Parsekar’s elevation to the Chief Minister’s post in 2014 surprised many, and spawned a series of unsavoury comments on social media

Parsekar was lauded for his non polarising stance taken on the Maharashtra beef ban, “I don’t feel people of a community eat or use beef to hurt sentiments of others. It is part of their cuisine or preparation and we also accept the fact,” he said while speaking to senior journalist Shekhar Gupta on Walk the Talk. incompetence by his own party insiders. Many in the BJP had chosen D’Souza over Parsekar during his elevation as Chief Minister. Calling a Spade a Spade The BJP government in the state has been criticised for their U-Turns on key electoral issues like Casino, MoI, Special Status. Parsekar has been one person who has vociferously voiced his opinion on the practicalities of the political issues – to the extent of spilling out unnecessary information that might create a whole new controversy around him and his party. He also doesn’t speak the language of a politician that pleases his vote bank.

Parsekar even has come down heavily on his colleagues in cabinet for their contrasting stand against government policies. He sent out a clear threat to Rajendra Arlekar for the latter’s action of supporting the BBSM on the MoI issue. On the MoI policy, Parsekar has been at the forefront of not doing any compromises and reversing the action taken by then Congress Chief Minister Digambar Kamat. Similarly, he has maintained clear stance on Special Status for Goa and has tried changing the narrative to moving it towards making Goa a ‘Model State’ of India. In the case of casinos, he has justified its existence due to its economic contribution to state.

Nitin Gadkari hints at bringing a ‘central leader’ as Goa CM Nitin Gadkari addresses the Press along with Parsekar and Shripad Naik

After declaring the list of 29 candidates for the Goa elections, Union Minister for Shipping & Transport and Goa state-in-charge Nitin Gadkari said that BJP is going ahead for the polls without a CM candidate. He also revealed that post victory, elected MLAs

may choose their CM or BJP would send a ‘central leader’ as Chief Minister for Goa. Currently 3 BJP leaders of Goa work in central government which includes Defense Minister Manohar Parrikar, Ayush Minister Shripad Naik and South Goa

MP Narendra Sawaikar. Gadkari also clarified that BJP is not entering into a pre-poll alliance with the Maharashrawadi Gomantak Party and also stated that BJP can never fulfil Sudin Dhavlikar’s dream of becoming Chief Minister of Goa. Gadkari said, “We have no dearth of leaders here and our elected MLAs will choose the CM. It could be someone from among themselves or we can send somebody from the Centre… If the MLAs want, they can choose Parsekar again also.”

Be it Parsekar or Parrikar, both have had tough calls to take on the policies inherited from the Congress regime. One thing that they did achieve to stop to a large extent is illegal mining in the state. BJP leaders across the country often get into trouble for sharing inappropriate statements on sensitive issues. Rarely does someone from the saffron party take a liberal stand on issues. Parsekar was lauded for his non polarising stance taken on the Maharashtra beef ban, “I don’t feel people of a community eat or use beef to hurt sentiments of others. It is part of their cuisine or preparation and we also accept the fact,” he said while speaking to senior journalist Shekhar Gupta on Walk the Talk. Parsekar had commented that “Homosexuality is a Natural Gift” on Sports Minister Ramesh Tawadkar’s “ignorant” claim that Goa will set up centres to train and medicate youth with alternative sexual orientations. On the rift within the party caused due to induction of Pandurang Madkaikar, an upset Shripad Naik had shown his displeasure on the decisions taken by the party without consulting its senior leaders or party cadres. Apparently, Naik’s son Sidhesh was eyeing the Cumbharjua constituency as a BJP ticket hopeful; and

had claimed to work there for a long time. CM Parsekar came to the party’s rescue and took charge of the situation by pacifying an agitated Shripad Naik. After the meet, in his press address he shared his sentiments: “Everyone in the party should agree to the consensus decisions of the party leaders in view of the long-term interest of the party. It is natural, since the BJP has grown manifold over the years in Goa, the differences too have increased in the party over various issues.” Unfair Criticism Ever since he was sworn in as Chief Minister, Parsekar has been the butt of all political jokes on social media in Goa. In a recent event, during the laying of the foundation stone event for Mopa Airport, he was ridiculed on social media after a video clip went viral. Opposition parties asked for CM’s apology for ‘Spineless prostration’ in front of the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Congress leader Jitendra Deshprabhu said “Throughout the recording, Parsekar is seen smiling and with folded hands while Modi appears to ignore him. This is just spineless prostration. If this is the honour meted out to the people of Goa, what would be the hurt?” A lot of jokes on his personality went viral. But the man seemed to hold his own. One senior party worker said that Parsekar’s strength lies in the organization that BJP has grown to become in Goa; and that the Mandrem legislator is a hard-core party man and derives his confidence and gait from the BJP’s organizational supremacy. The BJP may have taken a strategic call to not project him as the Chief Ministerial face of this Assembly Election. But one cannot discount the fact that Laxmikant Parsekar, held his own for half a term, and defended his decisions pragmatically, whenever he made them. Email us your feedback at


Saturday, 14 January 2017

GSM aims to spoil party for Parsekar and Parrikar Seat sharing of GSM-MGP alliance has been finalised in the prime constituencies. Two of the BJP bastion, one constituency previously held by Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar and the other being the Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar’s Mandrem constituency has attracted primary attraction for new political outfit Goa Suraksha Manch. Aiming to demolish BJP in their key constituencies, GSM had kicked off their political campaign by fielding Parrikar’s close friend Raju Sukerkar to contest from Panaji seat. While in Mandrem GSM had agreed to put an alliance partner MGP’s candidate. However Raju Sukerkar, on the same day of filling his candidature, withdrew his nomination on medical grounds. Mandrem and Panaji are also known to be a stronghold of RSS sangachalaks. Most of who are parts of GSM mentored Subhash Velingkar’s RSS Goa Prant. Further there’s not much ideological difference between the BJP and GSM which might lead the third person in an advantageous situation. Speaking to pressmen GSM president Anand Shirodkar

Subhash Velingkar

has indicated that defeating BJP in Mandrem and Panaji and further securing those seats is GSM’s topmost priority of the election. “We are flexible in our plans to defeat Parsekar in Mandrem and Parrikar’s candidate in Panaji, and may not think twice before changing our policies towards this goal,” Shirodkar added. Apart from Mandrem and Panaji, GSM is eyeing Mayem, Siolim, Sakhali, Curchorem, Taleigao and Velim, where they believe they have stronger support base. According to sources, GSM supporters have on many occasions asked Subash Velingkar to take the Mandrem battle head on against Chief Minister Parsekar. However, Velingkar has rejected the party’s request of contesting the assembly election.

Two NCP aspirants join GVP ahead of Goa polls Nelly Rodrigues and George Barretto, who were pipped to contest on NCP ticket from Cortalim and Navelim constituencies, respectively, tendered their resignation citing lack of leadership in the party. Barretto alleged that NCP is doing the Congress’ bidding in Goa. “There is no proper leadership and direction to the party,” said Barretto. He is likely to be GVP candidate in Navelim against state unit Congress president Luizinho Faleiro. Rodrigues, who heads South Goa Zilla Panchayat

and had began campaigning on NCP ticket in Cortalim, said the NCP has miserably failed to make its mark in the state. “It’s the time for regional parties like Goa Vikas Party to take the lead,” she said. GVP which contested 2012 elections without any alliance has two MLAs in the 40-member House. However, the Micky Pacheco has resigned from GVP and jumped into the Goa Su-raj Party. The other MLA Caitano Silva’s political plans are not known.


Congress party seeks Arvind Kejriwal’s apology for insulting Goan voters Goa Pradesh Congress Party has accused Aam Aadmi Party supremo Arvind Kejriwal of inducing local voters to get involved in corruption by taking money from Political Parties. Congress spokesperson Trajano D’Mello has asked for Kejriwal’s apology for “insulting sensitive voters of Goa”. D’Mello said, “I appeal to the Election Commission to take suo motu action, failing which I will study the legal implications and would not hesitate to file a formal complaint.” D’Mello further said that, “Kejriwal’s appeal to the people to take money from

all political parties is nothing wrong in getting it back. If they and vote for AAP is a clear case of inducing do not offer money, people to be corrupt. go to their offices and This is an insult to ask for it. But, when it sensitive voters from comes to voting, press Goa. Therefore, he the button against should apologise to the name of the AAP the people from the candidate.” Trajano D’Mello The Goa Election state.” Addressing an election Commission has informed rally in Benaulim, Kejriwal on preparing the report on had allegedly asked voters Kejriwal’s speeches of asking to accept money offered by people to accept money. Goa Congress and BJP. The Delhi CEO Kunal told pressmen, Chief Minister had allegedly “We are in the process of stated, “If Congress or BJP filing a report which would candidates offer money, do be submitted to the Election not refuse it. Accept it as it is Commission of India for your own money and there further action.”

South Goa flying squads ready for elections

42 flying squads are stationed in 21 constituencies of South Goa to ensure that no violations are made during the code of conduct. Each constituency will have 2 squads while each squad will consist of 3 special teams. Ponda taluka has been included in the South Goa district. South Goa Collector and District Election Officer Swapnil Naik informed that, static surveillance teams are empowered to seize material as well as lodge complaints with the authorities. “The Department of Excise, state and central; and Commercial Taxes will strictly monitor

the usage of liquor in the state, besides having CCTV surveillance. The liquor consumption patterns will be monitored thoroughly,” Naik told the press. He added that there will be 840 polling stations in South Goa. Election Commission had previously stated that they will keep a close watch on the gambling activities in Goa. Casino and Matka activities are under the Election Commission scanner post the code of conduct as

to not let funds being diverted for political campaigns. A multidisciplinary task force comprising of I-T, customs and excise authorities will be worked out at district, state and constituency levels to monitor distribution of cash or gifts to voters. EC has warned all the traders to not provide sale of items in bulk as it might be used for distribution as freebies in political campaigning. Failing to comply with EC guidelines will lead to questioning for businesses.



Saturday, 14 January 2017 My Goa


“Goans want to be able to make decisions for themselves and their state”

Promising to take the state forward with the upcoming elections, Goa Forward Party leader Vijai Sardesai spoke with Rupesh Samant at a special interview aired by (Excerpts of the Interview) For the last four and a half years, there have been hints of your alliance with the Congress Party. There were even allegations that you asked that no other candidate be allowed to campaign for them. And yet you’ve suddenly started your own Party? I am the voice of the people and

people are joining me. Some of the leaders from Congress Party itself have joined our Goa Forward Party. A few more are expected to join. If there was any question of me joining the Congress Party, I wouldn’t have gone ahead and formed my own party. I am a mentor to my party. I

registered the party a year ago on the 26th of January, while the Congress Party was inactive. The Congress Party was never in the opposition. Congress was asleep all this while and now suddenly they have woken up. Why should I join such a party? I was the voice of the opposition.

Since the elections are approaching, they’re just looking to stir controversies. There are some leaders in Congress party who have been briefed to see that people don’t unite. They’re basically working for the BJP. Congress party candidates in many places and especially Fatorda, don’t consent to the Congress Party high command, their high command is Damu Naik. They’re all compromised and are not a part of the ‘real’ Congress and people have realized this. I am openly stating this. I am a proud Goan with a defined vision and I know what the people want. Goans want to be able to make decisions for themselves and their state. We shouldn’t feel the need to approach the central government at Delhi for small reasons. This used to happen frequently during the Congress era, and it widened the gap between the Government and the Goans. We cannot tolerate it any more. People want a Government in Goa which is made in Goa. Repeatedly Goa Forward says that they do not want high command in Dehli but time and again they approach the Congress Delhi leaders? Goa Forward says that let’s make our state the center. The interest of the locals should be prioritized. That is our sole motive. There is a public perception that if everyone unites, we can win against the BJP. Currently, the BJP is completely maligned. In these times, if the Congress leadership in Goa lacks sense, then there is nothing wrong in imparting some sense to their high command about that. Let me put it this way, for a

better understanding, Can there be an alliance between Congress and Goa Forward, or not? We can’t know if there will be an alliance or not. I haven’t given my application and neither does politics work on such applications or proposals. This isn’t matchmaking that I need to put forth my Kundli. Instead, we need to understand the pulse of the people and what they really need. And if the Congress party cannot understand this then they are just indirectly working for BJP. There is a section of Congress leadership in Goa which is working for the BJP; and everyone is aware of these machinations. Has the Congress Party offered you a higher position if you join them? First of all there is no question of joining the Congress Party. The Constitution clearly states that if you want to join any party then you have to resign as an MLA. Congress could not expose BJP on the demonetization issue. My presence in the assembly is for the rights and welfare of the Goans and not just a representation of Fatorda. I am the voice against all the injustice that is happening in Goa. And in this fight for Goenkarapan, I have also showed people my potential for bringing about development. I cannot understand why Congress has so much interest in my constituency. How was the year 2016 for you? Towards the end of 2016 the whole nation had lined up at ATM queues, including me. We were made to stand in queues by Narendra Modi. Hence, one question arises


Saturday, 14 January 2017

that whether this New Year is really something to be happy about or not? The New Year has started well, we expected a lot from the Prime Minister. He won the mandate of the nation and there was a hope that he will do something; however he could not succeed in doing that. He has taken India backward. Hence, we can only hope that Goa is given opportunity in this election. We can have a Happy New Year after the election results in March. We should learn from history, and the bad lessons from 2016 to have a better future. I have a 16-point agenda for Goa. Firstly, the government of 2012 was an anti-Goa government. All the decisions they took, like the conversion of the coconut tree to a grass, nationalisation of river which will lead to fishless Goa. First, they wanted a ‘coconutless’ Goa now they want ‘fishless’ Goa. Hence, there is the strong need for pro-Goa government. The people of this country have suffered due to demonetisation. More than 150 people have died but the rule of arrogance still continues. The government’s narrative has changed to a ‘Cashless Goa’. They haven’t realized that their actions are taking Goa and India backwards. The current government of Goa is only prevailing through corruption and nepotism. The jobs they offered, like a menu card, had a price tag against it. Achey Din was only experienced by families of ministers of the BJP. Another big issue that we faced was communalism. Pramod Muthalik of Shri Ram Sene, on his visits to Goa, commented on banning bikini on Goan beaches. They now have an institution carrying out acts of communalism and are supported by the Assembly. Everyone says that there should be Mahagatbandhan (Grand Alliance). We see the politics of opportunities. There can be only one grand alliance that people have to intelligently and strategically vote for, against the BJP. You always say that one party

shouldn’t get majority and there should be no stable government? The minority dominated areas which were initially traditional Congress seats, voted for BJP after seeing hope in Parrikar that ‘Parivartan’ (change) would happen. But that didn’t happen. Instead it took a ‘U’ turn. He (Parrikar) stopped mining activities, which slumped the Goan economy. This full majority government has now become arrogant. They need to be taught a lesson. Sometimes political instability empowers the Bahujan Samaj. It is a political philosophy and not just words from my mouth. I would never seek alliance with the BJP. I have fought the last election to be an opposition leader. Fatorda model should now become a Goa model. We have to move

straight forward instead of the ‘U’ turn route we took before. Blind faith ‘Bhakts’ are all over social media and TV. I hope that people question the government on scientific and factual basis and are not influenced by blind faith. You were a part of so many planned settings that happened in Salcete, which you now accuse the BJP of? This trend has always continued and now the BJP is doing it. I have been a victim of electoral settings. Once I lost and another time I won, both the times there was setting. Even now, the Congress and BJP are working together secretly. The Congress party

cannot take Parrikar head on despite their activities in the last five years. Parrikar has always had one mission on his mind, that is winning over Salcete, but the people have learned a lesson. Nobody from the Congress is speaking about the inflation, which BJP once was consistently agitating about. BJP has made women depend on the government’s free doles, so it is our duty to selfempower them. In Fatorda, we have got a model for that called ‘Women for Fatorda’.

Also say goodbye to wasteful expenditure. Another Party from Delhi is planning to bring the ‘Delhi model’ here, which can’t work in a place like Goa. Neither Delhi, nor Gujarat model can work here because we need a Goa model. We stood in queues not just for demonetisation, but even for the social welfare schemes in Goa. People say that Vijay Sardesai can maximum bring 2-3 seats. What plans do you have for rest of the seats? In the larger interest of the people in Goa is that the BJP should be sent back home. And in order to achieve this, I’m suggesting a grand alliance and not as an alibi for weakness. People know that I have a firm hold of the ground. However, logistically it is not possible for me to function efficiently all over

without the numbers with me. How many constituencies do you think you can win? We have strong presence in 5 constituencies. At the moment, we are looking forward to it. Rest of which can be achieved through alliance. However, if that fails to happen, then we have to increase the share of our seats. Is there any possibility that you may align with Sudin Dhavlikar and the MGP? We have completely ruled out any such possibility. There is no need for us to support them because we differ in ideologies. We want Goenkarwadi Sarkar and not Maharashtrawadi governance. They don’t have grassroot presence all over Goa. However, they have succeeded in strategizing a surgical strike on the Defence minister. In a previous interview, I questioned Damu Naik about a quality he admires in Vijai Sardesai; and he was upset with the question. What you would say is a good quality in him? Damu Naik is a good actor. He has worked in so many films and dramas. He cannot be a good leader; as a result he is losing. He is losing continuously, even lost at the municipal elections. His status in our constituency is of a minister despite his loss. He is a good actor and he cries about things just as a good actor would be able to.

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Saturday, 14 January 2017 My Goa


Festivals, Dance and Road Safety alexia fernandes

Watching Tradition and Colour Come Alive Goa celebrated a two-day tribal festival at Adivasi Sangatna, Quepem on January 7th and 8th, 2017. The grand festival was an initiative to revive Goa’s unique traditional games, culture and cuisine, and the customs of the tribal population. The sixth edition of this festival was organized at the Village Panchayat Ground, in Xeldem, Quepem. The two-day festival commenced on 7th of January, with an eventful evening of folklore programmes, special programmes for children and competitions organised by the Tribal Association Traditional games like Chateani, Logoreani, Ton Barani, and Guli Danda amused crowds who attended the festival. People at the festival were given a firsthand glimpse of the preparation of traditional handicraft like mol’la (palm leaf mat), san’n (broom making), nivoni (paddy grass weaving) and fulla faati (head bands of flowers). The venue had on display, stalls with traditional instruments and kapdam (clothing) unique to the tribal community of Goa. A section of the stalls had delectable traditional goan dishes of fov, ambil (nachni porridge), pita gulio, pinagre, donne, sanna,

Raibenshe artistes

A snapshot of the week gone by and the social calendar of Goa

Traditional Dance at the Tribal Festival

pattoleo, shevyo and soji. Like every year, the tribal festival drew a large excited crowd of both locals and tourists. Keeping alive its vibe among the people of Goa, the tribal festival truly radiates the essence of Goa’s tribal lifestyle, customs and traditions. Boosted by Goa Tourism, the festival highlights Goa’s lesser known communities and their lifestyles. The uniqueness that sets this festival apart is the keen interest it generates from tourists. The celebration of traditions and tribal culture helps people understand what enhances Goa’s distinct identity. Raibenshe: Rhythmic Folk art

Like every year, the tribal festival drew a large excited crowd of both locals and tourists. Keeping alive its vibe among the people of Goa, the tribal festival truly radiates the essence of Goa’s tribal lifestyle, customs and traditions. Boosted by Goa Tourism, the festival highlights Goa’s lesser known communities and their lifestyles from West Bengal Museum of Goa will host the performance of a lifetime this weekend, all the way from West Bengal. Raibenshe is a martial art based folk dance performed by the men belonging to the Bagdi community, who have worked as the bodyguards of the feudal

lords of medieval Bengal. As a folk dance, Raibenshe serves as a reminder of the military proficiency of the Bengalis. The name Raibenshe comes from Raibansh, the term for long bamboo sticks or stilts used in the folk performance. Raibenshe follows a distinct style of vigorous acrobatic fight scenes like drawing a bow, throwing a spear and waving a sword; complimented by swift dance movements. The act is punctuated by gymnastic formations of towering human pyramids and jaw-dropping balancing acts with pots, cart wheels and large wooden poles; all of which require high acrobatic skill and practice. The performers wear a brass anklet called Nupur on their right ankle and vibrant dhotis. The dance follows no music but is accompanied by loud shouts and the rhythmic beating of drums or Dhols (drums) and the soft clashing of Kanshis

(cymbals). Raibenshe is most commonly performed in western parts of Bengal in districts like Birbhum, Bardhaman and Murshidabad. This Saturday, fifteen dancers from Banglanatak will deliver a performance of Raibenshe at MOG. Banglanatak is a social enterprise that works towards fostering socio-cultural development in impoverished areas of the country, as well as protecting the rights of women, children and indigenous communities. Through art and cultural performances, Banglanatak platforms heritage creative industries to preserve historic art forms and helps to economically empower the groups that practice them. 50% of proceeds will go to Banglanatak, the dancers and their ongoing endeavour to preserve these art forms and communities. Safety First: Road Safety Week by Rotary Club of Panaji Riviera The alarming frequency of traffic collisions in India has put us amongst the highest ranking countries in the world. Road accidents are an outcome of various factors, like poor infrastructure and network of roads, the absence of stringent road safety regulations, and human carelessness. Every year, the toll of road accidents causes the country a severe socio economic loss. Consequently, road safety has become an issue of concern both at national and international level. According to statistics, until November 2016, there were 438 fatal accidents in which 467 people were killed, while 2,304 people were seriously injured in 1,874 accidents. In a mass awareness campaign, Rotary Club of Panaji Riviera has tied up with Goa Traffic Police to push forward the Road Safety >


Saturday, 14 January 2017

Antonio da Costa’s homecoming


oan-origin Portuguese Prime Minister Antonio Luis Santos da Costa was bestowed with the Pravasi Bharatiya Award at the 14th edition of the awards held in Bengaluru. The Pravasi Bharatiya award is the highest honour for overseas Indians recognizing their contribution in the field of public service.

The 55-year old Antonio da Costa tracing his roots back in Goa, is son to the Goan author Orlando da Costa. Antonio da Costa visited India from the 6th to the 12th of January 2017. Other than the Pravasi Bharatiya Diwas in Bengaluru, he also attended the Vibrant Gujarat Global Summit in Gandhinagar. The Portuguese Premier visited Goa on a two-day trip during which he visited his ancestral house at Margao and also an assemblage of other events. Visiting the National Institute of Oceanography at Dona Paula, Churches in Old Goa, the Mangueshi temple, reception by the civil society groups in the Adil Shah palace, courtesy visits to various institutes associated with the Portuguese Government in the State, summed up his itinerary.

During his visit to the famous Shri Manguesh temple, he was welcomed wholeheartedly by the villagers and the Mahajans and Committee members of the temple with traditional music and rituals. The PM of Portugal was also presented with a traditional lamp as a token of their love and appreciation. “We must not just look back to our shared history but also look ahead and create newer ties,” said the PM of Portugal at an event organised at the Fundacao Oriente, in Fontainhas, Panaji. The event also witnessed Antonio da Costa paying tribute to late Paulo Varela Gomes, a historian and former director of Fundacao Oriente. He also visited the Se Cathedral Church and the Basilica of Bom Jesus in Old Goa.

Welcomed by the Archbishop Patriarch, Rev. Fr Filipe Neri Ferrao, Antonio Costa was briefed about the history of the holy structures that comes under the UNESCO World Heritage Site. On his visit to the CSIR-National Institute of Oceanography, the PM of Portugal emphasised on the cultural and scientific exchange with India and expressed his keen interest in extending the joint research programs between NIO and Portuguese research institutions and also assured his support to improve understanding of the oceanographic processes and utilization of its resources. Antonio da Costa also inaugurated the Centro de Lingua Portuguesa at Panaji. He was also accorded with the English translation of Sem Caras Nem Coroas originally written by his father Orlando da Costa. “I am very proud for visiting my father’s land as a Prime Minister, in particular as the first Prime Minister of Indian origin. As you can understand, this visit has a strong emotional side and a personal motivation,” Costa

Awareness Drive during the Road Safety Week on 10th and 11th January 2017. The event was inaugurated by DGP of Goa Police Dr. Muktesh Chander, SP Traffic and DYSP Traffic Dharmesh Angle on 10th January 2017, outside Kadamba Bus Stand, Panaji. The campaign was conducted by Traffic Policemen, Students of Goa College of Home Science, students of Narayan Zantye

college, members of Rotary Club of Panaji, 92.7 Big FM and Chowgule Industries Limited. During the mass drive, variety of educational banners, safety posters, and leaflets on road safety were distributed on roads to travelers.

The UN has proclaimed 2011-20 as the ‘Decade of Action on Road Safety’. India too, in adherence to the Brasilia Declaration is committed to reduce the number of road accidents and fatalities by 50 per cent by the 2020.

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INTERVIEW: Vijai Sardesai slams the BJP regime as anti-Goan and vows to take Goa Forward RNI NO. GOAENG/2015/60455

MyGoa `10

14 JANUARY 2017



The BJP is contesting this Assembly Elections without a Chief Ministerial face. Did Laxmikant Parsekar fail to demonstrate his work over the last two and a half years? Or is it that he suffers from image deficit?



said. He was speaking in response to the tribute given to him by Goan Civil Society in Panaji. “It is my pleasure to meet my aunt and cousins and get to visit the house where my father lived. I am deeply honoured with the release of two of my father’s books,” 55-year-old Costa said after unveiling the English translations of the books written by his father Orlando da Costa. “I hope my visit to Goa will contribute for more

two economies,” he added. “We must take advantage of this relationship from our permanent history towards new partnership for 21st Century,” he added. Costa said. Earlier in the day, the Portugese PM was accorded a warm welcome by the state. However, the formal welcome programme was withdrawn at the Portugal government’s request as the people there are mourning the death of former President Mario Soares, the founder of democracy in that

advanced and forwardlooking partnership. This partnership can be based on strong emotional, cultural and personal ties. In my thinking, we can take advantage of the

country. Costa held talks with Goa Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar on ties in tourism, science, oceanography, language and heritage.



Saturday, 14 January 2017 My Goa


Cash-less (or less-cash) is not Pain-less (or less-pain) Ashwin Tombat


hen Union Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar made what he thought was a headlinegrabbing announcement that Goa would be the first state in the country to go “cashless”, did he think things through? We don’t know, but an overzealous Commercial Taxes Department ordered all commercial establishments in the state to set up Point-of-Sale (PoS) machines. This great Tughlak-ian firman has now met its logical end with the Goa government assuring the state’s Human Rights Commission that it has no intention of forcing cashlessness on Goans. Cashless purchases are a good thing, says the government, and it wants to ‘encourage’ Goans to adopt digital payment methods, which are better than cash. Are they really? The very fact that the country with the highest use of ‘plastic’, as credit and

debit cards are known – the United States of America – is a more than 50 per cent cash economy. This should tell us that Mr Parrikar’s new and revised goal, that 50 per cent of Goa’s transactions should be ‘cashless’, is about as realistic as his original ‘cashless’ dream. There is a very good reason for this; cashless transactions don’t come free. I should know. I run an Adventure Sports company, and we get 80 per cent of our bookings online, all paid by cards or netbanking. We’re already a virtually cashless company.

USA, the country with the highest use of ‘plastic’, as credit and debit cards is a more than 50 per cent cash economy That is why we know exactly how much these so-called ‘cashless’ transactions cost. Whether it is by debit card (1 to 2 per cent), credit card (2 to 3 per cent), netbanking (0.0005 per cent), or digital wallet (no interest for the buyer, and 1 per cent to take money out of the wallet for the seller), there is a commission involved. Ultimately, it is the

Rethinking Hospitality

consumer who will pay this commission. In addition, a PoS machine costs a shopkeeper Rs3,000 to Rs6,000 to buy. Banks have a minimum target of sales for these machines (usually around Rs50,000 per month). Those who achieve lower sales volumes have to pay higher commissions. All these costs need to be recovered. From whom? From us…! Today, the government may announce incentives, waive commissions and make cashless seem completely painless. But it isn’t. Neither is less-cash going to be lesspain. Within months, if not weeks, the incentives and waivers will have vanished. The commissions will be back. And we will be paying them. For example, petrol pump owners are accepting credit and debit cards nowadays, because the Oil Marketing Companies are paying for the commission. When they stop, sooner or later, the pump

While Goa showcases hospitality, visitors seem to take it all for granted

Ankitha joseph


ime and again, Goa has been appreciated for its rapidly growing tourism sector. The western Europe of India wrapped within the tiny borders of Goa remains a favourite to people across the country and also the world. The end of the year, known to be the peak season for tourism in Goa, witnesses a large footfall all across the state. What came as surprise to the economy of India last year, was the demonetization drive that affected the hospitality sector of the state largely. The sudden drop in prices in the hotel industry also marked a significant number of domestic tourists heading to Goa. A recent post on Facebook by Rohan Govenkar as an open letter on the same

issue pointed out the bitter truth that every citizen of the state wishes to convey. Goa, different in culture and lifestyle from other states, is the perfect escape to find peace and tranquility. A part of India, yet so different from the rest, Goa is comparatively more disciplined and clean. Just like a coin, every issue has two sides to it, while one talks of the increasing

owners will have no choice but to charge the commission to us, because their margin on the petrol and diesel they sell is less than the 2 per cent to 3 per cent commission they will have to pay the card companies for each transaction. Yes, it all costs. And the person who pays, ultimately, directly or indirectly, is the consumer – you and me. I am not even going into the issue of security here. We all know how ATMs are hacked, cards duplicated and money is robbed. We know how hackers can steal data from even the biggest and most powerful IT companies in the world. As we use our cards and e-wallets more and more, will they not become more susceptible to theft? And is there any real convenience that we get from this apart from not having to carry around large amounts of cash? Only you can answer that question.

tourism the other highlights the menace caused to the state due to the unjustifiable disorderly behaviour. While the state keeps itself open to all on the lookout for a peaceful experience, a request to mould yourself to a lifestyle that each Goan lives is also made out loud to the visitors. Spitting on the roads, going off the queues, ogling at the ladies, pushing people around, being impolite

are not ways to pay back the state for the hospitality offered but only a reminder to rethink the present tourism policies. One reason why many visit or migrate to Goa is to find an ambience away from their own. So if similar filth is what the migrants look forward to creating in Goa, the difference described today shall disappear in no time. Rohan Govenkar keeps his point

precise and clear ‘live and let live’. A message not just to one but all, Rohan requests citizens to go ahead with your choice of exploring a new destination but promising yourself not to be a pain or a regretful experience to the locals. All those who visit or migrate to another region, try amending your lifestyle in such a way that is suitable to the region and the locals settled there. Hampering the locals and their otherwise peaceful lives for one’s own enjoyment changes the way one looks at hospitality and generosity. India holds tight within itself an array of diverse cultures and it is factors such as tourism that help bond these cultures together. But when the whole idea of ‘bonding’ seems to get replaced by ‘bothering’, even ideas like Tourism needs rethinking.


Saturday, 14 January 2017


Preserving goan land through Cinema


he Goenchi Mati Movement set up in 2014, catapulted campaign in Goa, advocating a set of reforms to mining, based on twin principles of community ownership and custodianship of minerals, Goa’s natural resources. Goenchi Mati Movement

is a short film about environmental degradation and the mismanagement of mining in Goa. The film puts in perspective the tremendous monetary losses that Goa has suffered over the years. It is a film made by the Goan people and it highlights ongoing, as

well as future losses that no Goan should accept. The documentary offers answers to the unsolved questions, while the movie also pleads to its audience to be a part in the implementation of the solution. The exigency behind the inspection of the

Goenchi Mati through its documentary offers answers to unsolved questions

film further asks the inclusion of The Goenchi Mati Manifesto into the manifesto of all electoral parties, asking the future government to do what is right and needed. An ecological hotspot, the state of Goa is blessed with valuable natural resources.

Unfortunately, iron ore mining is a major threat to Goa’s ecology and to its very existence. There have been blatant malpractices in ‘environment clearances’ granted by the Ministry of Environment and Forests for mining leases leading to unchecked, unconstitutional mining. Clearances were issued to more than 70 mining leases without site inspections or listening to villagers affected by mining operations. Goenchi Mati proposed that the Goa Iron Ore Permanent Fund be extended to cover 100% of receipts from mining, and to cover all minerals, including manganese and bauxite. They also demanded that this be renamed the Goenchi Mati Permanent Fund (GMPF).



Pop Art

The Unique Art of Tattooing

The International Goa Tattoo Festival started off on the 13th of January and will go on till the 15th of January 2017 at Tito’s Whitehouse, Anjuna. Exploring the creativity and potential in the tattoo industry, the 2nd annual tattoo festival invites few of the best International tattoo artists from across the world. At the event, the international names meet national talents from across the country traversing

through the art form, tattooing. Renowned artists present for the festival are Adem Senturk from the UK, Akitsu Tomo from Japan, Alex Shimray from New Delhi, Bimal Rai from Nepal and many more. Hitched with the tattoo art is also a series of entertainment programmes including live music, an astonishing art gallery, live art displays, market stalls, traders and much more. Adding to the immense spirit of art is the ambience at Tito’s Whitehouse with its open air swimming pool, beautiful grounds, multiple bars and the most appealing bona fide Goan vibe. Blending into the entertaining interests of the masses are artists like Jyothi Ram; multi instrumentalist and super natural performer, Sumit Roy; an accomplished rapper and Paco Rodrigues with Sitarsonic.

Saturday, 14 January 2017 My Goa



Sarod Maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and David Murphy to take Goa on a musical journey

Ustad Amjad Ali Khan

The evening promises to be magical in every sense of the word with the legendary Sarod maestro Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and UK-based Orchestra Sinfonia Verdi conducted by the internationally acclaimed David Murphy’s performance. The concert will be held at Kala Academy on 19th January

2017 at 7 pm. In aid of the Deccan Heritage Foundation, the concert seeks to celebrate and inspire young, aspiring instrumentalists with a musical dialogue that has existed between the East and the West for over

centuries The project also includes Master Classes which will be held at the Lourdes Convent in Saligao, Goa between 16th and 19th January, where Goan children


Madhuri Iyer releases ‘The Strongman’s Daughter’ Acclaimed author and an advertising copywriter, Madhuri Iyer announced the release of ‘The Strongman’s Daughter’, a Bollywood style political-romantic drama. Published by Fingerprint, the story is built around the life of Aditi, the twenty-one year old daughter of Goa’s Chief Minister. Leaving her heart and soul behind in New York, Aditi Narvekar comes back to Goa where she finds herself caged. Before she decides to get out of the life she is living, she finds out of her alliance fixed with a wealthy mining family. Sulking into the disappointment her father caused, Aditi meets Raj Dias, an environmental activist and her father’s opponent. As time passes by and Aditi finds herself on the crossroads of life wondering of every step she has to take. Whether to fight against her own father or to choose the man she loves? Being his opponent’s daughter will Raj be able to trust Aditi?

A love story performing ahead of a strong political backdrop is ‘The Strongman’s Daughter’. Pink Champagne, an online novella was Madhuri Iyer’s first fictional work which was later followed by the bestsellers Manhattan Mango and The SuperMom Cookbook. Madhuri is also a successful advertising copywriter who has an experience of over twenty years. As a copywriter creative director, Madhuri

has worked across Mumbai, Dubai and Canada with agencies like FCB-Ulka, Lowe Lintas, Everest Saatchi, Clarion McCann, and Cossette Inc. Shuttling between Mumbai and Toronto, Madhuri finds quality time for her family with her loving husband and two daughters, in different parts across the world. The Strongman’s Daughter is printed and published by Fingerprint, one of India’s youngest publishing imprint. Launched in the year 2012, Fingerprint focuses on publishing commercial fiction and non-fiction work, both as physical books and eBooks that are priced affordably, packaged and distributed as widely as possible. Few of their recent releases include, Sriram Karri’s An Autobiography of a Mad Nation, Ratna Vira’s Daughter By Court Order, Ma Anand Sheela’s Don’t Kill Him!, and Vishwas Mudagal’s Losing My Religion.

David Murphy

and local musicians will witness, and be enabled to play a part in musical collaboration through the fusion of Eastern and Western music. Goa is one of the greatest musical melting pots and represents the perfect springboard for the Roots of Fire, a cultural education project that aims to inspire pride in local cultural heritage through music. The performance at the Roots of Fire concert at Kala Academy on 19th January will include works by Mozart, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and David Murphy. The project then moves to Mumbai for one of the first musical performances at the newly-restored Royal Opera House, Mumbai on 20th January. Recipient of the Padma Vibhushan, the secondhighest civilian award of the country, Ustad Amjad Ali Khan and his sons Amaan and Ayaan Ali Khan have been recognised on the global stage as leading musicians in their own right. The Khan family has a history in ‘East-meetsWest’ collaborations most recently releasing the album Soul Strings with American classical violinist Elmira Darvarova

Sampada Kunkoliekar’s Konkani book ‘Prasannotsav’ released

Sampada Kunkolienkar, Mridula Sinha and Jyoti Kunkolienkar

Honourable Governor of Goa H E Mridula Sinha released Sampada Kunkoliekar’s Konkani book Prasannotsav at Raj Bhavan.

The book delves into the law of energy. Readers can learn about law of energy and its use to live a happy and successful life.


Saturday, 14 January 2017




s we get ready for yet another Assembly Election, my thoughts take me back to that historic Referendum of Monday, 16th January 1967. Incidentally, it has been the only referendum ever in the country; and was permanently binding on people of India. The two main parties, UGP and MGP, were formed with two opposing ideologies. The Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (Pro-Maharashtra Goan Party) wanted to merge the state of Goa into the newly formed state of Maharashtra. The United Goans Party wanted to retain independent Union Territory status for Goa in 1963, during a visit to Goa, then Prime minister Jawaharlal Nehru, had promised that Goa would remain a Union Territory for ten years after which the future of Goa would be decided in accordance with the wishes of the people of Goa. The MGP was not prepared to wait for that long. The MGP and politicians from Maharashtra were elated at the victory of MGP in the first Assembly Elections in 1963 and assumed it as a mandate that the majority of Goans were in favour of merger. Dayanand Bandodkar, leader of MGP and the first Chief Minister of Goa, proclaimed that by voting the MGP into power, the people of Goa had, in effect, voted in favour of merger with Maharashtra. The United Goans Party, headed by Dr. Jack de Sequeira, also knew that if the issue was put to vote in the state assembly, merger was a foregone conclusion (In a 30 member Goa Assembly, MGP had 16, UGP had 12 and one member each was from Daman and Diu) Dr. Jack de Sequeira and his legislators met Indira Gandhi, who had become Prime Minister of India then, and

submitted a memorandum that such a monumental decision affecting the future of the State could not be left to legislators alone, but should be put before the people to decide. Purushottam Kakodkar, President of the Goa unit of the Congress Party, used his personal equations with the Nehru family to lobby hard for a referendum with the central leadership. The referendum could be conducted via a signature campaign or by secret ballot. UGP also demanded that expatriate Goans staying in other parts of India or the world, should be allowed to vote by postal ballot. However this request was denied. President of India, Dr Radhakrishnan gave his assent to the Goa, Daman and Diu (Opinion Poll) Act on 16 December 1966 after it was passed in both houses of the Parliament. Monday, 16 January 1967 was chosen as the date for the referendum. Now that the referendum was to be conducted, the antimerger faction feared that Bandodkar would use the state’s administrative and lawenforcement machinery to browbeat the anti-mergerists into submission. The UGP demanded that the MGP government resign so that the referendum could be conducted in a free-andfair atmosphere. The central government conceded and on 3rd December 1966, the MGP government resigned. Maharashtra sent a powerful team of politicians and speakers like P K Atre to campaign for full three weeks from 25th December 1966 till 14th January 1967 along with Shahir Amar Sheikh and his troupe. The slogans were “Matem Kunala - Gulabachya Fulala; Jithey Mumbai - Tithey Goa; Lakshant Theva- Amucha Dava, Goa Maharashtrant Vilin Zalach Pahije” Contribution of many

Jack de Sequeira

Dayanand Bandodkar

The United Goans Party, headed by Dr. Jack de Sequeira, also knew that if the issue was put to vote in the state assembly, merger was a foregone conclusion leaders including Jack Sequeira, Kakodkar, Uday Bhembro, Aravind Bhatikar, Ulhas Buyao, Chandrakant Keni et al for the cause of antimerger cannot be forgotten. This group wanted Goa to remain as an independent Union Territory, so as to retain its culture, and self-identity bringing to the fore arguments based on linguistic science, culture and self-identity. Ulhas Buyao, who was active in the non-merger group, led by the army of young artists, started the Jai Gomantak Kala Pathak with Konkani songs written by lyricists like Dr Manoharrai Sardesai, Shankar Bhandari and Adv Uday Bhembro. The response to these programmes was so overwhelming that promerger MGP groups began disrupting Ulhas Buyao’s Jai Gomantak Kala Pathak in their stronghold areas. During these period, Ulhas Buyao performed 75 public gatherings and meetings in 15 days, convincing people with his golden voice and sensuous melodies. The two songs of Ulhas Buyao which are still fresh in my mind till this date are ‘Shetatlya kamtyano-Goenchya mhajya Goenkarano. It was a passionate song which was sung at start by only those on stage including Ulhas Buyao (he was called Shahir Ulhas Buyao to counter Shahir Amar Sheikh) but within a few seconds the whole crowd

would join in the chorus singing. (As I am informed the lyrics by Manoharrai Sardessai and music by Buyao was composed in less than 48 hours). The other one was more of a satire. “Nazar Kavlyachi Tavshyar, Nazar Buklyachi Bobshar”- and then a loud chorus “Kavlyaak Tavshem Melchem naa - Buklyaak Bhobshem Melche Naa”. Melchem naa re melchem naa – Amchem Goem Amgelem – Melchem Naa!!” By Sunday 15th January, the atmosphere was highly charged. On either sides, passions were at its peak. And this was despite the absence of electronic media, barring radio and just 3 newspapers – The Navhind Times, Gomantak (Marathi) and Rashtramat (Marathi). While Gomantak was totally favouring Merger, Rashtramat was mouthpiece of anti-merger voices. Navhind played a role of a fence sitter. The Opinion Poll was held with ‘Rose’ as symbol for Merger and ‘Two Leaves’ the symbol of Union Territory. It was a foggy morning with an overcast sky. Elders in the neighbourhood in my village, Cansaulim felt it was a bad omen. Nevertheless, people started getting ready to go to Escola Primaria (Primary School) - a few metres away from my house across the railway tracks. Fisherwoman from the village who normally took fish by train to Vasco and Margao decided to take leave,

some of them for the first time in life and stood in the queue to vote. By 8 a.m. that morning the whole atmosphere was unbelievably charged. A 50 metre serpentine queue of voters – all wanting to exercise their adult franchise – a scene not even witnessed at the Ration Shops during the most acute shortage of food grains during 1965-66. All of them knew it was now or never. They were partly confident, but mostly apprehensive and edgy. By 5 pm, more than 80% voters from the village (as was in most other locations in Goa) had voted. Even to this date, the results declared on Radio Goa at the Tortoise Pace (it was manual counting) sets goose pimples. There were 388,432 eligible voters. A total of 317,633 votes were polled. Three days were allotted for counting of votes. At the end of the first day’s counting, pro-merger had more than 15000 votes majority. Massive preparations were underway in Mumbai for celebrations – two additional flights of Indian Airlines were planned from Mumbai to Goa. However, by end of the 2nd day, the picture was clear. Pro-merger forces were lagging behind by more than 8000 votes. And with three constituencies pending for 3rd day counting – Curtorim, Cuncolim and Cortalim, the writing was on the wall. 54.20% voted against merger whereas 43.50% voted in favour. Goans rejected the merger with Maharashtra by a vote of 172,191 to 138,170. The Supporters of Union Territory won by 34,021 votes. Memories of immense sacrifice of those Goans who fought for maintaining Goa’s identity will continue to linger. Let us all salute our Goenkars of mid-Sixties for voting intelligently and responsibly. Email us your feedback at



Saturday, 14 January 2017 My Goa


How and When to Call it a Day


Ashwin Tombat

S Dhoni, the wicketkeeper and batsman whose recent retirement surprised and shocked India’s cricket-mad public was, in my opinion, the country’s greatest skipper ever. He said that the Indian team was now Virat Kohli’s team. Dhoni’s decision was in the country’s interest; it’s typical that he put the team first. He is the only Indian captain apart from Kapil Dev to have led the country to a World Cup victory. And that is not the only point of similarity between these two remarkable sportsmen, who have been described as India’s best natural athletes in cricket. Both were very successful, not so much in statistics as in their ability to take hard decisions – to risk all for results rather than play safe. Both were small town boys in a sport traditionally dominated by those from big cities. Both had an uncanny ability to stay calm in difficult situations and give their team mates the confidence to turn

the tables. Both led from the front, putting in impressive personal performances to turn the tide in seemingly impossible situations. In one-day internationals Dhoni scored 9,110 runs with an incredible average of 50.89 (nine centuries and 61 halfcenturies). He accounted for 359 victims from behind the stumps and one from the other side, as a bowler. Dhoni took India to the top ranked Test side in 2009. He captained the country in 60 Tests (27 wins, 15 draws, 18 losses), 73 T20 internationals (41 wins, 28 losses), and 199 ODIs (110 wins and 74 losses). The statistics are good, but not compelling. The last number is the biggest indicator that statistics didn’t matter to the man – if he had stayed on for just one ODI more, he would have reached a ‘magic’ round figure of 200 matches as captain. But that didn’t bother him. Dhoni earned his credentials as captain when he led India’s fledgling T20 side to win the inaugural edition of the World T20 championship

M S Dhoni hangs his gloves with style and grace

M S Dhoni

in 2007. He was selected as India’s T20 skipper in a highly controversial and courageous decision by the then Chief Selector Dilip Vengsarkar. After Dhoni’s retirement, Vengsarkar recalled that immediately after taking the momentous decision to appoint a young rookie as


T20 captain, he changed his flight booking so he could sit next to Dhoni and get to know him, on a two-andhalf-hour long flight from Kolkata to Mumbai. To no avail. Immediately after takeoff, Dhoni dozed off and went to sleep, and only got up when the flight landed in Mumbai!

Traditional Karate Association of Goa hosts a pioneering All-Goa Karate championship

Triumphant students of Dojo de Goa


arate Association of India (KAI) is the only National Federation (NF) in India to be recognized by Govt. of IndiaMinistry of Youth Affairs & Sports for Karate, and the only association in India to be affiliated to World Karate Federation (WKF). Traditional Karate Association of Goa, the only Karate Association in Goa to be affiliated to The Sports

Authority of Goa and affiliated to Karate Association of India, conducted a ‘TKAG Open Karate Championship-2017’ on the 7th and 8th January at the SAG’s Indoor Stadium at Campal. The event saw participation from fourteen teams from all over Goa under respective instructors – Sensei Subhash Shirodkar, Sensei, Mahendra Naik, Sensei Stephen Stanlee, Sensei

Joseph Rodrigues, Sensei Uday Pillai, Sensei Jagdish Bhobe, Sensei Gaurish Dabholkar, Sensei Seraz Shaikh, Sensei Nityanand Juvekar, Sensei Aslam Shaikh, Sensei Merrick Rodrigues, Sensei Satish Kumar, Sensei Subash Sonar and Sensei Uday Zambaulikar. The competition categorization of Kata and Kumite (Competition Categories) were done by

belts (grades) as White/ Yellow/Orange belts (Novice), Green/Blue/Purple belts (Intermediate) and Brown/ Black Belt (Advanced); as independent categories to give a chance to all freshers practicing Karate to gain an experience of competitive karate and to give them a level playing field. The event saw a whopping 1015 category entries as never seen before

That brings me to a personal memory from 44 years ago. St Mary’s (ISC), my school in Mumbai, was among the city’s top schools in sports, especially boxing, athletics, hockey and football, but not quite as good in cricket. In 1972, for the very first time in its history, our school reached the finals of the under-15 Giles Shield inter-school tournament. I was among the 100 or so students active in sports who were given three days leave from school to cheer for our team. Our team had a formidable fast bowler in Mansoor Zakaria, elder brother of CNN’s Fareed Zakaria, and a crack batsman called Vijay Mohan Raj, later to play in the Ranji Trophy for Mumbai and Hyderabad. But despite all our vociferous cheering, we lost miserably to King George School (later renamed as Raja Shivaji Vidyalaya). The main damage was inflicted by the King George School captain (he scored 150), who – like Dhoni – was also the wicket keeper. His name was Dilip Vengsarkar... at any state level Karate tournament in Goa. This event did not have any barriers in terms of age, gender, styles and affiliations. This is the first time in Goa that a Karate event saw the ‘draws’ being generated by using online software, which is used by KAI and WKF for conducting championships. All the arrangements for the event were as per KAI and WKF standards including an electronic scoreboard, which was used at every competition areana. All the safety regulations were strictly followed including compulsion of use of protective gear. V. M. Prabhu Dessai, Executive Director of Sports Authority of Goa was the Chief Guest for the opening ceremony. All participants and winners were given due Medals and participation certificates.


Saturday, 14 January 2017


Sanyogita Rane Sardessai - Goa’s Jaiba Rane Sardessai was the first Goan lady First Woman Parliamentarian Sanyogita to be elected to Lok Sabha in 1980 Balaji Shenoy


imala Tirodkar alias Sanyogita Rane, was born in Gwalior on August 20th 1926, to Dattajirao and Radhabai of the royal Bhosale family. Natives of the Konkan region of Maharashtra, the Bhosale family moved to Gwalior which was then a princely state under the British Empire. Sanyogita Rane completed her elementary education at Gajra Raje High school in Gwalior. Soon after completing her education, she was married in 1945, to British Army Officer Major Jaisinghrao alias Jaiba Satroji Rane, of the famous Rane family of Sattari, Goa. Entry into Politics and thereafter. Sanyogita expressed great interest in politics and

joined the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) but was not an active member until the Lok Sabha elections held in 1980, when she received an opportunity to contest for the North Goa Parliamentary seat. Though the MGP lost miserably in Goa, MGP candidate from North Goa, Sanyogita Rane Sardessai won the election by vast majority, defeating some of the stalwarts like Purushottam Kakodkar (Congress), Ravindra Kelekar (Janata Party), Gopalrao Mayekar (Independent) and Pandurang Shirodkar (Lok Dal). During her tenure at the Lok Sabha from 1980-1984, She moved a bill for a separate University which was accepted by the house and as a result

Sanyogita Rane

Vinsan Academy’s ticket to the world of cinema Like all creative arts industries, starting your career in film production can be challenging with the prevalent strong competition, but Goa’s Vinsan Academy of Film and Media is helping budding film makers find their ground in the everevolving film industry. The Academy aims to help inspire the next generation of Indian filmmakers and inculcate a sense of appreciation for cinema. The courses offered are designed to introduce a new comprehensive curriculum comprising of lectures, master-classes, projects with production houses, internships, and studio location visits. Vinsan Academy of Film and Media has an experienced faculty of industry professionals, directors, actors, and producers who encourage students to grasp fundamental modern concepts and techniques. In addition to a comprehensive course on film making, Vinsan Academy offers an additional programme on composition and motion graphics which

Sanjay Shetye, Founder

Dnyanesh Moghe, Film maker

includes specialization in software such as 3D Max, Da Vinci Resolve (postproduction), Photoshop and After Effects. The in-house faculty comprises of leading professionals from the Goan and Indian film industry like Dnyanesh Moghe for direction, D a m o d a r Mauzo for screenplay writing, Mukesh Ghatwal for music, Sharmad Raiturkar for camera, Les Menezes

Damodar Mauzo, Writer

and Sachin Chatte for film appreciation and Sagar Naik for editing and post production. The academy hosts professional experts from across the countr y as part of the visiting faculty.

Some of these prominent professionals from the film industry are Satish Kaushik, Ravi Jadhav, Gajendra Ahire and Nishtha Jain (film direction), Anant Mahadevan (screenplay), Charudutt Acharya (screenplay and creative writing), Manish Pingle (location sound recording), Niraj Voralia (editing) and Girish Wankhede (marketing and funding of films). Vinsan World has managed several film projects which have received critical reviews and accolades

Goa University was established in 1984. She also raised the issue of ration distribution, demanding that soldiers receive quality food free of cost. As the chairperson of Goa State Social Welfare Board in 1989, she worked zealously for the improvement of old-age homes and the emancipation of rural women by spreading awareness about their civil rights and various schemes available. Sanyogita was honoured with the ‘Yashodamini’ Award in 2002 and was recently felicitated by Goa legislative assembly in 2014. Goa’s first lady parliamentarian breathed her last, this week. My Goa offers homage to her memory.

education worldwide. The Goa Marathi Film Festival is one such initiative that is successfully held for the past 9 years. This festival brings together veteran directors, actors, producers and other professionals from the Marathi Film Industry. Popular Konkani feature film, Digant which was produced by Vinsan and directed by Dnyanesh Moghe was nominated at prestigious film festivals in the country and abroad. Additionally, Vinsan has produced and directed various genres of films and advertisements.



Saturday, 14 January 2017 My Goa


JACKIE Shroff DEBUTs IN KONKANI CINEMA with ‘soul curry’


rom winning awards at festivals to earning a name with their compelling stories from Goa, Konkani films are going notches higher. And now to sustain the interest in Konkani films is news of Bollywood star Jackie Shroff, acting in his first ever Konkani film project, Soul Curry directed by Nieelesh Malkar. Jackie says working on the film was an opportunity he couldn’t miss. The actor said, “I love Goa very much. It is a state which I have been visiting since the 70s. Christmas and New Year

back then would be celebrated

by our family in Goa. When I was told about this story, I said yes, because I love Goa. This is my first break in Konkani films and I hope to work in a Konkani film every year.” The film Soul Curry has been produced by Michael Mascarenhas and throws light on Goan music. “This Konkani film has given me the opportunity to play a musician, a role which I have never played in my entire career,” says Jackie. In this film, Jackie plays the protagonist role of Philip, a once successful saxophone

player, who now accepts offers to play at funerals because of a declining demand for saxophone musicians. His wife, played by national award winning actress Seema Biswas, has to put up with the tantrums Philips throws due poor job prospects. Straining their relationship further, he taunts her for bearing him only daughters and not a son. The director of the film, Nieelesh Malkar says, “I have always been amazed by Goan music. I have directed several music videos and noticed how Bollywood music always had

a shadow of Goan Portuguese music to it. Through Soul Curry, I decided to express my love towards this aspect of Goa and the experience has been an exciting one, which gave me the opportunity to explore the real cultural side of Goa.” Talking of the bright future of Konkani cinema, Nieelesh who is already planning another Konkani film, says, “Konkani cinema can really work well. If an Iranian film with English subtitles can be highly acclaimed and screened all over the world, why not a Konkani film?”

Issued by General Secretary, Goa Forward Party

Celebrate your Birthdays with Desserts N More

Printed, published and owned by Harshvardhan V. Bhatkuly and printed at Elegant Offset Printers, Karaswada, Mapusa Goa and Published at 409, Citicentre, EDC Patto Plaza, Panaji - Goa 403001. Editor: Harshvardhan V. Bhatkuly Unsolicited material may not be returned. The opinions in columns and other stories expressed in My Goa are not necessarily that of the publishers and the Publisher/Editor shall not be held liable for any inaccuracy or otherwise. While great care is being taken to ensure accuracy of information, the publishers are not responsible for omissions or incorrect information. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the permission of the publishers.

My goa 14 jan 2017  

My Goa 14 January 2017

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