SLAVES: According to Narendra Modi we do not own either our mind or our body. On behalf of Modi, the Attorney General insisted that your hands and your eyes belong to the government
AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following when the Modi government wanted to own our bodies along with our minds. For a Saturday following the week when even the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA from Vasco attacked the Mormugoa Port Trust (MPT) Chairman for supporting the Adani coal terminal. For a Saturday following the week when the electricity department decided to penalise Goans for its own inefficiency. For a Saturday following the week when I had my third relapse of malaria after shifting from Babush’s Taleigao constituency to Manohar Parrikar‘s Panjim constituency.
AND a few stray thoughts on the Modi government now wanting to take over our bodies. During the hearing on making the aadhaar card compulsory, the Attorney General, Mukul Rohatgi, told the Supreme Court that citizens do not have an absolute right over their own bodies. This means that the Modi government owns both our minds and our bodies.
Our fingers do not belong to us but to Narendra Modi. Our hands do not belongs to us but to Narendra Modi. Our eyes do not belongs to us but to Narendra Modi. In short all of us are slaves of Narendra Modi.
It is by this logic that the government of Modi is insisting that it is compulsory for every man women and child to give our finger prints and the print of our hand and the impression of our eyes to the government for any use they want to. In making aadhaar cards compulsory for all purposes the government wants a right to own our bodies.
The government of Narendra Modi already has taken control of our minds.
WE CANNOT protest against any policy of either the central government or the states ruled by the Sangh Parivar including Goa. If we ask for azadi from the dadagiri of Narendra Modi and Manohar Parrikar we are liable to be arrested. If we even post on Facebook against Modi or Parrikar the cyber cell of the police will be prompt to file a case. Of course if a citizen like me files a case against Facebook for cheating and extortion the Director General of the Goa Police who considers himself a cyber security expert will not take any action. Unless of course I abuse Modi or Parrikar on Facebook. In which case Facebook may not take action but Parrikar’s chamchas will.
UNDER the Modi government no one has freedom of expression. A Krishna Kanhaiya who verbally attacked the BJP government in Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) was accused of sedition and arrested. Dalits who were protesting against the suicide of Rohit Vemula in Hyderabad were assaulted by the police. When Sanjay Leela Bhansali tried to make a film on Rani Padmavati which suggested a love affair with a Muslim king, the sets were burnt. This is despite the fact that historians have pointed out that Padmavat, the 16th-century poem by Malik Muhammad Jayasi on which the film is based, is a work of fiction. The chadiwala Pahlaj Nihalani who is the Chairman of the Censor Board even refused to allow the release of Karan Johar’s film Ae Dil Hai Mushkil because it had love scenes between an Indian actress and Muslim actor. Even scholars who questioned the wisdom of prescribing Hindutva books in schools are threatened. A respected professor of Delhi University who is 80 per cent handicapped has been sentenced to life imprisonment by the Courts on the basis of a false case by the Modi government.
As Shyam Divan, the counsel appearing for the civil rights activists who are opposed to making the aadhaar card compulsory said, it is an invasion of our right to privacy. Divan asserted, I am the owner of my body. It follows that I am the owner of my hands. I am the owner of my eyes. The government cannot force me to give my finger prints and my retinal print. Even more so because the government is not capable of securing the data that it is taken from me. The government has no absolute right over our bodies or our minds.
Yes the government can take our finger prints if we commit a criminal act. It can demand our finger print if we ask for a passport. But it cannot make the aadhaar card which is a record of our finger prints and our retina mandatory to give us a ration card. It cannot make aadhaar compulsory for giving us old age pension. The government may argue that it is providing a benefit and therefore has a right to record our identity details. But this cannot extend to either pan cards or bank accounts. The government cannot amend the Income Tax Act to make it compulsory to link our aadhaar card with our bank account. Just as our bodies are ours, our hard earned money is ours. The government has no right to risk our savings as anyone can hack into the aadhaar records and steal our money. We have to get together to protest against the government chori of our mind body and money.
ALMEIDA SEES SENSE
AND a few stray thought on the BJP MLA from Vasco, Carlos Almeida, joining the protest against the MPT supporting the proposal of Gautum Adani to make Mormugoa a fully dirty port. Already Goa’s Vasco port is among the dirtiest ports in the country. Which is shocking because Goa is a tourism state. Already a large quantity of coal which can blacken not only your face but the entire city of Vasco and the whole state of Goa is being imported through the MPT. The coal is not even meant for use by Goan industry, but is for the benefit of the Jindal Steel plant in Karnataka. This is in addition to the dirty cargo of iron ore that is exported through MPT.
With exports of ore falling, in its greed to make money MPT wants to convert the port into a coal handling facility for Adani. The industrialist who is very close to Modi has won a contract to extract coal in huge quantities from Australia. Every state in the country has refused to permit the coal to be imported through the ports located in their state, like the Bombay port or the Cochin port. Goa became the bakra with the help of Modi and the union minister for shipping and transport, Nitin Gadkari. Without consulting Goans or obtaining environmental clearances, permission was given to convert MPT into a dirty cargo port with special terminals for handling over 50 million tonnes of coal a year which is more than the highest amount of ore ever handled.
UNFORTUNATELY for Adani the NGT objected to the permission given by the Centre and the Goa State Pollution Control Board (GSPCB). The NGT ordered a fresh public hearing. All the activists in Goa got together and decided to oppose the blackening of Goa by Adani and company. The MPT tried to restrict the crowd as they have done in the past by organising the public hearing at the Vasco Residency which can accommodate less than 100 people. The activists demanded that the hearing should be held at a much larger place on a public holiday so that all the affected people could attend. The MPT was forced to scheduled the hearing at the Tilak Maidan on a holiday. The MPT Chairman made Goans even more angry by calling activists from outside Vasco who came for the hearing, bhaile or outsiders. Naturally Goans were very angry that the chairman who was the bhailo was calling the Goans outsiders. Vasco is not a independent state and is part of Goa.
Because of the support of Parrikar neither the BJP nor its partners in looting Goa, the Goa Forward (GF) led by Vijai Sardesai, and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party (MGP) opposed the coal terminal. In fact, stupid Vijai even went to the extent of claiming that India needed the coal terminal of Gautum Adani as we were short of power and coal is the main raw material for thermal power. In the past Goa has opposed thermal power plants because they use coal which causes pollution. The coal to be imported by Adani is not for Goa but generating power in Karnataka. So it should be imported through the Mangalore or the Karwar ports in Karnataka. Why make Goa the victim?
THE BJP MLAs and even backward Vijai of GF have woken up because of public pressure. They saw thousands from all parts of Goa attend the public hearing protesting the coal terminal. There were more people in the Tilak grounds than for a ISL football match. Politicians are always concerned over the next election. Which is why Almeida has attacked the GSPCB for granting permission to Adani. “Permission for expansion in coal handling should be denied. Instead regulate the coal that is already coming into Vasco”. Even Vijai has been forced to see sense. Finally the GF party has opposed the expansion of the coal handling capacity of MPT. The party has issued statements opposing open handling of coal in MPT though it is still not objecting outright to import of coal. Maybe Vijai does not want to miss out on any kickback or commission from Adani.
POOR POWER DEPT.
AND a few stray thoughts on Parrikar government punishing Goans for the inefficiency of the power department. The central regulatory body for power recently said that the electricity department was grossly over staffed. If the quality of power is poor it is because in most parts of Goa the transmission lines are overhead and can snap if a branch of a coconut tree falls on the wire or if a crow decides to do the zumba dance on it! The quality of even simple material like conductors is substandard. Some of the transmission lines are over 25 years old and have not been replaced. Similarly many of the transformers are grand fathers.
BILLS WILL DOUBLE!
THE power network in Goa has to be improve to ensure uninterrupted power supply and avoid sudden voltage fluctuation. But this is not the reason why our corrupt power minister, Pandurang Madkaikar, has decided to double the power tariff.
The power tariff has been increased from the present 62 paise per kilo watt to `1.20 which will double your power bill. The brunt of the power increase will fall on the domestic consumer which means you and me. While the increase in the commercial rate is much less, from `1.24 to `1.86, the increase in the industrial rate is steep and will drive away even the few industries in Goa.
What is absurd is the reason for the increase in the tariff. Apparently the increase is needed to pay the National Thermal Power Corporation dues of `92.58 crore. Goa has no captive power and depends on the national power grid for the supply of power. We do not know how much of the increase will go into the pocket of Madkaikar.
AND a few stray thoughts on my suffering a relapse of malaria for the third time after I moved from Babush Monserrate’s Taleigao constituency to Manohar Parrikar’s Panjim constituency.
I did not realise when I moved to Tonca, in the heart of Panjim, that I was stepping into a mosquito sanctuary. Parrikar has been breeding mosquitoes and encouraging them for the last 20 years by refusing to do anything about the St Inez nalla. The chief minister who could spend over `1000 crore for IFFI and `100 crore on the Dona Paula-Miramar bypass road, has no money to protect Ponjekars from the mosquito.
It is not just malaria which is a problem, though the falciparum variety can be fatal. If you have falciparum malaria you have to go to Goa Medical College (GMC) or a hospital with an ICU as it affects the lungs and you need a ventilator. The even bigger threat is dengue for which there is no cure. If it is not controlled in the early stages it can cause death. Unlike the malaria mosquito which comes like a thief in the dark, the dengue mosquito is an awara. It bites during the day and breeds in clean stored water. So even if you have a flower vase or have stored water, it can become a breeding ground for dengue mosquitos. And nobody in Panjim is bothered about making the capital resistant to mosquitoes. Parrikar who can launch a surgical strike against Pakistan is helpless against mosquitoes.
It starts with violent shivering. If your shivering doesn’t stop, don’t to go to a hospital. Go to the path lab and get a blood sample. The most reasonable is Citilab run by Dr Velingkar at Kamat Centre, near Dempo House in the market, which will give you results in 10 minutes. Urban Health Centre takes 24 hours. Even if you go to the hospital they will want a blood sample, and if they are corrupt they will tell you that you have malaria even if you don’t have it just to make money.
Depending on the kind of malaria you have, admit yourself to a nursing home or hospital which has a ventilator. The most reasonable hospital is CMM in Altinho, as it is run by a charitable trust and not like the Campal clinic. At CMM I paid only one-third the amount I paid at the Campal clinic the last time. The worst part of it is that the government health card does not provide for treatment of malaria or dengue.
The most important aspect of the treatment of malaria is that even after the immediate problem of fever and shivering is over you have to continue the prevention tablets for 15 days.
HERE TO STAY
AS IN the case of antibiotics, if there is a gap the whole course is useless and you’ll have to start all over again. I suspect I had a relapse because I took the tablets only for a week. The malaria parasite does not like to be thrown out. It refuses to be a temporary guest. It acts as though it has signed a leave and licence agreement for 11 months and can be found in the liver for as long as a year. So unless you are sure you have got rid of the parasite you cannot be sure of not getting a relapse.
After my third attack I tried to call up the health director. I received no response. I called up the malaria people, both state and national. They did not take any action though they have huge funds. All I wanted them to do was to do regular fogging and distribute preventive tablets among the huge migrant population in Dempo Bhat where I now stay. The Panjim MLA Sidharth Kuncalienker did not answer my calls. Parrikar who wants to become the Panjim MLA again, does not care either. The most irresponsible is the mayor Surendra Furtado. Parrikar must not be voted back from Panjim if he cannot even protect the state capital from mosquitoes. No wonder he was allegedly sacked as defence minister.