IT IS BABUSH MONSERRATE ALL THE WAY! His panel of 25 winners in the CCP elections fielded as many as 12 women out of which winners were Carolina Po (Ward 4), Shubhada Shirgaonkar (5), Varsha Hari Shetye (12), Shayani Sharad Chopdekar (15), Asmita Sandesh Kerkar (16), Aditi Gajanan Chopdekar (18), Manisha Manerkar (21), Diksha Divanand Mainkar (22), Pranjal Prajit Naik (24), Lorraine Dias (27) and Sandra da Cunha (30)

STRANGE must be the taste of success, my dears! It was a thumping victory again in the just over Corporation of Panaji elections for Panaji MLA Babush Atanasio Monserrate & Son on March 20, 2021. It was not even a close, keen fight between the BJP-Babush panel and Surendra & Ruth Furtado’s We Ponjekars or Ami Panjikar panel. From the sound of it was a cobbled up team at the last moment of desperation. It was backed by Congress and Aam Aadmi parties of course.
Is there any truth when Monserrate laughs and says the Ami Panjikar panel’s one point agenda was to defeat him? If this is true one must wonder why? Is it because the godfather general (now both a practicing Catholic and Hindu) has mastered the modus operandi of clever manipulation? The smaller perspective is to win at any cost. Does he care about Panaji city and what is good for its smart development in the larger perspective? As if as MLA of Panaji he has turned capital city into an admirable city by living up to the majority of his timeless manifesto promises – one example, you have only to see how the roads were patched up here in Panaji during the pre-civic polls to con Ponjekars. A case of this much and no more, be happy on the little that I do! It’s anyone’s guess if at one level for godfather Babush Monserrate this may be only a bitter-sweet victory if he accepts the fact that money can always buy him anything, not least of all votes from migrants eking out a living in Panaji.
Even for Babush Monserrate-baiters and haters there is this grudging forgone conclusion that he and son would win! For doesn’t Babush Monserrate run both a joint private and public limited company? Two generations of migrant families living in the growing shanty towns and slum tenements of Camarabhat, Dempobhat and other migrant pockets, whom he has helped, wooed and threatened over the years make up his extended family or so to speak – love him, hate him, they will vote for him for he is there for them. Migrants live on small mercies only.
Monserrate can bank on them. A young Muslim woman in her mid-20s tells me her mother used to stand in a queue every time she needed money to pay her school fees, “But for him my parents would not have been able to educate me! It’s a story which repeats itself amongst the hardcore vote bank Babush Monserrate has cultivated over the years and perhaps not just because he is a shrewd investor…perhaps he genuinely sympathizes with the poor and damned for whom life is an uphill affair of seeking favors constantly to stay alive. Say somewhere in his otherwise shrewd mind there is a soft corner for the cause of facilitating education for the children of a lesser God.

AMI PANJIKAR WINNERS: It’s a memorable victory for long-time sitting corporators Surendra and Ruth Furtado (Surendra winning for a record 7th time and Ruth for the 5th time (Joel Andrada, Nelson Cabral and Bansi Surlikar are the other Ami Panjikar candidates who won); extreme left in the picture is son Vladimir De Monte Furtado who played a role as cheerleader for his parents! Many of the Ami Panjikar candidates who lost say electoral reforms are the need of our times. Their chances of winning would have been better without the pre-poll delimitation and reservation of wards to confuse voters (courtesy ruling BJP-Babush Monserrate combination in power)!

Say he is the lesser of two evils like the devil and the deep sea! Say he is your typical Hindi potboiler godfather! In fact, it would have been news had Babush Monserrate & Family lost the just over CCP elections! So it is really somewhat stale news that the Babush Monserrate’s panel has won. Who doesn’t know in Panaji and beyond that Godfather Monserrate doesn’t part with money and all that it can buy for nothing? He pays for all his victories and makes someone pay for some of them.
He knows that if people get something they need first – shelter, education fees for their children, a scooter or a bicycle, even television sets or washing machines, etc — they will be his slaves, devotees, thugs…more or less forever. All he has to do is to be a good, ruthless captain and lay down his rules: Woe to whoever crosses his path! Whoever borrows money from him! Whoever double-crosses him! I would say he is the perfect heir to the late chief minister of Goa, Manohar Parrikar, whose Bharatiya Janata Party chappal he has slipped into with aplomb to continue to reap the rewards of political power albeit from his new affection for the BJP.
In Monserrate’s and also Parrikar’s book later on: Everything is okay as long as the bottom-line is how much? Any chota-mota film-star celebrity will tell you that! Sabse bada rupiya. Funny or not funny. How our politicians are a mirror image of ourselves – we hate them, we admire them. For what? We hate them for living off the public exchequer (perennially empty ) so lavishly on public money, for running their own private companies on people’s backs in exchange for crumbs, for licking up the malai of infrastructure grossly and then flaunt it on our faces? We lick arse and boots for their crumbs?
Our seasoned and much experienced politicians know that too. Money can buy everything and everyone as we slip further into our monstrous Ravanrajya times. It is a matter of serious depression if we’re aam aadmi who continue to believe in such moronic concepts like democracy, a level playing field, a modicum of moral values — for the larger good of the good earth and humanity!
Perhaps it is our perceptions which have gone for a toss for want of a larger perspective in politics and politics today has truly become what filmstar Amitabh Bachchan once famously dubbed as the narrow, self-seeking “cesspool of politics.” Who can survive in such a cesspool? The poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich a la Babush Atanasio Monserrate who of course, like his masters reads no newspapers, needs no newspaper credentials, for that matter he doesn’t even have to work for a living for he was born rich enough to turn into a money lender and investor in power and pelf extraordinary.
In conclusion, aam aadmi stays constantly at the mercy of those who worship money and power above all and our gods of mammon wear many masks to bluff it out with the same and different people over and over again! Remember Josef Stalin’s much recounted demonstration about the poor vulnerable chicken who got its feathers all pulled out one by one and when rewarded by a few grains of food, so that it may continue to live a sustainable livelihood — as prices continue to go up? Lootmaar governance is all about looting and fleecing the hardworking people of this country till doomsday!
Our politicians even as they manipulate a honest democratic system turn into parasites with vengeance once in power: See how they have perfected the art of re-arranging an electoral system with last-minute delimitation of wards in the just over CCP elections! A 75-year-old Prof Joe D’Sousa tells me ruefully that he had voted in his own residential Ward No.27 since 1985, “But this time Babush Monserrate had my ward changed to Ward No24 at St Inez…I didn’t even know about this change until AAP’s Valmiki Naik asked me why my name was listed in Ward No24 and not Ward No27 where I lived? Imagine, if I had found this out on my own at the last moment on voting day I would have been running around to find out why my name was not on the electoral roll of Ward No27 as usual! Maybe I would have missed out on voting for the first time in my life! You tell me what this BJP delimitation scam is all about if not a scam of dirty tricks politics? So what is this victory but a manipulated victory?”
So this is the ruling BJP for you! This is how it thinks! And unfortunately for the city of Panaji this is how its favorite MLA thinks — all is fair in love and war or so to speak. Except that there is no love here, only hate, hate, and more hate for the truth. If the Congress party needs the Gandhiji’s name to keep whitewashing its sins forever, so does the BJP needs Lord Ram’s name to keep whitewashing its own sins of omission and commission. Except that we’re no longer living all in a once democratic country which gave all citizens a level playing field to be happy in victories and losses!
A last note: Needless to say women love Babush Atanasio Monserrate and he knows why. He has money to burn and he has no problems burning it on women (be they Nepali, Kannadigga, Muslim, Goan women) who constantly want to know “How much will you give me?” If the honorable Ponjekers of We Ponjekars or Ami Panjikar had money to give away, they too would have won marginally more handsomely! But as far as we remember Surendra Furtada went on record confirming with media people that their Congress party has got no money to buy votes but please vote for Ami Panjikar and the chances of the capital city Panaji cleaning up its smart act of lootmaar would be brighter.
Alas, we will never know now for it was non-Ponjekars who voted for “Lord Ravan” Babush Atanasio Monserrate’s BJP-Babush panel of candidates to power anew. Let me put it this way: Monserrate & Son and BJP won a victory not worth crowing over with fireworks, cheers, hugs all around (masks and physical distancing gone with the wind) and what not and what not. Panaji lost! Ponjekars have short-term perceptions but no long- term perspective regardless of whether the perspectives are good, bad or ugly — and then again by whose standards?
It is poignant that replying to a media person’s query Monserrate compared himself to being a sandalwood tree while other trees around him are merely firewood trees – ideally to be used for sacrificial fires. (Sigh) It will be a long time before we taste the sweetness of dawn in Goa again, my dears.
ON that note it’s avjo, poiteverem, selamat datang, au revoir, arrivedecci and vachun yetta here for now!

— Mme Butterfly

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