INSULT: The BJP bhakt and Bollywood film star Kangana Ranaut has insulted India’s first Home Minister Sardar Vallalbhai Patel by claiming that India got its freedom only in 2014 when Narendra Modi became prime minister!


AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when Kangana Ranaut insulted India’s first Home Minister Sardar Patel by claiming that he had got freedom for India through charity. For a Saturday following the week when the task force for re-opening schools decided that classes Nursery to Standard 8 may start from Monday, November 22, 2021. For a Saturday following the week when the Supreme Court (SC) threatened to throw out a deficient affidavit filed by the Union government which fails to submit a plan on food for the hungry. For a Saturday following the week when it became clear that unless you are a crorepati you cannot get elected in Goa. For a Saturday following the week when the Goa Suraj party permitted the Goa Revolutionary party to contest on its symbol. For a Saturday following the week when the High Court is expected to hear the disqualification petition against the ten Congress MLAs and the two MGP MLAs on Monday, November 22, 2021.


AND a few stray thoughts on Kangana Ranaut insulting Sardar Patel in whose memory the BJP has built a monumental 182-meter tall statue in Gujarat. This is by virtue of the fact that Kangana Ranaut, who is a BJP member, claiming that India got freedom only in 2014 when Narendra Modi became the prime minister of India.
Such logic is perhaps on the basis that it was only in 2014 that the RSS-BJP Hindutva ideology became the national policy of the government. A transformation from the secular democratic republic installed by the Constitution to a communally polarised India. For Kangana Ranaut the sacrifices made by Mahatma Gandhi, Jawaharlal Nehru and thousands of other freedom fighters who spent years in jail are of no consequence. According to the fanatic Hindutva actress Kangana the freedom we received in 1947 was “bheek” (charity). Kangana even went to an extent of a mocking a freedom fighter for taking his pension from the government.
Kangana claim to freedom only in 2014 confirms the BJP agenda of converting India into a Hindutva state. Ironically, among the leaders insulted is Sardar Patel, who has been honoured by the BJP government with a colossal statue taller than the Liberty statue in the USA.


AND a few stray thoughts on the difference between Hindutva and Hinduism. I have no hesitation in admitting that I was born a Hindu. Even though I don’t believe in any religion. But the Hinduism that was promoted by eminent leaders like Mahatma Gandhi was an inclusive religion. It would be more correct to say that all residents of Hindustan were Hindus. Which included Muslims, Catholic, Sikh, Jain,l Buddhist, Parsee, practising other religions.
Hinduism has been like the proverbial sugar mixed in a cup of tea or milk. The sugar mixes with the milk leaving no trace of otherness, only togetherness. A powerful analogy. Similarly, Hinduism in its original form assimilated and accepted all other religions. Which is why you have a Hinayana form of Buddhism which involves worship of statues of Buddha, though Buddhism itself does not approve of any statues. Hinduism never sought to convert people from other religions.
Unlike Christianity and Islam which were proselytising religions which believed that they were the only true faith. Both Islam and Christianity believed in actively converting people from other faiths, insisting that theirs was the only true faith. Hindus believed that all were equal. Have you ever heard of a single Muslim or Catholic getting converted into a Hindu before the Modi government came to power?
Indeed, all the “love jihad” nonsense of Muslim youth pataoing Hindu girls to convert them into Muslims has been invented by the saffron brigade. After coming to power the BJP has systematically marginalised other religions. In BJP-ruled states the slaughter, storage and consumption of beef, is banned.
Ironically, the largest exporter of beef in the world is Uttar Pradesh which is ruled by Swami Yogi Aditiyanath! The latest act of saffronization is the ban by the Varodara municipality of non-veg items like kababs in public. Due to pressure and protest the mayor of Varodara has now retracted his first edict and gone back to saying that such kabab stalls should not affect movement of traffic.
The best tribute to Hinduism is reflected in the bhajan created by Mahatma Gandhi and which was sung at his prayer meetings, “Raghupathi Raghav Raja Ram, Pati Tapawan Seeta Ram. Ishwar, Allah Tero Naam, Sab Ko Sanmathi De Bhagwan….”


AND a few stray thought on the task force for reopening schools deciding that classes from Nursery to Standard 8 can be re-opened from Monday, November 22, 2021. This was announced by Dr Shekar Salkar, chairperson of the Task Force on Covid-19, even though he is reputed to be a cancer specialist or oncologist. Dr Shekar Salkar is the chairperson not because he is a Covid-19 specialist but because he belongs to the BJP. In fact, Salkar himself admits that he was not permitted to attend to covid-19 patients, as any doctor above the age of 70 years is not allowed to attend to covid-19 patients.
Moreover, the Manipal hospital of which Dr Salkar is the medical director, looted the public happily by charging Rs1,200 for RT-PCR test and Rs1,000 regarding the two doses of Covid-19 vaccine. Interestingly, the private hospitals are now admitting that they have excess stocks of vaccines which are expiring and so they are offering vaccinations free now.
Coming back to the re-opening of schools it has been left to the discretion of the management of schools to open or still on virtual mode. It is not compulsory for all schools from Nursery to Standard 8 to start physical classes. The major worry is of large schools with enrolment of over 500 students. There are many conditions imposed on the re-opening of the schools following a sharp reduction in the Covid-19 cases.
It has been stipulated that all the teachers and even the attendants and clerical staff of schools should have taken both doses of Covid-19 vaccines. It is also been stipulated that the schools will not hold morning assemblies. As far as possible the school teachers will have to maintain a physical distance of one meter between students. All students will also be required to wear masks. How students will adjust to physical classes after a gap of two years is yet to be seen. However, parents are happy that their children are back in school and they can take their smart phones back!


AND a few stray thoughts on Supreme Court (SC) threatening to throw out a deficient affidavit filed by the Central BJP government which failed to submit a plan to provide food for the hungry. The SC had directed the BJP government to frame a uniform policy to ensure that nobody in the country goes starves or goes hungry. The uniform policy proposed by the SC dictated that freshly cooked food be provided to the hungry and destitute across the states. The affidavit filed by the junior officer did not talk about a uniform policy for all states.
An angry chief justice told the BJP government, you have promised to frame a uniform policy. There is not a word about it in the affidavit. Your official is so arrogant that he undermines the highest court by asking a junior officer to file the affidavit.
When the BJP government advocate suggested that this might violate the Constitution under which food is a state subject, the SC retorted, “If you want to take care of hunger no Constitution or law will negate or impede.”


AND a few stray thoughts on how it has become clear that unless you are a crorepati you cannot get elected in Goa. This has been revealed by the Association of Democratic Reform (ADR) that all the 40 MLAs in Goa enjoy crorepati status. The majority of them were not crorepati before they became MLAs and ministers. For instance, former Chief Minister Ravi Naik who continues to be an MLA, started life as a motorcycle pilot.
Chief Minister Pramod Sawant who is an Ayurveda doctor, it is alleged, has bought huge tracts of property in Dodamarg because he is a doctor. As far as we know Sawant spent most of his time in Kolhapur where he got his degree in Ayurveda besides a degree in management. The Calangute MLA Michael Lobo was hardly worth Rs5 crore before he became an MLA. This was courtesy income from several hotels he owns. It is now revealed that he is possibly the richest politician with an admitted income of over Rs54 crore.
Next in line is Pratap Singh Raoji Rane who will claim that he made all his money from farming. There is not one single MLA in the current assembly who was a crorepati before he became an MLA and minister. Allegedly the biggest looters are Sudhin Dhavalikar and Churchill Alemao, both Public Works department ministers, the PWD has the highest budget in the State.
Babush Monserrate admittedly is the exception because he has his own properties by virtue of the fact that several of his aunts without children left their large properties in Taleigao and Dona Paula to him. A large chunk of his properties in Dona Paula was taken over by the Goa University. However, his then advocate Ferdino Rebello, who later became chief justice of the Allahabad High Court, managed to get much of the land back for him.
Babush made most of his money as a money-lender. The Rudolph gang acted as his enforcers. If some builder did not return the money which was lent at the rate of 25% per month, the Rudolph gang would take away the fancy cars and other properties of the defaulters. In the case of builders, Babush took over the entire building or several floors in the buildings, particularly those along the Dona Paula bypass road. In Shalom building itself down the Dona Paula-Miramar beach front Babush Monserrate is reported to have three flats, including the penthouse lent to one time Congress High Command Observer Margret Alva.
When Babush was appointed by the late Manohar Parrikar as the Town & Country Planning Minister, he drew up Regional Plan 2011 which converted 80% of Goa into a concrete jungle. Fortunately, due to the agitation by the Goa Bachao Abhiyan, Chief Minister Digambar Kamat scrapped RP- 2011. Babush got himself appointed as chairman of both the Taleigao Planning and Development Authority and the Panaji Planning and Development Authority.
Builders need access so that people can stay in the buildings constructed. In the normal course permission has to be taken from the Town & Country Planning department for conversion of agricultural land into settlement for building roads.
Babush directly approached the farmers and legally or illegally built his monster road, which is unofficially called the Babush road, to enable huge buildings to come up. The latest money making racket is the permission given to build houses and huge building complexes on the seaward side of the Dona Paula bypass road.
Going by the fact that you cannot win election without being a crorepati, the party which has the best chance of forming the next government are the BJP and the Trinamool Congress who are both enagaged in Kharedi Yatra.


AND a few stray thoughts on the Goa Suraj Party permitting the Goa Revolutionary party to contest on its symbol. The Goa Revolutionary party led by Manoj Parab is primarily financed by non-resident Goans. This is because the party has promised that if it comes to power it will introduce a bill for Persons of Goan Origin (POGO), who will get special preferences for government jobs and conversion of agriculture land into settlement. They will also get a special quota for admission to professional colleges. This has attracted a lot of funds from non-residents.
However, the Goa Revolutionary party could not get recognition as a registered party in the State. For unexplained reasons it is claimed that Florian Lobo, one time original director of Goan Observer, has allowed the GR party to contest elections on the Goa Suraj Party symbol. But there is some confusion as Florian Lobo has posted on Facebook that the Goa Suraj Party website has been hacked and money is being diverted from its account.
Florian Lobo, who had once contested the elections against Babush Monserrate in Taleigao, has not clarified whether he has given permission to Manoj Parab to fight the elections under the Goa Suraj party symbol. There are even rumours that Florian Lobo has sold the Goa Suraj Party for several crore to the Goa Revolution party of Manoj Parab


AND a last stray thought on the long pending disqualification petition against the ten Congress MLAs and the two MGP MLAs to be heard on Monday, November 22 by the Goa Bench of the Bombay High Court. This could have a major impact on the forthcoming elections in February 2022. Of the 27 MLAs that the BJP has in the current assembly, 12 are defectors from the Congress and the MGP. It may be recalled that when the Goa Forward and Maharashtrawadi Gomantak party (MGP) withdrew support to the Pramod Sawant government after the death of the late Manohar Parrikar, there was a revolt and he government would have collapsed.
But Babush came to the rescue of the BJP and got the ten Congress MLAs to defect to the BJP. Of the three MGP MLAs two merged with a BJP. The condition for changing parties is that they should first resign from the primary membership of the original party. The disqualification petition was filed on the grounds that the defectors were still members of Congress and MGP. BJP Speaker in the Legislative house Rajesh Patankar had been delaying the hearing of the case for two years before dismissing it.
It is only after he received orders from the Supreme Court that he took up the case. The order of the speaker has been challenged in the Bombay High Court. If the HC disqualifies the defectors the BJP will be reduced to a minority and the disqualified MLAs will not be allowed to contest elections for six years.

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