IRRESPONSIBLE: The Goa government under pressure from Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar has refused to enforce any restriction on tourists on New Year events, despite the sharp increase in number of covid-19 cases.


AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when the minority Christian community was under attack in all parts of the country except Goa. For a Saturday following the week when the ruling BJP abandoned the late Manohar Parrikar’s policy of giving tickets to Catholic candidates. For a Saturday following the week when Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Tourism Minister Manohar Ajgaonkar refused to impose any night time curfew despite the sharp increase in covid-19 cases. For a Saturday following the week when the Trinamool seem to be breaking up with Lavoo Suryaji Mamledar quitting the TMC in protest over the alliance with Deepak Dhavlikar.

AND a few stray thoughts on the minority Christian community under attack in various parts of the country except Goa. Till recently Hindutva fanatics restricted their attacks primarily to the Muslim minority community. But now Christmas seems to have been the provocation for attacks on the Christian community across the country, Admittedly even before Christmas there was tension in Karnataka with claims by the BJP that Hindus were being forcibly converted into Christians. Even a Bible was desecrated in Bengaluru which has a large Christian population but has never witnessed such attacks on the Christian minority.
The flames were lit at the two dharam sansad held in Haridwar and New Delhi where the heads of thousands of BJP frontal organisations openly promoted genocide of Muslims. Which affectively means the elimination of the minority communities. As the 2024 parliamentary elections approach the objective of the BJP seems to be convert India into a country of Hindutwadi people.
Christmas celebrations were disrupted in various parts of the country. Even school children dressing up as Santa Claus in Baroda came under attack. For the first time in many parts of North India including Ajmer in Rajasthan, churches were vandalised. This is the first time since the notorious Graham Staines murder in Odisha that there have been co-ordinated attacks on the Christian minority community.
When the waves of hate were simmering, came the tweet from Mamata Banerjee that all the Foreign Contribution Remittance Account (FCRA) of Mother Theresa’s Missionaries of Charity were frozen. Fortunately, there was a quick clarification by the head of the missionary order Sister Prema that the FCRA consent had not been cancelled or frozen. That there was a problem with the renewal of the application for acceptance of foreign funds by the Missionaries of Charity. Mother Prema now who is the head of the Missionaries of Charity further clarified that the order has itself asked all branches not to use the FCRA account till some problems were sorted out. The home ministry also confirmed that there have been no suspension or ban on the permission to received funds from abroad. The home ministry however admitted that some inquiries were being held in Gujarat on charges that the funds were misused.

AND a few stray thoughts on the ruling BJP abandoning the late Manohar Parrikar’s policy of giving tickets to Catholic candidates. The former chief minister had always been more Goan than the BJP karyakarta. Manohar Parrikar refused to join the yatra organised by the Vishwa Hindu Parishad from Diwar to Delhi to protest against the 500th anniversary of the capture of Goa by Vasco-da-Gama.
Manohar Parrikar refused to impose a ban on the slaughter, transport, consumption and shortage of beef as he was aware that it was the staple diet particularly of Goan Christians. When Pramod Mutalik of the Ram Sene started targeting churches in North Karnataka Manohar Parrikar barred him from entering Goa and setting up an office of the Ram Sene. It may have been just political opportunism on the part of Manohar Parrikar. Given the demographics and the fact that Catholics accounted for a sizable proportion of the population and no party could form the government without the support of the Catholic minority. It was this realisation that gave Manohar Parrikar the idea of offering Catholic politicians denied tickets by the Congress to contest on BJP tickets.
The experiment was a great success with all the Catholic candidates contesting on BJP tickets getting elected. There seems to be a complete change in the BJP policy under Satish Dhond and Pramod Sawant. The first causality was the sitting MLA Carlos Alemida who has been denied the BJP ticket. Alina Saldinha who was given the BJP ticket following the death of her husband Mathany Saldanha has also quit the BJP and joined the TMC.
Mathany Saldanha was very close to Manohar Parrikar and one of the earliest Catholic MLAs to remain loyal to Manohar Parrikar. Michael Lobo is on record that BJP is not concerned with work done by the karyakarta but only selecting winnable candidates. This is an irony as Michael was never a BJP karyakarta. The fact remains that both he and his wife staking claims for tickets have not got any response from the BJP leadership.
Pramod Sawant has openly declared that many of the Catholic MLAs from Salcette may not be given a BJP ticket in the forthcoming elections. More than marginalising the Catholic community it would appear that both the BJP High Command and the Low Command have decided that Goa should be saffronized.
It goes beyond side-lining the loyalists of Manohar Parrikar. The hero of the surgical strike, the late Manohar Parrikar and the man who played a role in making Modi the prime minister, has fallen from grace. To the extent that even his son Utpal Parrikar has not been given the ticket for the Panaji assembly constituency. Which has gone to Babush Monserrate instead.

AND a few stray thoughts on Chief Minister Pramod Sawant and Tourism Minister Manohar Ajagonkar refusing to impose any night time curfew in Goa despite the sharp increase in covid-19 cases on December 28, 2021. Unlike the Delhi government and several other states, Pramod Sawant has refused to impose any restrictions on New Year celebrations. This despite the fact that the number of Covid-19 cases in Goa has risen to 535 as on December 28 and the positivity rate has exceeded 4.03%. The number of covid-19 cases has doubled since Friday December 24.
The huge increase in Covid-19 cases is being blamed on two mega South Goa weddings where a lot of guests from the UK were present. However, Pramod Sawant has remained silent on the spread of covid-19 due to on-going sunburn festival at Hill Top in Anjuna. Posts on social media reveal that none of the covid-19 protocols were being followed by the Sunburn organizers.
Though many states have imposed restrictions on even weddings and religious functions in churches and mosque, no curbs have been impose on public meetings. In Goa itself there have been several mass public meetings, the biggest of which was addressed by Aam Aadmi party’s convenor and Delhi Chief Minister Arvind Kejriwal at the Bandodkar grounds. Strangely, the Central and State governments seem to think that Covid-19 protocols do not have to be observed at political rallies, including those addressed by Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
It is not a co-incidence that politicians including senior politicians in Goa are testing positive for Covid-19. Presumably both Luizinho Faleiro and Derek O’Brein must have got infected at one of the many rallies they organised. The I-PAC team is in panic and have been directed to get its staff tested.

AND a few stray thoughts on Trinamool which seems to be breaking up with Lavoo Mamledar quitting the TMC in protest over the alliance with Deepak Dhavlikar. Lavoo Mamledar was one of the three MLAs of the Maharashtrawadi Gomantak Party. However, Lavoo was defeated in the 2017 elections, but he continued to be a member of the party. The former police officer had quit the MGP and joined the TMC.
When the TMC decided to enter into an alliance with the MGP, Lavoo Mamledar quit the TMC. It has very likely that Deepak and Sudhin Dhavlikar may also quit the TMC. This is because the TMC is reportedly upset with Sudhin Dhavlikar’s claim that he would be the chief minister if the alliance got a majority. Indeed, Mahua Moitra has made it clear that the TMC has not yet decided who will be the chief ministerial candidate. There are strong rumours that the TMC persuaded the Curtorim MLA Reginaldo Laurenco to defect from the Congress Party on the promise of projecting him as the chief ministerial candidate if the MGP TMC alliance got a majority.
The major problem that the TMC will face is that it has taken too many ambitious politicians who all expect that they will be made chief minister. Meanwhile the AAP which seems to be faltering in Goa seems to be doing very well in Chandiagarh in Punjab. As in the case of Mamata Banerjee, Arvind Kejriwal also has ambitious of being prime minister of the country. In any case he has been totally marginalised in New Delhi where all his powers have been usurped by Delhi’s Lt Governor.
Unfortunately for AAP though it seems to have a lot of funds, it does not have an affective marketing team like the TMC has.

AND a last stray thought on the death of football in Goa. Ever since the Ambanis started the Indian Super League (ISL) football in Goa has been on the decline. Instead of the half-a-dozen major clubs that Goa had, the focus turned to professional group Goa FC. Worst still the ownership of FC Goa passed on from niz goenkars Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas Dempo to casino king Jaydev Modi. The performance of FC Goa has been disasters in the currencies. To the extent that their foreign coach Juan Fernando quit abruptly to be replaced by Goan veteran Derrick Pereira. The All India Football Federation also seems to have been taken over by the Ambanis. The ISL has been given superior status over even the federation cup which is conducted by AIFF.
The biggest joke is that instead of honouring any of the great Goan footballers, Michael Lobo has installed a statue of Christiano Ronaldo, the international player of Portuguese origin in Calangute.


  1. The statue of a living football legend installed in Calangute has raised a hue and cry! Strangely, this statue was not installed by ‘mass’ forces from inside and outside Goa like that of the Maratha King installed in Mapusa! That too by the Rotaract Club- an international one whose key focus is on ‘peace and Conflict Prevention/resolution! I wonder when Reginald will find time to install the same in Curtorim, his ideology being modified in that direction? Curtorkars?

    Alcohol abuse is rampant in Goa. Along with drugs, it is taking a toll on lives and football. Coastal Goa’s culture of EDMs and drugs, pub hopping, junk food, no restrictions on sale of alcohol and drugs to minors, the NYE partying in Goa despite logic on Omicron demanding otherwise: where can good inspiration come from?

    CR7 does not drink alcohol or junk caffeine soft drinks. He hits the gyms instead of the pubs! His personal Chef disclosed his diet: veal, avocados and black rice with all food cooked in coconut oil! And plenty of purified water. Well, is this not the crying inspiration for all Goans today? Far from promoting just the sport it is doing much more! In the recent Euros, he pushed away the soft drinks. Should not this inspire Goans to ‘push aside’ the crooked beer companies that resort to surrogate advertising like the NYE organized Krank- that too during the Omicron rampage? Do not look a gift horse in the mouth: see always the future costs of current decisions.

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