CRADLE: The FIFA league has been the cradle for young footballers to display their talent. Goa will be amongst the worst affected by the ban as it has as many as six clubs affiliated to AIFF.
BY RAJAN NARAYAN
AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when 2.5 lakh tiranga bought by the BJP for public distribution got ruined. For a Saturday following the week when the governing body of World Football Association banned the All India Football Federation. For a Saturday following the week when one of five young people from Puducherry (formerly Pondicherry) who had come for holiday died of an overdose of drugs in Goa. For a Saturday following the week when even literate parents were finding it difficult to control kids from misusing the social network. For a Saturday following the week when the tourism season will see a large number of tourists turning up during the Ganesh Chaturthi or Chovoth holidays.
AND a few stray thoughts on the grand number of 2.5 lakh tiranga bought by the BJP for public distribution which got destroyed. The Pramod Sawant-government is the most irresponsible since statehood. The government and the chief minister know that Goans do not eat tur dal. It is only up north India hat tur dal is used daily. However, perhaps with the migrant population and tourists in mind the Goa bought 400 tons of tur dal. Of this 241 tons got spoiled because they were not properly stored. The tur dal incidence is not the only example of the government’s irresponsibility.
We would have expected at least during the period of tiranga patriotism government officials would be extra careful and play it safe. The government has admitted that 2.5 lakh tiranga were bought for public distribution but these were destroyed for reasons best known to the officials concerned.
Since Pramod Sawant took over the government has built dozens of bridges and roads. It also has the responsibility of completing projects initiated by the late chief minister, Manohar Parrikar. However, Goa’s new PWD Minister Nilesh Cabral, seems to be even more indifferent to public welfare then his predecessor, Sudhin Dhavalikar.
During a rare drive out to Sindhudurg and back recently, I had an opportunity to experience the state of the roads first hand. Anyone with spinal health problems would suffer further damage and pain if riding out on the city roads of Goa.
It is not just a question of bevda drivers but the emergence of huge craters here and there at critical corners and including the prestigious Atal Sethu bridge road which dramatizes how irresponsible and careless the Pramod Sawant government is. We expected things to improve as former vice-president of India Venkaiah Naidu is no longer the vice-president any more. But the government is still afraid of taking action against his close relative Venkata Rao of MVR Infra Projects.
Whenever the former Vice-President came to Goa the entire Nagali Hills area roads were blocked. The PWD engineers who supervised the construction of the roads should be held equally responsible. But often they are helpless because they have to pay huge amounts ranging from Rs25 lakh to Rs50 lakh to get junior engineers. So they in turn demand bribes from the contractor. The contractors down grade the quality of the material used. Which is why newly built roads develop potholes.
Nilesh Cabral announced that he was bringing a machine to fill the potholes. The first machine did not work and he brought a second machine. Let us see if technology is able to compensate for the ruthless negligence of road contractors.
AND a few stray thoughts on the governing body World Football Association banning the All-India Football Federation. To everyone shock the World Government Body for football has banned the All-India Football Federation. This follows the order of the Supreme Court which has dissolved the managing committee and constituted a committee to select the new executive body. The best part of the SC action is that half the voters of the Executive Committee are prominent football players, including Bruno Coutinho and two other leading players from Goa.
In the past the committee was dominated by politicians. To the extent that the AIFF sanctioned the setting up of the IFL which is owned wholly by the Ambanis. It may be recalled that in the very first final Goa FC which was owned by Dattaraj Salgaocar and Shrinivas Dempo they was cheated out of the trophy. The GFA is now owned by the casino Delta boss Jaydev Mody’s mafia in Goa.
It has always been the tradition that the winner of the AIFF league would be automatically selected to pay the Asia League. The administrators conceded to the demand of Neeta Ambani that the winner of the IFL will be selected for the Asia Cup. This is a major setback as the Asia Cup is the route to participation in the World Cup. The AIFF is banned by the world body because of interference of the third party. I understand that the third party being referred to is the SC. This is absurd as the SC was intervening only because the AIFF was refusing to hold the election and the same crooks controlled the association for years.
This is an action replay of what happened to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). N Srinivasan who owned the Madras IPL team refused to resign as chairman of the BCCI even though his tenure has ended. The SC stepped in and sacked Srinivasan and appointed Sourav Ganguly as the president of BCCI. In the case of hockey also the SC has sacked Praful Patel, the bidi king, who refused to resign even after his term was over. The world body for football should not interfere with the SC order to reconstitute the board for the management of football in the country.
AND a few stray thoughts on one of five young tourists from Puducherry who came for a holiday to Goa and one of them died because of an overdose of drugs in Goa. The young men from wanted to enjoy the weekend. They arrived in Goa on Friday, August 12, 2022 and spent all their nights in the Anjuna nightclubs which are notorious for rave parties and drug peddling. Of the five one of them felt uneasy after the consumption of LSD and a drug commonly referred to as Mom. He was admitted to a private hospital but his condition worsened. He was then taken to the GMC where he died and the autopsy showed he had consumed large quantities of narcotic drugs.
Goa has become not a holiday destination but deadly destination for young people. The gamut of drugs are available and the police in collusion will not touch the drug peddlers. It may be recalled that the girlfriend of Israeli drug peddler Atala had posted a video of police officials selling drugs to Atala.
Young women coming to Goa have to be very careful if they’re hopping nighclubs. The drug called ketamine is usually used to drug and rape innocent victims in what is called date rapes. Ketamine is actually an anesthetic used for treating animals and comes in liquid form. If you’re out for a happy evening be wary of anyone dropping anything in your friendly drink, this can literally paralyze you. A few drops in an innocent drink can do the trick of lulling you into a date rape you never imagined could happen to you. Sometimes you may be aware of what is happening but are in no position to resist.
The rave party season has begun and rave parties in Anjuna and Vagator are back to pre-covid times. Besides the drug menace local residents constantly complain of loud disturbing loud trance music through the night which affects them and their pets.
CURSE OF SOCIAL MEDIA
AND a few stray thoughts on even educated parents finding it difficult to control kids from misusing the social media network. Covid came as the biggest curse for children and young people. Till the arrival of covid-19 under covid protocol parents would be very reluctant to give their smartphones to their children. But post-covid parents have no choice but to buy smartphones for their children.
This is because of the covid protocol that a distance of five meters should be maintained between citizens to prevent covid infection. Presumably, the covid virus is not a good long distance jumper and cannot jump beyond five meters. Clearly it is impossible for any institution be it hotel or office or college or school to operate under this protocol. This would mean that only 1/5th of the students could be accommodated in classes. It was the beginning of online classes. The teachers had to come to schools but the students stayed at home and got their lessons on their smartphones.
Working parents were the most affected as they could not keep any control checks on their children’s studies online. A significant proportion of students misused the smartphone for downloading pornography or playing dangerous games. There have been many instances of students killing themselves playing these games. There was also discrimination between rich and poor students. Most government schools in the State have no internet connection. Even in places where the schools have internet connection the remote places where the children resided did not network. So we heard these reports of students climbing trees and hills or park themselves in the middle of roads to access their online classes.
Online classes did not permit the required interaction between students and teachers which is such an important part of education. And of course there were no question of extracurricular activities. Part of the problem is that many parents are illiterate or semi-literate. It is well known that kids pick up smartphone usages very quickly. So we have a generation where the kids are internet savvy but not parents who haven’t a clue to what their children are up to with their smartphones.
Even I as a senior citizen do not know the difference between Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and the rest of the social networking apps and barely manage to send and receive messages for my own work.
AND a last stray thought on how the tourism season is booming with large crowds expected for Ganesh Chathurti holidays. Chovoth is the most important festival of the Konkan states including Goa. It is considered more important than Diwali and Dusserra and other major festivals in other parts of the country.
In Goa, Chavath is primarily a family festival. Members of the extended family both living outside Goa or abroad come back to their ancestral houses and live and eat together for ten days while paying homage to Lord Ganpati. Though many families have now cut down the celebration to 1½ days because of various pressures. There are strict orders that Lord Ganpati idols may not be of plaster of paris for this is banned. Only Ganesh or Ganpati idols of mud or terracotta are permitted. However, few know the law and we see the tragic scene post-Chovoth of discarded idols in a mutiliated state here and there at water bodies after visarjan or immersion.
However, environmental damages notwithstanding, enthusiasm for Lord Ganesh worship and celebration run high with ghumat aarti and a daily change of vegetarian menu in most households playing a primary role in most homes. The ghumat is the terracot drum using the skin of the monitor lizard which is endangered. The skin is now being replaced by other material but we are not sure if the musical effects are the same.
Lord Ganesh is the remover of all obstacles in Hindu tradition. Which is why when any new venture is started it is mandatory to offer a Lord Ganesh puja. Prime Minister Narendra Modi even goes about claiming Lord Ganesh is ancient Bharatdesh’s pioneering example of an elephant head transplant. This is because legend has it that in a fit of fury Lord Shiva chopped off the head of his son Ganesh who was guarding the door where his wife Parvati was bathing – forbidden to enter by Ganesh he chopped of his head. Later to console Parvati he had the head of a baby elephant removed and attached to Ganesh and so we have a re-born Lord Ganesh in our religious mythological stories which are being taken more and more seriously as time goes by.