SALARIES: The Federation of Football Associations (FIFA)Federation has accused the Churchill Brothers of not paying salaries to its players.

By Rajan Narayan

AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when the need arises to ban killer vehicles like the Mercedes. For a Saturday following the week when the Alemao Brothers football team has been banned by FIFA. For a Saturday following the week when there is a protest against increase in power tariff. For a Saturday following the week when the state of Goa is getting ready to celebrate the nation’s 77th Independence Day. For a Saturday following the week when the High Court accused the Haryana government of ethnic cleansing. For a Saturday following the week when the prices of thali meals, particularly vegetarian thali meals recorded an increase of 28%.
AND a few stray thoughts on the need to ban killer vehicles like the Mercedes. It was cold-blooded “murder” at Banastari bridge by the drunken couple Paresh Sinai Sawardekar and his wife Meghna Sawardekar on Sunday night at 8pm August 6, 2023. The couple was totally drunk with eye-witnesses saying that the Mercedes Benz was being driven by the intoxicated wife Meghna. When Meghna came out of the car apparently she could not even stand. The influential builder managed to take the driver’s seat when the cops arrived on the scene. It is bad enough that both husband and wife were in an alcoholic trance when the police removed their three children from the back seat of the Mercedes car.
They were clearly not even concerned about their own children. Ironically, while three people died in the accident out on the road the couple and their children escaped with minor injuries. Those who died were Suresh and wife Bhavna Phadte, 58 and 52 years respectively, and Anup Karmakar, 26, of Bandora. The victims out on the road were the two motorcyclists into whom the heavy Mercedes crashed before crashing into two other cars in the other lane.
The police did not take any action against the Sawardekar couple in which eyewitnesses say the wife was driving although the husband was taking the credit for driving. Suresh Sawardekar was arrested on Monday, August 7 at 4pm from Mardol. Reportedly, Sawardekar is an arrogant serial offender with five speeding challans pending for payment against him.
The wealthy Sawardekar apparently has a lot of influence as he tried to hush up the accident details. He was in the process of restoring his ancestral home in Divar. The two-wheeler rider Anup Karmakar and Vinita Bandari (resident of Ponda) were killed by the impact.
We are inclined to think that of all the luxury cars in the market the Mercedes is the most dangerous. This is because unlike other cars or even SUVs the Mercedes is an unusually heavy car and any collusion has a deadly impact. The Mercedes is built so strong that nothing happens to those in the car. Inevitably, it is those outside in the accident who pay the price with their lives.
Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant may claim that it is not possible to check every car driver for drunken driving. But certainly vehicles like the Mercedes and perhaps even SUVs should be checked out to check out drivers for being drunk and on the driver’s wheel. Transport Minister Mauvin Godinho has rightly pointed out that the Sawardekars should be forced to pay compensation to the dead victims. Owners of heavyduty luxury vehicles like the Mercedes should also be forced to have drivers, particularly if they are attending parties where liquor flows. May be as Swamy Yogi Aditiyanath is doing in Uttar Pradesh, the Sarwardekar’s luxury house in Miramar should be demolished so that a lesson is learned by the wealthy classes.

AND a few stray thoughts on the Churchill Alemao brothers football team which has been banned by the Federation of International Football Associations (FIFA). As a matter of fact Churchill Alemao has a long record of not paying his players their salaries. He is also accused of being involved in match fixing. It is Valanka Alemao, his politically ambitious daughter, who looks after the football club.
The Churchill brothers football team is one of the best teams in the country and has won many tournaments. Churchill keeps hiring top footballers like Brahmanand Sankhwalkar who won the Santosh Trophy earlier for his team Salgaocars. The Salgaocars, unlike the other football clubs, pay salaries to their players but do not offer them any major bonus. The salaries are modest but the players are assured lifetime jobs even after they stop playing. Several Salgaocar players have been absorbed in other department, such as goal keeper Suresh Kudchadkar who used to look after the travel agency Arrow Mundial.

AND a few stray thoughts when there are many protests against the increase in power tariff. In the last six months the power tariffs have more than doubled. In February 2023 my power bill was Rs800 and it increased three times to Rs4,000 plus, plus in August 2023. For the first time there are loud protests in the ongoing session of the legislative assembly about power tariffs and their flights of fancy.
Many MLAs of both the ruling BJP and the opposition Congress have demanded a sharp reduction in power tariffs. It is a crazy situation in Goa as many states in the country have been offering free power to people below the poverty line. The lucky states are the AAP-ruled states of New Delhi and Punjab. Even the Congress government in Karnataka has offered substantial cuts in power tariff to its people.
In Goa the primary reason for the increase in power tariff is poor infra-structure. The loss of power due to frequent breakdowns of transmission lines and theft increases cost of distributing power. In most cases meters are not working. The worst affected are those in the industrial units. Though the cost of power keeps increasing, the quality of power continues to decline. Because of the frequent switch in power supply from the southern to the northern grid, power supply is interrupted for 10-15 minutes.
But even this can cause damage to the household goods refrigerators and washing machines. Forget about industry, even domestic consumers will soon be forced to install inverters to all their consumer durables.

AND a few stray thoughts on Goa getting ready to celebrate the nation’s 77th Independence Day on August 15. It is unfortunate that on the eve of Independence Day communal clashes are being triggered. The Sessions Court in Margao refused to give anticipatory bail to Fr Dr Bolmax Pereira over a Sundays sermon to do with Shivaji Maharaj.
The Vasco police have filed a case against Fr Bolmax and summoned him to the police station. I understand that our so called Shivbhakts who demanded his arrest were backed by the CM in this respect. Apparently the apology offered by Fr Bolmax may not have saved him from the arrest.
The ground reality is that the parish priests tend to be very irresponsible. It is not the church as much as individual parish priests who make inappropriate political remarks in their church sermons. We know parish priests who openly campaigned for tainted candidates in elections. The parish priest of Santa Cruz Avinash Rebello used to support the goonda leaders of Santa Cruz like Rudolf Fernandes. The parish priest of Taleigao use to actively promote Babush Monserrate.
Parish priests have enormous power and influence and are responsible for the shocking defeat of Luizinho Faleiro from Navelim, a seat which he had held for five times. The parish priest backed Churchill Alemao instead.
The case in point here is not that Fr Bolmax later apologized for his ill-conceived sermon advise to Hindus not to worship Shivaji Maharaj. You cannot insult a national leader like Shivaji and be expected to get away with an apology. The responsibility is that of the archbishop, Fr Bolmax should be removed from his post as parish priest of the Chicalim church.

AND a few last stray thoughts on the Punjab & Haryana High Court accusing the Haryana government of ethnic cleansing. It may be recalled that Swamy Yogi Aditiyanath has been using bulldozers to destroy the homes of so-called criminals. The Haryana government has started to destroy the homes of those suspected to have been involved in the clashes of July 31 to August 8, 2023. It may be recalled that during the Shravan jatra the communal riot broke out between Hindus and Muslims in Nuh district in Haryana.
The Muslim community insists that this first time ever riots were instigated by outsiders Bajrang Dal in collusion with Hindu fanatics. The police were apparently ordered not to interfere. There was no police supervision of this annual jatra. The riots spread and a 15-day curfew was imposed in Gurgaon which is the commercial capital of the Delhi region.
During the curfew none of the lakhs of employees could report to work, schools were also shut down and the curfew has just been lifted. Under the instigation of the Bajrang Dal the homes of Muslims who were involved in the riot are being destroyed with bulldozers. Fortunately, for now the High Court has directed that all demolitions stop.

For a Saturday following the week when the prices of thali meals and particularly vegetarian thali meals recorded an increase of 28%. Soaring prices of vegetables, especially tomatoes, onions and potatoes have placed a heavy burden on the poor who spend the bulk of their earnings on food.
Reportedly, the cost of preparing a vegetarian meal at home soared up by 28% in July from the preceding month due to another jump in prices of vegetables and spices. The cost of the non-vegetarian thali rose by a relatively moderate 11.3%.
The cost of a vegetable thali has risen by 33.7% in July from 26.3% in June and 26.5% in July last year. On the other hand, the cost of a non-vegetarian thali spiked to Rs66.8 in July from Rs60 in June and Rs61.3 last July
A quarter of the increase in the cost of the vegetarian thali can be attributed to skyrocketing tomato costs, which more than tripled to Rs110 per kg in July from Rs23 kg in June. For over six weeks now tomato prices have continued to rise despite Central government’s intervention to rein in prices through the National Cooperative Consumers’ Federation of India (NCCF) and the National Agricultural Cooperative Marketing Federation of India (NAFED). Both NCCF and NAFED have been procuring tomatoes from the southern states and are making them available in several north Indian cities at subsidized rates of Rs70 kg. Despite a slight reduction in the last week of July to Rs100-150 kg, retail tomato prices have surged again to Rs250-300 kg in some metros. It is time to time to stop eating tomatoes at least for the time being, we don’t know what we will have to stop eating next.

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