By Rajan Narayan

AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when the regional party which was formed only four years ago swept the Mizoram polls. For a Saturday following the week when the reports that in the run-up to the parliamentary elections, Digambar Kamat would be inducted into the cabinet. For a Saturday following the week when the government’s attempt to saffronise the Indian Navy. In keeping its Hindutva saffronisation the navy has asked for a change. For a Saturday following the week when how even people staying in rural areas in Goa who belong to the lower middle class insist on their Xit Curry. For a Saturday following the week when I have been in GMC for the last one month now fighting TB of the spine.
And a few stray thoughts on when the regional party which was formed only four years ago swept the Mizoram polls. The party led by the former IPS officer Lalduhoma’s Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) marginalized both the Congress and the BJP. The Congress was in power for more than two decades in Mizoram. In the just concluded election, they have got only one seat. The BJP did not fare much better getting only three seats. Both the leaders of the Mizo National Front (MNF) and the new party which was formed four years ago Zoram People’s Movement (ZPM) claimed that they will not share a platform with the Prime Minister Narendra Modi. This forced Narendra Modi to abandon his plan to campaign in Mizoram. This was the only state which went to the polls where Narendra Modi did not campaign during the semi-final for the parliamentary polls. Mizoram seems to have been influenced by the violence in Manipur. Unlike in the rest of the country, where regional parties were eliminated. Mizoram is the only state where a newly formed regional party swept the elections and got a clear majority. The new party got 26 out of the 40 assembly seats. It shows that regional parties are still in force in the north east and south of India. The Mizoram unlike Manipur is predominantly a Christian majority state. Which is why the counting which was scheduled on Sunday December 3 2023, had to be postponed by a day. The locals including the political leaders were strongly opposed to the counting on Sunday which is a very important day for the Catholic community.
And a few stray thoughts on the reports that in the run-up to the parliamentary elections, Digambar Kamat would be inducted into the cabinet. Digambar Kamat was reportedly very upset when Alexio Sequiera was taken into the cabinet by Pramod Sawant. Digambar Kamat considered himself senior and Alexio Sequiera considered the fact that he was the chief minister of Goa twice. Digambar Kamat is one of the leaders in Goa since he has been extremely accessible. When he was a power minister he would have entertainment on his phone at any time day or night. I remember calling him at 3am to complain that there was no power supply. The logic was if I didn’t have a power there was no reason why the power minister continue to enjoy the amenity of power. The reports in the Navhind Times indicate beside Digambar Kamat a first-time MLA from south Goa may also be indicted in to the cabinet. We don’t think the two heavyweights in the cabinet Vishwajit Rane and Babush Monserrate will be affected. Primarily, the BJP is extremely weak in south Goa. Salcette has been predominately catholic and now over 50% of the voters belong to the minority catholic community. Digambar Kamat got elected on the vote of the Muslim minority community at Mori Dongor in Margao. When he was chief minister lot of leaders of the Muslim community is to follow him saying baba….baba…baba. For some leaders in Goa go by the Baba name. Vishwajit Rane is also addressed as Baba by the voters in his constituency. There are industrialists that Sriniwas Dempo was also called baba and senior staff of the Navhind Time still address him as Baba. The BJP inducting Digambar in the cabinet to strengthen his hold in south Goa. The BJP is confident in winning a majority in the north but the south has always voted for the minority community candidates. It is debatable if the minority catholic community in Salcette voted for a candidate contesting on BJP ticket. The Nuvem constituency which is represented by Alexio Sequiera will certainly have strong reservations voting for BJP candidates.

And a few stray thoughts on the government’s attempt to saffronise the Indian Navy. In keeping with its Hindutva and saffronisation the navy has asked for a change. In a nomeqalqar culture of the other ranks in the Navy which means the Sailor who do not belong to the officer’s category will formally called by Hindu names. When Narendra Modi talks about being rid of the slave mentality he does not mean Indian, he means following the ory tradition of Indian culture and civilization. The latest move is to force officers in Signio of the great Maratha warrior Shivaji. It would have been more sensible to rename the Maratha of the regiment as the Shivaji regiment. But the BJP is asking the needy to follow in the footstep of Shivaji maharaj. By medaling with the armed forces Narendra Modi is setting up a dangerous threat. So it is alright to rename institutions like the Jawaharlal Nehru Library but no Prime Minister or Defense Minister before Narendra Modi has ever tempered with the armed forces. This is setting a very bad example and the experiment is carried on to the army and the air-force would have caused a revolt by the armed forces. It may be pointed out that, unlike other Hindu kings, Shivaji never had a navy from more appropriate for the the navy to inspired by some of the Sorth Indian Kings who had huge navy of their own.
And a few stray thoughts on how even people staying in rural areas in Goa who may belong to the lower middle class insist on their fish Curry. I have a young lady from Sankelim from the chief minister constituency who is helping out in the Goa Medical College hospital. When I asked her of what was her normal diet she told me it is the fish curry. She has fish curry rice for lunch and dinner. What distinguishes that niz goenkar from the other communities including the migrants is their food habits. A migrant can speak fluent Konkani or maybe they settled in Goa for several generations. But the migrants don’t share the passion of Goans for fish curry rice. The Goan employees whether they are caretakers or occupy high positions in the private sector and the government always is like a balance between work. For instance, a Goans employee will always take time off to attend weddings in the families, since Goans have extended family of cousins and nephews and uncles and aunts which means every second week there is a wedding or birthday to be celebrated. While the first generation Goans may not be very literate themselves they are very determined that they should provide good a education to their children. My friend who is helping me in the hospital has three sons one of them is doing engineering only there is pressure from kids to get them brand-new mobiles. The Goans primarily are not poor caretaking. But it is also may be pointed out that Goans have no greed for money. If they get enough fish curry rice and their basic requirement they are contempt. They will not grow over time or work themselves to the bone just to please themselves. Goans have the kind of capacity for satisfaction and contentment and other of the population do not have. The migrants are increasingly identified as Goans. Many of the migrants speak fluent Konkani. It is more difficult to identify who is Goan and who is non-Goan. In the hospital where I have been more then a month now there are many migrants suffering from diabetes. For them the GMC is a god sent because they get roti kapda and makan. They get all their meal from breakfast to lunch, tea and dinner are served by a French contractor and it is obsoletely fail. They get a change of clothes every day. In a addition they have a bed to sleep on and all the medicine are free. The biggest expenditure if you stay at the hospital is the payment made to attendants. If you do not have children and if you do not have an extended family in Goa you are demertially on migrant attendant. The attended are mostly semi-literate or illiterate and many of them settled in Goa. But none of them eat fish curry. Easily on diet on red meat and eggs. My night attendant who is a Muslim eats five eggs every day which is main source of protein.

And a last stray thought for when I have been in GMC for the last one month now fighting TB of the spine. The TB bacteria have been virtually demolished my spine. I cannot stand and virtually can’t walk and sit. Both my hands and feet are non-functioning. I am confined to bed and cannot move even to the toilet. I am been pumped with very high intensive protein because their food is not absorbing all the stuff I take for the relay. In any case the vegetarian diet does not contain as much protein as the non-vegetarian diet. The only exception I make is that I eat a two-egg omelet every day in morning. I was surprised to find out the main diet in charge of Sodexo meal supplying is originally from Tamil Nadu. Her parents of course have settled in Goa for the last 40 years ago.

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