Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.


Goa uninvited to the (special) party

April 8-15, 2013

Pushpa Iyengar

The Legislative Assembly failed to pass a resolution demanding that Goa be granted Special Status although Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that there would be a discussion followed by the passage of the resolution on April 5.  Activists who met to chalk out an agenda for the April 14 symposium are now wondering “WHICH APRIL 5 DID HE MEAN? 2017?  This is the second time there has been a “so near and yet so far” situation.  During the last assembly, Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, was ready with a bill on the Special Status but was persuaded to withdraw it by activists who felt it was “premature” and needed redrafting before introduction.Now, with Bihar CM, Nitish Kumar, going to Delhi on March 17 and demanding that his state be given Special Status, it looks like Goa’s long-standing demand will be put further on the backburner.  Even if the 28-day budget session of the Goa Legislative Assembly which commenced on March 18, passes an unanimous resolution that the central government should make the necessary constitutional amendment in Article 371 so that Goa can be given Special Status, there will be a status quo because the central government will hardly acquiesce to politically insignificant Goa’s demands (it has 2 MPs who couldn’t care less) when Bihar will contribute 40 MPs and Nitish Kumar’s JD(U) has the lion’s share of 20 MPs.

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Needed: Time Out for Tiracol

April 8-15, 2013

Lionel Messias

As I neared the end of my 72 km drive from Velsao in south Goa to Tiracol via Siolim to write this piece, I wondered: why for goodness’ sake was Leading Hotels Pvt Ltd in such a tearing hurry to buy every bit of land it can lay its hand on in Tiracol, even though it would end up changing the original landscape Mother Nature had put in place.  I was to meet Francis Rodrigues, sarpanch of Keri and Tiracol, who is fighting to annul the purchase of 12,50,000 sq mts of land by the Delhi-based firm through its frontman Sandip Ganguli, a familiar name, among the seedy pack of middlemen spreading their tentacles far and wide with as much help from the locals.

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Goa's Valid Claim

April 8-15, 2013

Team GS

Jawaharlal Nehru’s speech

Former PM Jawaharlal Nehru made this speech in Bombay on June 4, 1956, five years before Goa was liberated after 450 years of Portuguese rule. Excerpts: “If the people of Goa, that is minus the Portuguese government – if and when the Portuguese go and the people of Goa deliberately wish to retain their separate identity – I am not going to bring them by force or compulsion or coercion into the Indian Union. I merely say that my national interest involves the removal of the Portuguese from Goa, not coercion being used in bringing about the union of Goa with India, although I wish it, I desire it and it is the only solution. That is a matter ultimately for the people of Goa to decide.  I want to make it perfectly clear that I have no desire to coerce Goa to join India against the wishes of the people of Goa. But the point is that we feel that Goa’s individuality should remain and that whenever the time comes for any changes, internal or other, it will be for the people of Goa acting freely to decide upon them”.

When he came to visit Goa in 1963, Nehru reiterated his earlier promise to preserve, protect and nurture this unique culture and identity of Goa.

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What if feni became aged

April 15 -21, 2013

Hansel Vaz

Why should whisky or a brandy be aged in an oak cask and not a feni, is a question that needs to be asked.  Goans have been consuming feni for a few centuries now, yet much of the feni is not aged.  Aged feni is rare, primarily because it seems unlikely that someone would store feni without consuming it first.  For the most part therefore, aged feni is usually available at a personal level -the elixir to be served to close friends and family.  What is intriguing is that, unlike aged whisky and brandy that take on a beautiful amber hue, even the oldest feni is as clear as spring water, although it has been known to take on a pale golden hue.

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A blooming nuisance, says Nuvem

July 1-7, 2013

Lionel Messias

It usually begins with a massive chunk of a hillside being prised open by a builder without official authorization.  It’s easier this way because cutting a hill beyond the permissible height is illegal.  So builders just go ahead anyway, because they have the money that empowers them to do anything and the law is an ass in any case.  Better still, Goa’s town and country planning (TCP) department is so corrupt, it would be out-and-out foolish for a builder to stay within the law.  When Bloomz International School armed with the usual “technical clearance” began decimating yet another hillside it was with exactly this empowerment that it went ahead.  Bloomz’ empowerment comes from the fact that its owners are Agrawal Minerals Pvt. Ltd which by plain deduction means that they are also deeply into the real estate business. They do that, in fact, in the name of Kayji Real Estate and have an impressive record to boot.

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