Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

UP MLA arrested

Dirty Dancing - 1

October 7 - 13, 2013

Pushpa Iyengar

A soft state that’s a lure for CSE

For long, Goa has been viewed as a soft state and one manifestation of that was the recent mujra performance leading to the arrest of a Samajwadi Party legislator not in some obscure hotel/bar/shack/ house in the coastal hub, but Panjim’s Campal area.

Arun Pandey, director, ARZ (Anyay Rahit Zindagi), which was conceived in 1997 and is committed to combating trafficking for sexual abuse and commercial sexual exploitation (CSE) in Goa, says that the mujra performance at a hotel on August 27 by six girls coming from places as far off as Delhi, Ghaziabad, towns in Punjab and Jharkhand/Chattisgarh, is a new trend.  The man who had “supplied” the girls went absconding.

Back in 2007, ARZ had done a study and identified hotels, lodges, massage parlours, taxi drivers, motorcycle pilots, even trawlers as part of the network that fed CSE.  Back then conferences were emerging as a fertile ground for CSE. Now, that has become a practice as the fourth such crackdown on the Calangute coast, when a 32-year-old native of Andhra Pradesh, Javed, was arrested and eight girls rescued in a Calangute resort last week, indicated. The girls had checked into the resort with 28 farmers and pesticide dealers from Gangavati- Karnataka and were told that they had been hired to “entertain” the conference delegates. Javed from Hyderabad was the “event manager” a euphemism for pimp in this case.

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The Battle for Goa’s Blue Bay

September 30-October 6, 2013

Lionel Messias

Mormugao’s Chicalim bay has always been in the crosshairs of men who will break the law, all laws for that matter, in order to become richer or worse realize a dream (read as in a millionaire’s plaything) like a marina for instance.  As always it is perpetrated in the name of development, a word that has become so sacrosanct even in its misuse, that even opposition to the worst kind of environmental degradation is viewed as negativity by Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar and lobbyists of the hospitality industry.  To the extent he recently accused Goans of being “negative” in their approach to his version of development.

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Nuvem Church Plan

Nuvem priests sing the ‘development’ hymn - 1

September 16-22, 2013

Lionel Messias

All the priests who keep getting posted to the Mae dos Porbos church at Nuvem have one thing in common, a pig-headed resolve to build another church even if it means literally demolishing the existing old-world  church that has charmed parishioners from the 16th century onwards.  It is like a fixated idea germinated by the ex-pastor Fr. Alvaro Martins and passed on to his replacement Fr. Victor Rodrigues who, hardly having settled down to his new task, began to press forth with this priestly mission to build a new church no matter what the consequences.  Fr. Martins first came up with the idea of another church in 2009 which he thrust upon his parishioners with this cryptic sales pitch: “I have a plan, look at it and come back to me with your suggestions”.  That was however only a pulpit speech because he had absolutely no wish to be either transparent or democratic in his enterprise.  It was a fait accompli all the way.

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Nuvem church plan

Nuvem priests sing the ‘development’ hymn - 2

September 23-29, 2013

Lionel Messias

During the course of the four month period given to it to study the way forward to expand the Mae dos Porbos church at Nuvem, the advisory committee hired the services of the conservation architect Poonam Mascarenhas.  Archinova’s preliminary findings itself was evidence enough to suggest that any unplanned expansion in future would be an extremely bad idea.  “The east and southern court are indiscriminately tarred resulting in characterless foreground, increased level of the ground vis-à-vis the church floor leading to water ingress into the foundations, increased heat radiation, increased runoff and non-charging of the water table”, the report said.

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Mining in Goa

Mining malaise - 3

September 9-15, 2013

Pushpa Iyengar

Here comes the sun

On the anniversary of his completing one year in office, Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar announced a financial package for the mining industry saying, “Don’t paint all those associated with mining with a black brush. There are at least 20 to 25 percent of mining dependent people who are desperate to just survive. We feel we should step in and help these people.” And that’s been his motto, swatting away criticism that he has been soft on the mining industry that was indicted in a Rs 35,000 crore (1 crore = 1,00,00,000)  scam in a report by the M B Shah Commission in September 2012 that brought mining to a halt.

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