Goa's Spirited Online Weekly Magazine.

Is Goa ready to be Gay?

May 20 – 26, 2013

Team GS

"Only last FIVE beds remain.  So hurry up and book your seats or regret for the rest of the year!!"  That’s the invitation posted on May 11 by IndjapInk, whose tagline is “Exceptional Experiences for Men Only” on its facebook page about the “Life is a beach” tour to Goa it has organized in July and August of this year.

There are enough red flags in this ‘come hither’ invitation to get all groups opposed to homosexuality itself, not to mention those who advocate and advertise it openly, all riled up.  With the war on beef lost, now that it has begun to be sold in Goa and selling briskly, for the RSS (among others) always looking for an issue to spew venom, IndjapInk seems to have handed that on a silver platter.

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Silence of the lambs

May 13-19, 2013

Team GS

It does not need rocket science to figure out that Govansh Raksha Abhiyan, whose petition that large-scale irregularities, animal rights abuses besides unhygienic conditions in the slaughtering of cattle at the Goa Meat Complex (GMC) had led the High Court to temporarily ban the slaughter of animals, is a pro-Hindu organization.

For confirmation there are the statements of two MLAs. “It appears to be a conspiracy of the RSS, Vishwa Hindu Parishad and the BJP government in power to deprive Goa’s Catholic and Muslim population of beef,” said Curtorim MLA Aleixo Reginaldo Lourenco, who says he will file a review petition in the high court. Fatorda MLA Vijay Sardesai, while pointing out that one of the first actions of the new Karnataka CM was to reverse the ban on cow slaughter proposed by the previous BJP government, says clearly go raksha (cow protection) is "standard BJP agenda".

But the question is why did it take Lourenco from April 23 (when the high court temporarily banned cattle slaughter) till May 16, when the GMC brought in beef in specially insulated vehicles to decide that he would file a review petition? Would it not have made more sense to do something when beef was unavailable than when it was made available by the government? It appears he is just playing to the gallery, considering that his political clout stems from south Goa where the majority of Catholics live.

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So, what's the big idea of the entry tax

April 8-14, 2013

Pushpa Iyengar

Public Works Department (PWD) Minister Ramakrishna Dhavalikar told the Legislative Assembly last week that the government is determined to tax non-Goa vehicles entering the state from April 15.

But there seems to be a slip between the cup and the lip.  On April 10, Goanspirit counted well over two dozen bars and liquor shops, not to mention a petrol bunk in the 21 km distance between the Goa excise check post and the spanking new toll booth in village panchayat Dhargal, strangely the first one in the second panchayat as you enter Goa from Maharashtra on NH 17.  This toll booth – which has the legend in the form of a huge board that informs you of the different tariffs – definitely defeats the purpose if you want to check petrol and liquor smuggling.  Those who come from Mahrashtra to get liquored up are hardly going to venture beyond the toll booth to say cheers when they can get to the bars and liquor shops dotting this 21 km stretch and drink at Goa’s enviable low prices.

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Was Bandekar anaesthetized?

April 29 - May 5, 2013

Team GS

The question reverberating in medical circles is what was the real reason behind the suspension on April 24 of Dr S M Bandekar, a senior doctor at the Goa medical college (GMC) and orthopedic department head? The health minister Laxmikant Parsekar has said that the charge was that Bandekar was practicing in private, which is banned.

While not holding a brief for doctors who are increasingly seen as money-makers and not healers, in this case it does appear that Bandekar’s suspension had more to it than meets the eye.

If government doctors are suspended because they indulge in private practice, then there would be very few speciality doctors left not only in GMC, but at all government hospitals in the country.  What is also well known is that Bandekar did not moonlight last month or even last year.  As an eminent senior doctor pointed out, Bandekar, like many GMC doctors has had a lucrative, ongoing private practice for several years.

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Transporters blink first

April 22 – 28, 2013

Team GS

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar has definitely won round one in the tussle with transporters from Maharashtra and Karnataka over the entry tax, which came into force at the two borders on April 15.

Over the last ten days, Goa’s supply of vegetables and other essential goods suffered shortages and prices were hiked (though prices do shoot up this time of the year) while Parrikar and the transporters were involved in an eyeball to eyeball confrontation while the Congress and United Goans Democratic Party looked on gleefully.  It looked as if an impasse had been reached because Parrikar stuck to his guns, even lamenting that Goa’s opposition parties were not solidly behind him in revenue generation and expressing outrage that a bunch of transporters were dictating economic policy to his government.

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