Of Scullers, Scoundrels and Scallywags

By Mário Cabral e Sá

In March 3, fate of over 10 per cent of India’s population will be decided, and we will have inkling about the way the winds are blowing.

Meanwhile plenty opinions are expressed by individuals, politicians, press and pressman. Needless to say they don’t tally.

Each party is running its campaign the way it thinks it will be useful for their purpose. For eg: the BJP is running a sustained, intelligent and truthful campaign in large display ads in the newspapers - Family Raj?

Caution: 5 political families (are together vying for 12 out of 46 seats with the sole intention to loot Goa).

Let us uproot the seeds of the dynastic rule."

To sight an example of media’s opinion: Patricia J Pereira- Sethi stated in her last column "Globe Watch" for Goa Today that it was a pleasure to drive a car in the Taleigao main square. She used the occasion to tell her readers the number BMWs, Mercedes, Porches, her husband and she own. Patricia is one of Goa’s senior most journalists. If I mistake not, she is the only Goan to honour the press enclave of the United Nations as the accredited correspondent of Newsweek. Of similar status, we had Eric da Costa, who wrote for the London ‘Economist’ and was, so far as I know, one of the world’s first psychologists. His predictions were seldom fulfilled, but Nehru greatly respected his forecast.

In her last column Patricia wrote that it is a pleasure to drive around the Taleigao main square. Indeed, it is so. Babush Monserrate, who conceived and executed the job, is a man of action. Right now, he is the Minister for Education. Though he is not known for his scholarship, in my view, he tries to do his best and so far at least has not committed any serious flaw. Having said that, I will add that not everybody shares this opinion and holds him as a dishonest politician.

In politics it is perfectly acceptable that any citizen fights the election for his own purposes. Churchill Alemao, and ex-sculler from the kitchen of the rusty and leaky freighter "Nur-Jehan", who could hardly read and sign his name, now runs a chance of being our future ruler. He along with another three members of his family, one of which is his own daughter Valanka, who is a bright lass graduated in law. But the fact is that the Churchill team stands the best chance of ruling Goa and that would be a crying shame. Everyone you meet in the streets laments - "Titlear paule ami!" – we have reached the pits.

I would any day prefer the BJP, which has far more honest and enlightened candidates. But, as seen in the past, Dr Wilfred De Sousa can take full credit for drawing Goa’s electoral constituencies in such a way that BJP can never come to power on its own. He is proud of the fact and rightly so. This time round the BJP is fielding a sprinkling of Christian candidates whose chances are not very strong. But, generally, the Christian in Goa indeed owe Dr Willy for fending off any chance the BJP might have had of coming to power on its own. He is proud of the fact and perhaps rightly so. The BJP can get at best 20 MLAs and to get absolute majority has to throw principles to the wind and somehow reach the magic figure 20 plus 1. In 2000, Manohar Parrikar could not resist the itch of becoming CM and had to accept corrupt and incompetent allies and ended up making a fool of himself.

Willy has now joined TNC and is hopeful of doing well. He seems to have come to the conclusion that the people of Goa do not have any other choice but TNC between a corrupt Congress and the communalist BJP.