IS THE PRESS IN GOA REALLY FRIGHTENED DEAD ?
Poinguinim bye-elections had its toll on Goa Su-Raj Party. For one, it
couldn’t find a courageous body to enter into the fray to give the two
national parties the run for their ill-gotten money. Having run out of
steam in its mission to convince even a
single die-hard Poinguinkar to accept this ultimate challenge,
the President of the GSRP himself offered to give the people the
alternative between the two existing candidates of the Congress and the
BJP respectively, provided
ten brave and responsible Poinguinkars would sponsor his candidature.
This too was asking for too much, until the Party, having had no choice,
had to issue paid, page 3 display advertisements in the local
dailies (Herald, GT and the Gomantak)
on the 21st. September, 2004, this being the second
last day for filing of nomination papers. The response being miserable,
the Party was resigned to fight for justice, its own way. Ten thousand
leaflets that had been printed for mass distribution (English, Romi
& Devnagri Konkani), with a small advertising campaign to alert the
people of Poinguinim to vote with care to oust the evil designs of
RSS-BJP’s Manohar Parrikar through voting against its candidate, Mr. Isidore
Fernandes would be
appropriate, given the meager financial capabilities of the Party in the
world of money and muscle play at election times.
Open Letter written to the people of Poinguinim by the president of the
GSRP found no expression in the print media except for its stinted and
edited version in the Navhind Time’s CyberVoices column. And of
course, its full expression was published, along with the intended
advertisement by the Goan Observer (9-15 Oct. edition), the fortnightly
newspaper by Rajan Narayan, the ex-editor of Herald of long
standing, which is considered to be the black-sheep of the print
news media in Goa, mainly for reasons that it does not curry
favours with the ruling Parrikar government.
October eleven, I decided to take a short cut, rather than visit each
and every newpaperwala’s doors to issue paid advertisements, by
visiting Ms. Aditya Agencies, Mapusa,
and issuing 5x1
display advertisements to 5 of the most prominent daily newspapers of
Goa, namely Herald, Navhind Times, Gomantak Times, the Daily Gomamtak (marathi) and
Sunaprant (nagri konkani). And having paid a hefty amount of Rs. 3860/-,
I was satisfied of a job well done, little knowing that I would be in
for a shock of my life, the next morning, the 12th
October, when I opened the
three newspapers that I personally subscribe to.
Nada! Niente! Zilch! Kitem’ch na’m! Kuch Nahim!
one to allow my eyes to fool me, it took me a better part of 15 minutes
to scan each and every page of the three newspapers. Nada! Nothing! . It
was agony for me to wait until Aditya Agencies opened-up for the day.
Expecting to hear “Sorry Sir,
we couldn’t manage to give the ads in time yesterday to appear
today, but they will be published tomorrow” excuse, my call
was answered, instead, to give me laments of regrets that
none of the newspapers
would accept the advertisements, each
one asking if the other newspaper had accepted it. When I inquired if a
messenger boy was sent to the newspapers with the ads.,
Mr. Aditya confirmed that it was he himself that had done the
routine, and apologetically requested me to collect my refund,
anytime, from his office. It was only when I contacted Mr. Aditya
again to confirm if the 'Sunaprant' had
refused to carry the
advertisement too, he confessed that its dynamic marketing manager
offered to carry it for the next day only if some responsible
person from the GSRP would present it to the office.
concerned advertisement is displayed above, along with the receipt from
Ms. Aditya Agencies.
Goan public is given to believe that Manohar Parrikar’s
“GAG” on the newspapers vide the Legal
Notices to the Publishers and Editors
has been vacated. The fear exhibited by the Press, even to accept
a paid general advice to the people of Poinguinim to shun Isidore
Fernandes, the BJP candidate in the October 13 elections because
of his being responsible for having put the voters of Poinguinim to
inconvenience and the tax payers to an unnecessary loss, for
having resigned his seat as the Congress MLA in the Goa
legislative assembly inorder to circumvent the prevailing anti-defection
laws to join the BJP, is phenomenal, indeed. This proves that the
“GAG” is not vacated at all, but has been pushed down the
throath of the Goa Press even harder.
the advertisement was against the Congress Party and its candidate
" Mr. Jagdish Acharya “, would the newspapers exhibit
similar restraint and knee buckling fear? I certainly do not think so.
moot question I ask Goa is:
we or shall we not bury the Goan Press which has died a long time ago,
for sporting a “crippled backbone”, lest it makes our lives
miserable with a terrible
and insufferable stink?
answer shall be anxiously awaited.