UNRELIABLE CABLE OPERATORS ARE THEY IN CAHOOTS WITH CORRUPT MINISTERS? By Nisser Dias

In the recently concluded assembly session not only the Opposition but also members of the coalition partner and disgruntled Congress party members floored the Digambar Kamat led government on various fronts. Be it the functioning or rather the alleged corruption charges levelled against the members of the cabinet or the administrative prowess of the chief minister was put to test and in the eyes of the aam admi the government was shown in poor light for its sins of omission and commission.
And mind you this was just a five day session with only three actual days for debates. If the session was held for a fortnight I think that all the ministers (12 in munber) would totally stand exposed.
But just because it was a short session people of Goa learnt yet another lesson which would have gone unnoticed if it was longer. Cable transmission in certain areas was disrupted or rather cut off depending on which minister was being grilled and exposed for his functioning. Before I delve deeper into the latest strategy by the ministers to keep their inefficiency at bay, Fatorda MLA Damodar Naik made a passing reference to this practice in the Assembly and subsequently the Speaker of the Assembly Pratapsing Rane too urged the government to take a call on this unhealthy practice of stopping transmission of ‘live’ proceedings of the Assembly.
Till some years back cable operators or cable service providers exercised their monopoly over the people of Goa with their service of bringing tens of channels at your doors steps with a press of a button. Subsequently some entrepreneurs invested in Compact Disc (CD) based visual news media which was telecast through these cable operators, meaning Goa news based CD was provided to the operators on daily basis, which would be aired at given time slots. And in turn monthly remuneration was paid to cable operators otherwise it was not aired. As the demand for Goa centric television news became popular so also the demand for increased payment to cable operators telecast it.
However with the advent satellite TV, a whole of section of people switched to it for its better picture quality, uninterrupted transmission (with the exception of few day during monsoons), selective channels (pay for what you want to watch) and a host of other reasons, but the only hitch was this section was cut off from local channels.
Today the trump card in the hands of the cable operators is telecasting of local news 24 hours a day otherwise most of Goan households would have opted for satellite TV. Take the example of slums in Goa especially the one at Monte Dongor, they had opted for satellite TV much before it became popular among Goans, the reason being simple they are not interested in the happenings or events in our state.
As the years went by electronic media progressed from CD news to live telecast. Though it was a huge leap from the beginning we are far behind from beaming our news on to the satellite. And this keeps the cable operators in business.
Sadly though the cable operators are least interested in trying to meet the needs of their viewers. Coming back to the assembly session held last week. Most of the Goans were glued to their television to watch the performance of their representatives. But shockingly cable operations were selectively disrupted in certain constituencies from where the minister was being grilled.
For example on the day when PWD minister Churchill Alemao was on the hot seat there was no cable transmission in Benaulim and Navelim constituencies. It could be understood if the entire transmission was blanked out totally but initially only the local channels beaming the proceedings of the House live were blocked and when the cable operators realised their folly the entire transmission was cut off, but immediately after the assembly session for the day ended the transmission was restored back. What can be more obvious and plausible example?
The same is said to have happened in Valpoi constituency and other constituencies nursed by Health Minister Vishwajit Rane, so also in Home Minister Ravi Naik’s bastion.
It is difficult to believe that some supporters of ministers have cut off the cable in broad day light. The only other reason could be a call from the cronies of ministers to halt the transmission or face the wrath of the concerned minister and if the cable operators have acceded to the demands then it is unpardonable as they have committed injustice to their viewers paying them for the services and the media houses compensating them for the transmission.
To stop the transmission is to deny the viewers to watch their elected representatives articulate, debate their functioning and their acts, at the same time contest allegation made against them. If at all, live airing of the proceedings in the parliament and assemblies is allowed, it is to show case transparency that is supposed to be practiced in a democracy like India, but if some ministers are going to block this practice, it only means one thing and that is these individuals have some skeletons in their closets and they know very well that they are going to tumble out if exposed.
To save themselves from the onslaught of the Opposition is every minister’s headache. If the minister has indulged in corruption or misdemeanour or has secretly struck a deal with a contractor he has to answer for his action. If the minister’s has acted in the interest of the people he again has to convince the members of the House. And in a democracy when we pledge that the government is ‘Of the People’, ‘By the People’ and ‘For the People’ the same people have every right to know how efficient or otherwise their representative has been. This would also help the people in making the right choice before casting their ballot.
Thus the cable operators have committed a grave injustice to the people by stopping transmission selectively in the state during the recently concluded assembly session. Infact it seems that they have acted in cahoots with the politicians who have indulged in corrupt practices and have a lot to hide. It is time that the viewers take up the cudgels and file consumer cases against the cable operators in a bid to snip-off an injustice act from being a practice in future.

3 comments:

D.Justin said...

We have so many filthy pigs roaming in Goa like strays dogs. They are well supported by their chamchas who supports them for drinks and food. These chamchas doesnt have any common sense and do not care for their children's future.

Tony D'Souza said...

What you say is true Nisser. Our corrupt politicinas are bleeding Goa and Goans dry. Their greed is never ending and they want to keep the truth away from the people. By buying votes from their vote banks they are holiding on to power and steal from us to feed their unending greed.

diogofichardo said...

The current corrupt regime not only control the crumb eaters but dictate the press and TV channels too. Goans were supposed to have been liberated into a democratic world, we are dictated not only by the two main parties but also the central Government. When will true Goans start thinking about the future generation? Do we have the will not to elect the same crooks repeatedly to power? Either we wake up and fight for Goans future or die in our sleep.

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