Going by the reports, the Goa government junket (of ministers and MLAs) to the FIFA World Cup is no more the Goa government ‘junket’. It stands cancelled / modified now.

Cancelled, as the trip will be funded by the ministers and the members of the Goa legislative assembly (MLAs) now in their personal capacity! Modified, as the trip is still on. But, anyway, that is just playing around the words.

The baseline is, the taxpayers’ money is not going to be wasted on this ‘pathetically’ conceived ‘exploratory study’ sort of tour.

Obviously, it came after its due share of humiliation and political manifestation that could have been easily avoided.

But given the past track record, and his good name (with the legend of being a chief minister who still drives his scooter), Mr. Manohar Parrikar should be given the benefit of doubt and should be duly thanked for listening to the voices and taking this ‘in time’ decision.

Yes, the trip is still on, but the Goa sports minister has withdrawn his name and four other BJP members and one independent MLA will pay from their pocket to enjoy the Brazilian hospitality.

So, we can say the junket has been junked, rightly and in time.

Whatever went into – the delayed conscience of a good human being-cum-politician-turned-chief minister Manohar Parrikar – or the BJP central leadership pressure with Narendra Modi on a ‘cleanliness’ drive – or the pressure of mounting criticism by media, social media, civil society and political opposition – the decision or the ‘U-turn’ by the Goa government after the strong defense by Mr. Parrikar came just a day later, yesterday – and therefore, Mr. Parrikar deserves to be thanked, even if he doesn’t come forward to clear his position.

I have been an admirer of him and was feeling bad while writing the satirical piece* on the junket day before yesterday. And therefore this decision just in a day has come as a personal relief.

Every prime minister is not as strong by his position as Narendra Modi is. Same can be said about chief ministers.

Manohar Parrikar is not as strong a chief minister by his position as J Jayalalitha or Mamata Banarjee or Naveen Patnaik is. And we should not be surprised if this whole ‘FIFA junket’ exercise was an imposed idea sort of thing that Mr. Parrikar could not ‘junk initially’.

But, ‘all’s that ends well’! It’s clear now.

And thanks for that Mr. Parrikar!


©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –


“Goa wants to promote football in the state. These ministers will see what are the infrastructure is required, how crowd is controlled. Government considers this as an investment.”
Manohar Parrikar, Chief Minister, Goa

Great! Bingo!

After all, our dear beloved, frugal-styled IIT educated engineer-turned-politician, is an Indian politicians.

So, today, he took on the ‘irrelevant’ opposition bravely and came out strongly in the support of his government’s trip (tour/study tour/junket/business tour – whatever you want to term it) to the FIFA World Cup in Brazil. Junket sounds good and is in vogue, so let’s use junket here.

Well done, Mr. Chief Minister of the state where Football has been declared the state game.

The eminent members of the group are a good mix to draw the maximum mileage out of the junket so as to ‘convert/modify’ the Football culture into a Brazilian extravaganza pepped up with a Brazilian version of the Rio Carnival.

The six members of the group include Goa’s Sports Minister, Fisheries Minister and Power Minister and three other members of the legislative assembly. The group composition has been formulated after much deliberation keeping in mind the intended outcomes.

The Fisheries Minister has been tasked to suggest fish types and other sea-foods to be included in the dietary regime of Goa soccer players to make them stronger and agile in order to make them globally competitive.

The Power Minister would come with a report on how to infuse more power into the playing style of Goa soccer players on the line of the Brazilian football culture, something that runs in every Brazilian’s vein.

Both of them would work in consultation with the Goa Sports Minister.

The other three members have been tasked to assess the cultural aspects like the craze for Football in Brazil’s popular culture and the associated liberating song and dance events.

Whom the report will finally be addressed was doubtful until now, but given his strong support today, the chief minister is going to the chief examiner of the report.

What a grand plan and in just Rs. 89 Lakh! Frugal! Sincere!

What a vision for a country that consistently ranks among the lowest in the FIFA ranking (146, the latest one) – a country that, going by its present state of affairs of Football, cannot, for decades, even think of qualifying for the main draw of the FIFA World Cup!

From the abyss to the Zenith – only a visionary can dare to scale directly from the low of Indian Football to the high of FIFA World Cup – and Indian Football has found that visionary in the Goa chief minister.

The task of the highly qualified members of the group who have been rightly given preference over sports professionals and administrative members of Goa’s sports fraternity is demanding we need to accept as they have just a week or so (10 days probably) to carry out visits, collect data, watching soccer in action, analysing the crowd management (as the CM says), analysing the Brazilian Football culture and ‘observing and assessing’ the associated cultural aspects.


What is heartening and encouraging is that an ‘alleged’ past failure on this line did not deter the chief minister. According to a report in the Times of India (June 12, 2014), a 2012 junket to England, with four members of Brazil group, sent to study the FIM World Motocross Championship to “explore the possibility of introducing motocross in Goa in a big way and also explore the possibility of hosting international motocross events in Goa in the future” (as the report says), has failed to produce any ‘tangible’ outcome with the state even losing the contract of hosting one round of FIM Motocross World Championship (as the report says).

But what a fighting spirit! The criticism didn’t discourage him. Mr. Chief Minister is back. And he would have certainly incorporated the elements from the learning into planning this one, as the available details (so far) tell us.

Bravo! Mr. Chief Minister! Keep it up!

©/IPR: Santosh Chaubey –