Reporter and columnist Saba Naqvi seems to have gone off the journalistic radar recently, but today she wrote a piece in The Tribune titled “Confessions of a journalist in Goa” that was shared by Arvind Kejriwal on Twitter, bringing some focus back on her.
The title itself is dishonest since although it says the post is about Goa, the post is actually exclusively about AAP in Goa, probably because she was appointed by Delhi’s AAP Government on the Governing board of the Kamala Nehru College, soon after she wrote a hagiography of the messiah of Delhi, Arvind Kejriwal. Thus, the title is even more deceptive since she is no longer a “journalist” but a co-opted hack.
Naqvi claims she was on a “vacation” in Goa, but as you realise later in the article, on this vacation, she manages to visit AAP rallies, spend time at AAP’s election office, and also interact with AAP volunteers, based on which she writes her piece. Some vacation this, and it would be interesting to note whether this “vacation” was self-financed or “sponsored”.
She goes on to say that at a rally, she sees local AAP leaders “had lovely names like Karl Vaz (not Marx I joked) and Elvis Gomes (not Presley) and Olencio“. Without going into the reasons as to why these three names were so “lovely”, if only “journalist” Naqvi had dug deeper into these very names, she may have had different opinions:
The first name: Karl Vaz, is a multi-millionaire owning several luxury cars, among other assets. He is an ex-Congress MLA, son of another ex-MLA and recently made his way into AAP. So much for “aam aadmi” brand of politics.
The second name: Elvis Gomes as we all know is embroiled in a land scam along with a NCP minister, a case which was registered against him before he joined politics.
The third name: Olencio Simoes is the nephew of sitting BJP Minister in the Goa Government, Alina Saldanha. He was formerly active in BJP and had unsuccessfully contested the Zilla Parishad elections on a BJP ticket. Perhaps his name wouldn’t have been lovely enough if he was in BJP.
She then says, she visited the office of AAP, and asked them about the costs incurred in running the Goa campaign and how were they surviving. The reply from the Ashish Talwar, AAP’s political adviser was apparently that AAP was “managing on the goodwill of local supporters and the faith of some volunteers”.
Did literally lakhs of hoardings, flex banners, repeated radio and TV jingles, get “funded” by “goodwill of local supporters”? If only Naqvi had chosen to be a real journalist and probed a bit further, but alas.
Then Naqvi talked about the volunteers. She claimed that two AAP volunteers suggested she visit a slum and that the AAP volunteer who took her there was a boy named Apoorva who had camped in Goa from September to campaign for AAP Goa.
A smarter person or even a real journalist would have noticed the irony here: Talwar just claimed that AAP’s campaign in Goa depended on the “goodwill of local supporters” but the volunteer who took Naqvi to the slums was in fact a non-local, much like a huge number of AAP volunteers in Goa who have been imported from other states, probably to make up for the shortage of people ready to volunteer for AAP in Goa:
By now, most Goans know that the chances that an AAP volunteer in Goa is a real local Goan, are very low, since AAP has been getting a steady inflow of volunteers from all across India. So much for “goodwill of local supporters”.
In conclusion, some tips for this alleged journalist:
Next time, disclose your conflict of interests openly: That you are an AAP appointee and thus have benefited from the AAP Delhi Government.
Also, instead of forming opinions based on party workers, meet some regular people and ask them for the pulse of the state. They are more likely to be honest.