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letters to the editor

09 Jun 2016 05:43am IST
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09 Jun 2016 05:43am IST

We need a second liberation

With due respect to the Freedom Fighters, we have to say that there are several un-freedoms that Goans experience which push them out of Goa in search of livelihoods. A Goan may be out of Goa but Goa is never out of him. This sudden outburst is too naive and does not see how we are all living with neo-colonial forces right in our backyard. Goa is being sold to those who are benefiting from the free market economy. Where is the Goa that our honorable freedom fighters fought for? These days it appears that our freedom fighters are not free as they seem to have become megaphones of divisive forces.

We need a second liberation of Goa but no freedom fighter worth his salt inspires us to move to save Goa. While we wish to save Goa we need to save Goans. For once please put down the shackles of law as you all did during the Portuguese regime. Today actors have changed. But the plot is same. Like the Portuguese time we have collaborators of the neo-colonisers.

A humble request on my side to all our honorable freedom fighters is to march to Morjim and see for yourselves. Are we free in a land freed by you? Let right reason and compassion be our guide when we Goans deal with our fellow Goenkars who are toiling not just to make their life but contribute significantly to our economy. Using your tactics let's tell them to go on a hartal and withdraw every paisa from our banks? We need our Goan brethren who are abroad as well as we need our honorable freedom fighters

Fr Victor Ferrao, Rachol


Nigerians in Goa

It is noticed that some of the prominent politicians in Goa have been mouthing irresponsible statements against the Nigerians in Goa and in India as well. Each country is governed by the rules made by the elected representatives of the people. Then there are rules pertaining to the foreigners visiting any country. The Indian Government has its rules in place regarding the foreign nationals visiting India. Now just making sweeping statements against Nigerians and drawing media attention is not the remedy to the problem.

The problem is not with Nigerians and their behaviour in Goa. The first and the moot problem is with the Goans who are hand in gloves with some foreign nationals to promote nefarious activities in Goa. Then the politicians themselves are the biggest problem in Goa. They are known for scratching where it is not itching. Without the connivance of the locals, politicians and ‘laws enforcing agencies’, no foreigner will be able to get involved in such nefarious activities in Goa.

At times some politicians have become rules unto themselves. The law makers have become law breakers in Goa. In such a scenario, how can politicians blame only the foreign nationals for breaking rules? Therefore the politicians, who point fingers at the Nigerians and their behaviour, must act and take necessary action against the anti-social elements in the state instead of bad mouthing and drawing media attention. 

Rui Pereira, Navelim


Dual citizenship

The Government of India is seized with the issue of dual citizenship wherein many Goans have registered their births in Portugal and some have Portuguese passports. This issue is presently under consideration and the BJP Government has promised to solve this issue amicably.

The statement made by Naguesh Karmali that India should close the Portuguese Consulate and snap all ties with Portugal is wrong and smacks of prejudice to all those Goans who struggle to earn a livelihood due to unemployment. I doubt any true Goan would want to forsake his motherland if there were sufficient job opportunities at home. We all know how the recruitment of Govt. jobs works where we do not receive a single call from the employment exchange even after five or ten years. How can we hope to survive at this point of time when a 1000-rupee note just vanishes in the fish or vegetable market.

Matias Lobo, Oman


Goa Marathi Film Festival

The 9th Goa Marathi Film Festival concluded on Sunday, June 5, 2016. The event conceived and managed by the enterprising Sanjay Shetye and his team from Vinson Graphics is growing from strength to strength each year with its range and variety of Marathi films that are being shown. The festival has its dose of glamour with Marathi actors, actresses and directors who come down to be present during the screening of their films. This is a young lot which keeps the festival vibrant and alive. It also helps the festival remain relevant to the trends emerging in the Marathi film industry which has seen a radical change over the last decade.

Today the box office, particularly in Maharashtra, has welcomed the latest Marathi films which ensure the money keeps rolling in. The organising of the festival is also smooth and streamlined from the viewpoint of those who come to see the films. More importantly the films that are brought are contemporary and sometimes the latest that may not even have been released in Mumbai or Pune.

All credit to Sanjay Shetye and his team and wishing them all success for the 10th edition next year.

Srinivas Kamat, Alto St Cruz


OCI status for Goans

In reference to Ivor Pereira’s letter dated “06.06.16 OCI Status for Goans”, I just like to point out that many Goans/Indians that have migrated from other countries to UK, America, Canada and other western countries find it difficult to obtain OCIs. Especially those, whose parents and themselves were born outside India. They find if it very difficult to obtain their grand or great grandparent’s birth certificates in India. It is an understanding that many records are destroyed with age or record books missing. One of my relatives who is in Africa is in the process of applying OCI for their children. The Indian mission is seeking their grandparents’ marriage or death certificates, which is not easy.

As for recent Portuguese passports holders born in India and are migrating abroad, find it easier to obtain an OCI, which they gladly apply for. They hold enough proof to prove their Indian origin. Personally although born outside India, I proudly hold an OCI, which proves that I am of Indian Origin.

Diogo Fichardo, UK




Pedestrian crossing

In a first of its kind the Goa police will start penalising motorists found ignoring pedestrian crossing (zebra crossing). A comprehensive drive aimed at prosecuting such offenders will reportedly begin from June 16. This seems a bit too harsh a punishment on the motorists simply because crossing the road along the zebra crossing appears alien to pedestrians in the state who prefer to cross the road at any point as per their convenience.

Pedestrians should first instill in themselves the habit of crossing the road only along the zebra crossing thereby confirming their right over the pedestrian crossing. Not making full use of their right to cross the road at zebra crossing has only made the motorists complacent as they do not slow down while approaching a pedestrian crossing thereby ignoring it.

An awareness drive for the pedestrians to cross the road only at the zebra crossing appears to be the need of the hour. If pedestrians do use only the zebra crossing while crossing the road, it will in turn create awareness among the motorists that they should slow down while approaching such a crossing. 

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco



IAS officers and change

IAS Officers go through quite a competitive exam. They are then posted in either turbulent areas – like Mathura/Bihar -- or extremely pleasant areas like Goa. Whatever the place they can still live their ‘dreams’ of being the change. In Goa we don’t expect them to perform some rocket science but merely simple arithmetic.

Until even three years back Goa was able to commendably implement the defacement of Public property Act. Not today when we see politicians and even Educational Institutions defacing Public Property by their posters. The favourite Bill Board is the Electricity Dept. Transformer fencing. The IAs Officers even have the backing of the Governor who spearheads the Swaach Bharat ,for which we are all taxed.

Hoardings along Highways have to be a certain distance away. And they are not making them illegal.

In fact page 2 of Herald gives numerous such simple examples where the IAS Officers can be a change. It is pertinent to point out that this all falls in the ambit of their job, we are not looking for some social service.

R Fernandes, Margao




Common man overburdened

The common man in India has no any solace as far as the prices of essential goods are concerned. The common man is completely is overburdened under this BJP Government. The prime Minister is freely moving from country to countries at the cost of common man while common man is starving to live. I have not seen Prime Minister visiting foreign countries again and again in the past like present Prime Minister. Besides essential goods, the petrol price is also very high in India while in countries like Cuba, Indonesia, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh is very low. If those countries can sell petrol at lowest cost why can’t India do it? The present BJP Government is taxing the tax and looting the common man.

Whiterose Alemao, Carmona




Police culture

I met this gentleman, Wenceslaus Fernandes, at one of my villagers’ residence. He has returned after 32 years of services in Dubai. He has high respect for the locals who are courteous, humble and sympathetic to outsiders working there. He narrated many experiences being in that country of which this one is worth sharing with the readers, particularly our police. He said: in case of an accident in Dubai, when the police arrive, the first thing the police do is shake hands with both the parties. Then they ask, are you both alright. The next question that follows is can we help you in anyway? The full investigation then follows, very impartial, no favours.

After a thorough investigation both the parties are called to the police station and given instructions what to do next. This police culture is missing here in Goa, he concluded.

What could I say to this newly met friend of mine? Here our culture has become agriculture. We get lathi charged and at accident site the involved parties are called separately and told to settle amicably favouring the police, I told him. He had the last word for me. Elsewhere we are highly respected and hold ourselves in dignity, why not here in our homeland.

Ayres Sequeira, Salvador do Mundo




Burden of filing ITR

At present, one is required to file compulsorily Income Tax return (ITR) even when there is no tax due on total income (gross total income less permissible deductions). Why such an absurd provision is there in the Income Tax Act? Rightly filing of Form 15G /15H (for Non-Deduction of tax at source (TDS) is allowed in such cases. Herein most senior citizens are badly affected. This is an avoidable tax measure.

The Income Tax department is not going to lose if Income Tax return is not filed when there is no tax due on total income by tax planning of investments in permissible deductions. The Income Tax department must have trust in tax payers and reduce their (IT Department) burden and concentrate on those tax payers who have taxable income even after permissible deductions.

Mahesh Kumar, New Delhi







The S Factor 

Spirituality and meditation is an Indian asset, it need not be religious by turning to spirituality to beat stress and alter man's peace. It can calm your mind in most difficult times, many people think of suicide when faced with problems especially the children who are likely to fail or get lower percentage. Some people take up to drinking and smoking to overcome the problems. This gives a false feeling of well being which also harms their health. Spirituality and meditation and yoga helps one's inner energy to relax.

Diomedes Pereira, Corlim



Ali the ‘greatest’

Krink, krink, krink, rang the telephone of Mohd. Ali in USA. He picked up the receiver and acknowledged the voice of Prof. Betrand Russel calling from UK and telling Mohd. Ali the following: “Your efforts in opposing American involvement in Vietnam war is laudable. In the history of humanity there was not a single war more barbaric than this war. When a person of your stature talks, world listens. American public has listened to your voice of opposition to this war and they will support you. Please carry forward your fight and I support you”. Finally USA withdrew from Vietnam but while opposing USA, poor Ali was made to suffer, even stripped of his title.

About 33 years back, Soviet Russia had just occupied Afghanistan and at that time Mohd. Ali was in Bombay at Brabourne Stadium attending a reception where he was also entertaining the audience. Suddenly an emissary comes there from US President Carter asking Ali to fly back to USA immediately because Carter has appointed him to be his emissary in the Muslim World to explain to the Muslim leaders the necessity of uprooting Russia from Afghanistan. Carter selected Ali for this job to cash on the influence of Ali on Muslim World.

It was a last round during the “Manila the Thrilla” fight between Ali and Joe Frazier, both were totally exhausted but Frazier was more. His manager noticed this and asked Frazier “can you see?” When the answer was “No”, Ali was so surprised that he collapsed to the ground with happiness. This was the greatest fight of Ali. Will we ever again get another Ali? I doubt because such men come to this planet only once in centuries. He raised Boxing to the pedestal. May his soul rest in peace.

A.Veronica Fernandes, Candolim




Assagao - Land of flowers

Once upon a time Assagao a peaceful loving village was called "The land of Flowers". As we enter Assagao some years back there was a sign board welcoming people to the land of flowers. Now the board has disappeared and some new big builders sign boards are seen who welcome the people who enter Assagao. 

It is my request to the concerned authority to put up a board welcoming the people the land of flowers. Secondly some years back Assagao comunidade had plenty on empty land now that this land has been some to the top builder and some outside people leaving no comunidade land to future of our generation. The comunidade members must think of the future generation and keep the land. It is quite surprising the land sold is sold to people who have two the three houses. It looks like that like that the rich are becoming richer and poor are becoming poorer. My second humble request is to develop a plot and make a garden/park to future generation. This is only way we can keep our traditional Name Assagao- "The Land of Flowers."

Zeferino Noronha, Assagao




Age and grace

This refers to the letter, "Old is gold" (Herald, June 5, 2016) by Matias Lobo. Hats off to Leander Paes and Martina Hingis for winning the French Open mixed doubles title. When a positive dictum, "catch them young" is being negatively interpreted as "throw them old" and when age is being treated as a hot potato, they, at their combined age of 77 (42 + 35), have shown to us that age with experience and grace can acquire clear edge for doing magic. We should learn the art of ageing gracefully saying a firm NO to hair-dying chemicals and apologetic pretensions to being considered young ones. So, never say die and never say dye as well!

Sujit De, Kolkata




Swachh Bharat not for Bastora

Five months ago United 7 Association, a group of diligent youth from Bastora, cleared the major roads of garbage. They even got permission from the Panchayat to erect a sign drawing litterers' notice to the penalty for dumping garbage. Sadly, within two months people started dumping garbage along the road leading to and from the Panchayat office! Heaps of bottles - loose and bagged, broken and intact are dumped in the nullahs.

Our Panchayat members are obviously not bothered because the litter around its premises tells enough. Its garbage is not segregated and plastic not burnt. The plastic collection service is dormant. If our VP members were serious about the garbage problem they could have all the alcohol bottles collected and despatched to the respective bottlers, i.e. Budweiser, Tuborg, Carlsberg etc. COD by rail. 

Thermacol dumped along the roadside could be used as packaging to avoid breakage. Labour cost for this could come from the Rs 25,000 or more that is allocated for garbage collection. Also, they could confront bar owners about their methods of disposing their empties. That will be the day when Swachh Bharat’s acche din aa chuke hai!

Juliet De Souza, Bastora 




Let Bismarque be laid to rest

Why torture the brave soldier Fr Bismarque’s body in the ice box drawer in the morgue of Goa Medical College, Bambolim. Perform his funeral rites immediately and lay it down under to R.I.P. 

We shall tirelessly fight tooth and nail for the justice to our Fr Bismarque, a true and loyal warrior and follow the trial of the case urging the government’s early action in finalising the trial of the case in the fast track court. Let us ask for proper justice to penalise his murderers in meeting the ends of justice to the satisfaction of his bereaved families and his followers en masse.

Luis Carlos Roncon, St Cruz






Agents of change

A couple of recent news snippets, give us hope that there are still people who are committed to bringing about a change for the better.

The first one - A CBI court judge from Jabalpur, Justice Yogesh Chandra Gupta, sentenced a government official along with his kin, on charges of corruption.

This demonstrates a willingness to act against the rot which has taken hold of our country and maybe after such a deterrent, greed will not take a precedence over family well being.

The second one - Ms. Kiran Bedi has led the way by banning sirens on VIP cars in Puducherry. The traffic will not be stopped for VIP's

Will our Judiciary, and powers that be demonstrate such commitment.

Paul Pereira, Velim







Welcome move to ban silver-leaves (vark) made by hammering thin sheets of silver in the middle of sheets made of a bull’s intestines

It refers to Union Health Ministry considering banning conventional unhygienic process of manufacturing thin silver leaves (vark) by hammering thin sheets of silver in the middle of sheets made of a bull’s intestines. Process is unhygienic where at times traces of bull’s intestines remain with silver leaves (vark), this being the reason many people mainly from minority Jain community avoid using food-items (sweets etc) decorated with silver leaves (vark) because their religion does not allow non-vegetarian food or items made through slaughtering animals. Process also is cruelty on animals where intestines of bull are immediately removed after slaughtering the animal to be sold to the manufacturers of foils, because these become useless after even small lapse of time of slaughtering the animal.

It is that production of silver leaves (vark) may only be permitted in organized sector that too with Food Safety & Standards Authority of India (fssai) approval. It will be better if use of silver leaves (vark) may be disallowed for decorating food-items also because many-a-times metals other than silver are used to make varks, and consumer cannot know if used silver leaves (vark) was with FSSAI approval or not.

Madhu Agrawal, Delhi



Mutton and beef politics

Just as our globe-trotting PM Modi is drumming up support for India to be included in the NSG, some politicians in a once upon a time peaceful UP town of Dadri are demanding the release of the murderers of Mohammed Akhlaq on the strength of the laboratory report which converted mutton into beef.

The people of Dadri lived in communal harmony before 28th September 2015 and again after the murder and violence which left 30 people dead. But this peace has been shattered by a piece of paper which says that the meat which was earlier certified as mutton is now beef. 

With assembly elections due in UP in 2017 it appears that the political class in UP is out to polarize this issue and also put pressure to release the murderers of Mohammed Akhlaq.

Matias Lobo, Oman



Liquor slow poison

Everyone knows pretty well that drinking liquor/wine is very harmful even than in actual life people do not stop drinking it. Is it not better if the government bans the production of it in India and loses the revenue? Can our commercial government do so?

Further, consuming wine/alcohol is a health hazard. So why in metro cities the local government has own selling liquor shops and why bars are allowed in clubs and hotels, etc? Ban is not seen in the near future. But at least an awareness campaign can help in reducing its consumption and warning type advertisements depicting health hazards of consuming alcohol is the need of the hour. To add in lighter vein: Ads may appear with slogan like “Liquor is health hazard-a slow poison –if you are not worried for slow poison leading to death please do drink it regularly!”

Mahesh Kumar, New Delhi






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Swasthya seva no more swasthya?

Even before the Deendayal Swasthya Seva Yojana could be rolled out by the BJP Government there are news reports that the Swasthya Seva is no more swasthya! 

So what was the big idea of introducing a health insurance scheme which is full of glitches and doubts that no one including the hospitals and even the people in charge of introducing the scheme are unable to explain such that we need our ‘Super CM’ to hold a special meeting to clear the doubts. 

On the eve of the 2017 elections this scheme appears to be a gimmick to entice the voters with such half-baked schemes.

Matias Lobo, Oman




Kapil Sharma – India’s ace comedian

Kapil Sharma is undisputedly India’s ace comedian. His program ‘The Kapil Sharma Show” is telecast on Sony TV at 9 pm every Saturday and Sunday and is eagerly looked forward by people all over the country and indeed Indians residing abroad. Kapil Sharma has been on the television comedy scene for several years. He came into the limelight with his performance at “The Great Indian Comedy Circus”. He latter went on to start his own comedy show titled “Comedy nights with Kapil and now it is named as “The Kapil Sharma Show”. The show has had several Bollywood stars as it’s guest and now during the Indian Premiere League (IPL) the show also featured several West Indian cricketers like Dwayne Bravo and Chris Gayle. Kapil Sharma also featured in the program “Aap Ki Adalat”. The comedian has also anchored several Bollywood programs and is a much sought after guest at programs. Kapil has an incredible sense of humour that has everyone laughing their guts out. He is never short of words to make the audience laugh. After all the tensions of the week people do look forward to “The Kapil Sharma Show” during the weekend. Indeed he has brought laughter in millions of homes who would otherwise have had a dull weekend. After all, making someone laugh could be the toughest job on earth. But Kapil Sharma seems to be doing it with relative ease.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco




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Western culture

The Portuguese ruled Goa for more than 450 years and foreign blood is flowing in our veins till today. We were (I mean Goans) following western culture for so many centuries and for what reason should we change our western culture. Mr Mandrekar, the Cultural Minister, may not have born during the Portuguese regime but his parents were born and they were following the western culture. And I think he (Mandrekar) too was following the same like his parents.

Western Culture is followed not only in Goa but in many parts of India where old and young wear pants, suits like western countries. The Hindi films are bundles of western culture, their costumes, dresses, styles, etc. Why Mr Mandrekar demands Goans to follow Indian culture? Those days are gone Mr Mandrekar, the Hindu and Muslim girls were wearing sarees and churidars, and now most of them changed their old culture and wear jeans. 

Music is in our blood, music keeps us free of tension. All our celebrations like weddings, birthdays and other festivities use music and Mr Mandrekar wants to stop playing music in public and not in his backyard. Mr Mandrekar should shed his pant and shirt and suit (Western) and wear dhoti and topi in public first and set an example

Marcos Alemao, Varca




Preventing open defecation 

A “Swachh Bharat, Neetol Goem” campaign obviously also includes stopping people from defecating in the open. However, it is observed that in Goa in absence of public toilets in remote villages as well as at some beaches, people, specially the migrants, are still in the habit of defecating in the open. It is understood that children from a village in Chhattisgarh which has declared itself as “open defecation free” has come with a novel way of preventing people from defecating in the open. Here children get up early in the morning not to study but to keep a sharp look out for villagers going out to defecate in the open and upon spotting them they blow a whistle and tell the people not to do so.

If people still indulge in defecating in the open they are fined. These children are part of “Team Swachh” which is an initiative of UNICEF and a non-government organisation (NGO). It is pertinent to note that in the remote villages in Goa even though villagers are provided with public toilets, many still prefer to defecate in the open. Hence an initiative like that started by the children of the village in Chhattisgarh may be necessary in the state to prevent people living in the villages and near the beaches from defecating in the open.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco





Love is God

Many people in India, as like Goa, go to various places to search God, while searching everywhere they say we have not found God, at last. This is foolishness. According to my experience it is very easy to get God.

The examples are as follow:- 1. Love your neighbors from your heart, give him or her help in their difficulties, you will get god, because love is god and god is love. Very simple. You do this? Yes or no? 2. Wasting money for offering flowers, candles, agarbathi, milk to God, give that money to poor who really suffer, you will get god because love is god. 3. MLAs who promise before election and forget after election, should stop this and do good for your people, do good work in your constituency, you get God, because love is God. 4. All over India, politicians divide brothers and sisters in the name of religion, stop that first, because there is one god, one man. Religion, castes are made by human beings, stop killing, because Geeta, Quran or Bible does not teach us to do this, you kill animals not human beings. Stop all this because if you love somebody you get God, because love is God, and God is love, never forget this. 

There is no point in searching god here and there, God is everywhere, especially in our heart, love each other, one religion should love other religion, we all Indians should say, we all are of one, brothers n sisters of our Mother India. So show your love to each other, then you will get god, because love is god.

Edgar Martins, Chinchinim


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Primary education

Primary education ‘should be in Mother tongue and also the grants’ goes the refrain. The mother tongue of Konkan, and specifically Goa, is Konkani. It is the mother tongue of probably 90% of Hindus and 98% Christians. Therefore grants should, logically speaking, be granted only to Konkani medium schools. Yet the fact remains that Hindus prefer to give their wards Primary Education, not in their mother tongue, but in Marathi. This has been so since the Portuguese era. Therefore grants should be given to Marathi Medium schools.

Having said that, it is equally true that Christians prefer to give their wards primary education, not in their mother tongue, but in English. Therefore the present stand of the Govt. is both equitable and fair. The stand of BBSM and their uncalled for references to Archbishop, Diocesan schools, 75:25, is nothing but RSS-driven minority baiting. By the way ask the well-to-do Hindus where they send their wards to.

JO Barneto, Margao





Shall they take part in happiness as well as sorrows?

If you are going to compare married life of olden days and now, there is a lot of difference. First of all, in olden days, whether it was a proposal or love marriage, couple had Faith in each other and loved each other. Wives didn't wanted lot of money or luxurious items from their husband, for them most precious thing They need was love, peace and happiness that is why Married life functioned peacefully till they died, but there was no word called "Divorce", the couple took part in happiness as well as sorrows, those time wives used to say as husbands as the light of their home.

But as for today, for love or proposal marriage, first girls say, is there a bungalow, car, bank balance, good job, handsome boy? These are the questions before marriage and after marriage they are ready to take part in happiness and not in sorrows, because they want all luxurious things from this world and always money money, money, and not husbands love, that's why there are lot of divorces in today’s marriage life, more or less 60%. That's why now most of the boys say it is better to live as bachelor then to live as married. So today education and greed of money make a human being like this, but one day a curse will surely come from the almighty God

Edgar Martins, Chinchinim


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