‘The Shame of Speaking Konkani’ by Dale Luis Menezes (Sept 2, 2015) brought back memories of more than 40 years. I was returning after my aunt had boarded a Mumbai-bound bus near the Customs House in the city. I heard a familiar and melodious voice. A man and his wife were conversing in English. I went close to them and asked him whether he was not Alfred Rose. He replied in the positive. I told him that I liked all his songs over the AIR (there was no TV then), but the best song I enjoyed was “Konkani! Tika shellant heddun menn diunk zai” (Do not keep Konkani in the kitchen, she must be given due respect in the drawing room of the house). You can well imagine the contortions of embarrassment on his face which I still remember.
Menezes has wrongly mentioned caste and religion as markers of dialects. It is only region that decides the dialect. Otherwise, a Mangesh Pai (Saraswat Brahmin) from Varca wouldn’t speak the same dialect as Churchill Alemao and an Alex Goes from Madkai wouldn’t speak the same dialect as his neighbouring Kamats of Kamatwaddo.
If the chronic shaming and humiliation of Konkani needs to end, we have to bring it to the ‘drawing room’ and at least speak it, if not write!
Damodar K Kamat Ghanekar, Campal
It is understood that students in all schools will soon be given lessons against cruelty to animals as the State Council of Educational Research and Training (SCERT) has issued a circular asking schools to start a program on ‘compassionate citizens’ (Herald Sept.3).
The program is reportedly to sensitize students against cruelty of animals and to show CDs to students educating them on the issue. It must be said that this is a step in the right direction as it will make the students tolerant and compassionate citizens in the future. It would also be in the fitness of things for schools to have small fish-tanks, bird houses and dog-houses in order to adopt stray puppies within the school campus so as to imbibe in the students the love for live fish, animals and birds. It would also be appropriate to club the lessons against cruelty to animals with love for plants and the environment in general.
Just as we would want children to be compassionate to animals, we would also want them as future citizens of the country to take care of plants and the nature in general. After all animals, and for that matter any living being, will not be able to survive for long if the environment they live in is polluted, be it due to air or water pollution. A clean environment is the growing need of the hour.
Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco
Union government should induce standardization of common accessories like tyres and batteries so that same parts may be used in different models of cars produced by various car manufacturers. It will heavily bring down cost of consumables through their bumper production in extra large numbers in some limited sizes and specifications. It can be achieved by merging some nearing sizes and specifications. Such guidelines though also mentioned in auto-policy of Union government, are never followed in actual practice.
Too many variants of any car-model confuse customers. Basically there must be only two variants (apart from the third with automatic gears), one basic Lx for economy customers and the other Vx with all company-fitted extra accessories and luxuries for affording customers. There is no sense in having too many confusing variants like Lx, Lxi, Vx, Vxi for same model.
India being world’s biggest consumer-market amongst nations with free economy, it has certainly power to dictate its consumer-friendly terms for global market-leaders collaborating car-manufacture in India.
Madhu Agrawal, Delhi
Show of strength
The day-long nationwide strike on Wednesday that impacted normal life in various parts of the country was a remarkable show of strength by the working class and only mirrored their dissatisfaction with the programmes and policies framed by successive governments.
The strike call was given by 10 central trade unions against changes in labour laws, the privatization of public sector undertakings and other demands. The last minute pull-out by the Sangh-affiliated Bharitiya Mazdoor Sangh (BMS) from the strike call was the only saving grace for the government in a strike that saw the participation of transport, insurance, banking and mining sectors across states. The coming together of the labour force only reinforces the view that the government cannot take their grievances lightly anymore and that it needs to put in place a series of concrete measures including raising the stipulated minimum wages if it is to win over the workers to its side.
N J Ravi Chander, Bengaluru
Margao traffic cell
With Panjim traffic cell taking a giant step in improving the city traffic system it's time for Margao traffic cell to take serious steps to improve the road network in the city.
Margao traffic police are only very famous for issuing challans to riders without helmets within city limits by hiding themselves at a corner. The traffic cell must come out with some changes like in Panjim on trial basis to improve the smooth flow of traffic.
Margao is blessed with so many intelligent professionals like architects, engineers, lawyers who could come out with a master plan for the city and save Margao city before its completely choked. The Margao traffic cell has become a non-functioning unit and they have no passion towards the city. It is time for every citizens to give a bit for Margao
Dixon Vaz, Fatorda