Why not have a ‘Goan forts festival’?
Union Minister of Ports, Shipping and Waterways Sarbananda Sonowal inaugurated the maiden edition of ‘Indian Lighthouse Festival’ at the historic Fort Aguada in Goa, on Saturday. According to the government at the centre, the festival is aimed at rejuvenating the rich maritime history of the country’s iconic lighthouses.
Being a largely sea-based destination, Goa has also been home to several forts, which were built by different rulers at different points in time. They stand as a memory of the past. Some of the more famous forts include Fort Aguada, Chapora Fort, Tiracol Fort, Reis Magos Fort, Corjuem Fort and Mormugao Fort among others. Cabo De Rama is one of the oldest and largest forts in the state. These are centres of tourist attraction, as lakhs of local and foreign tourists visit them. It would be in the fitness of things for Goa to celebrate its forts by organizing a ‘Goan Forts Festival’ on the lines of ‘Indian Lighthouse Festival’.
Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco
Hypertension — the ticking time bomb
It is high time people take note of the ‘silent killer’ of the world – hypertension. The first report of the World Health Organisation (WHO) on the dangers of hypertension said that nearly 80 percent of those with high blood pressure across the globe are bearing the brunt of inadequate treatment. A mere 37 percent of Indians with hypertension are diagnosed and only 30 percent receive treatment, despite the availability of a plethora of anti-hypertensive drugs, the best physicians and reams of articles written about its perils.
Untreated hypertension can cause the heart to enlarge and make its vessels inefficient to pump blood, leading to casualties. Life-style modifications like regular physical activity, balanced diet with low salt and sugar intake, minimal alcohol consumption and smoking, low levels of stress, and regular intake of medicines under supervision go a long way. Measuring blood pressure is an extremely simple art, made even simpler by compact devices.
Ganapathi Bhat, Akola
Be kind to animals
We will be celebrating World Animal Day on October 4. I’m sure, many of us are not even aware that this day exists. The day is a reminder for us to treat our pets and stray animals with respect.
If we look around our highways and streets, we will find plenty of stray animals roaming about. That’s no way to show respect to these animals. It’s like we have disowned them. Animals enrich us in ways we don’t even know.
The theme for World Animal Day 2023 is ‘Great or small, love them all’. The mission of this year’s World Animal Day is to raise the status of animals in order to improve welfare standards around the globe.
Jubel D'Cruz, Mumbai
Huge implications for name change
In his article, ‘Bharat: A Red Herring’ (O Heraldo, September 22, 2023), Blaise Costabir rightly pointed out that renaming our country would entail a substantial expense. If ‘India that is Bharat’ becomes only ‘Bharat’, it would indeed create huge and unnecessary expenditure of time and public money. The Supreme Court of India, India Post, Reserve Bank of India, SBI, CBI, IITs, Government of India and many others are to stand in the long queue to change their nameplates in such a scenario. From currency notes to letterheads all will have to be changed.
India is as much a foreign word as the word Hindu is. As a matter of fact many words in Indian languages such as Hindustan have a foreign root. But they have been assimilated in Indian languages and culture. If the process of replacing internationally recognised name of our country with the local name continued, it would cause extensive damage to India’s exchequer and as well as her international position.
Sujit De, Kolkata
Seat sharing will haunt the INDIA bloc
Differences over seat-sharing continue to haunt the INDIA Bloc. Ahead of the crucial 2024 Lok Sabha polls in Uttar Pradesh. The alliance talks between the Congress and the Samajwadi Party (SP) hit a roadblock. While the ‘grand old party’ wanted two dozen seats, SP president Akhilesh Yadav refused to give more than five. The SP has a point: the Congress could win only from Raebareli, where former Congress president Sonia Gandhi was the MP. The Congress’ plea to consider 2009 (it won 21 seats then) as the basis for seat sharing needs to be more credible, considering that its fortunes are at a low ebb as of today.
N J Ravi Chander, Bengaluru
Immense tension due to Russia-Ukraine war
There is immense tension in the world due to Russia-Ukraine war and China’s devious policies. Fears of economic recession are being expressed. In such a situation, the Canadian government has created a new tension by making ridiculous allegations against the Indian government. Canada, which has been a hub of Khalistani activities, is not only promoting Khalistani organizations for political gains, but is also describing their misdeeds as freedom of expression.
In such a case, India must also sever political, strategic and trade ties with Canada, and must also stop traffic from Canada. In June 2023, Khalistan supporters had already given a glimpse of their autocratic nature by enacting the assassination of Indira Gandhi in Canada. Even then, the government there called it, freedom of expression. Therefore, India must deal strictly with Canada.
Ashraf Nawaz, Hyderabad
Sexual abuse of school girls is scarring
The recent molestation of school girls has shocked Goa. The sexual harassment complaints against teachers is a major concern among the parents. There is still no substantial changes on the ground in how schools operate and execute safety measures. With many schools across Goa not having CCTVs in the common areas of premises or maintaining proper background checks for their staff and not hiring professional counsellors which is mandatory as per the guidelines. These safety measures should be available at all schools, irrespective of their stature and fee structure.
K G Vilop, Chorao