Duplicate night train needed
This refers to "New Goa-Mumbai train from June 15" (Herald, Mar 7). The double decker train currently plying on this route has received poor response. There is no reason why the proposed double decker train with a change in time table will fare better. Goa being a tourist destination, there is a huge demand for the overnight Konkankanya Express, tickets which are in great demand even during off season.
I request Konkan Railway to start a duplicate night train with an hour’s gap between the two trains. Such duplicate trains are very successful. Mumbai has three Rajdhani trains to New Delhi, leaving within an hour of each other from 4.30 pm to 6.30 pm.
Robert Castellino, Mumbai
It is surprising that an advisory issued by Air India for its crew to say "Jai Hind" after announcements has been politicised and has been targeted with jibes and trolls sadly mocking at the very slogan that was considered as the "mantra" bonded to the hearts and lips of our freedom fighters and national leaders who fought for independence.
History has it that the term was coined by Major Abid Hasan Safrani, a close aide of Netaji Subhash Chandra Bose and used by the then Netajis 'Indian National Army' as a shortened version of Jai Hindustan Ki. It was popularised by Chembakaraman Pillai, the great freedom fighter, political activist and revolutionary. The term was adopted by Free India as National Slogan of the country.
It is indeed a shame that even noted leaders are mocking at the decision commenting that it is linked to the upcoming elections. It has to be remembered that most of our leaders, including Indira Gandhi, used the phrase after her speech and the phrase is also used on All India Radio at the end of its broadcast. Besides, the phrase only gives a 'Josh' to our national fervour. Certain practices are truly necessary to foster patriotism among the young and the elderly. It has to be instilled right from childhood and such habits once formed can avoid issues related to sedition later.
No-confidence motions, sharing of term of power by rotation was in the past heard of at the State government level and the municipal level. But now they have become the order of the day at the panchayat level. While there is stability in the State government and various municipal bodies, instability seems to have now percolated to the level of the panchayat. That is probably why every now and then one hears of news of no-confidence motions being moved and change of Sarpanch by rotation as a result of understanding between the panchas on sharing the term of five years.
All this goes to show the importance the panchayat body has gained over a period of time. One probable reason for this is the magnitude of construction work that is undergoing in the villages. With possibility of construction of new building projects in the cities being minimal due to paucity of open land, the focus is now shifted to the villages. That is probably the reason why the panchayat body has assumed so much significance which is reflected in the no-confidence motions and sharing of power that is taking place in several villages in the State. Instability at the panchayat level can affect other works like garbage collection and cleanliness drive besides tackling other issues plaguing the village.
For most of us, Lent means giving up something that we enjoy the most and not eating meat on the Fridays during Lent.
Lent has traditionally been a time to reflect on the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ and to fast and change one’s life direction as needed. It is also a time to do good works to bring healing and hope to our world.
against Pak, a SOP
Sanity in the national discourse seems to be presently at a premium. The levels to which this is descending is alarming to say the least. Post-Pulwama the fact that we launched a strike in Pakistan at Balakot is more important than counting the number of dead. A death count of 40 against 250 or 300 or 350 is no equity since lives lost are far more important to each side. That we served on Pakistan a clear declaration of intent was the motive message.
That our IAF conducted an operation flying the Mirage 2000 called the 'widow makers' and the MIG21 also known as the 'flying coffins' successfully carried out a sortie deep inside Pakistan territory is great credit to our flying men. That Abhinandan in his aged MIG21 brought down a F16 reminiscent of our Gnats taking down the then famed F84 Sabre jets during the 1965 conflict shows the skill of our pilots and that it has not waned over time.
The important lesson in all this is the message to Pakistan that they cannot get away with murder any longer on the pretext of state, non-state actors and a faux liberation movement and that India will act. It was an exercise in setting expectations. With the earlier ground surgical strike and now the air strike the cementing of the message is complete.
It was long known that India would never retaliate but the two strikes have now changed all that. In fact we need to sustain this line of action and make it our Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), now.
Terrorism is like a hedge or weeds in your garden it needs trimming and extraction once too often. Thus military action across the border and inside Pakistani territory should be done regularly and carried out with great precision. In fact in this we need to take out a page from Israel's book which with deliberation and confirmed intent takes out any threat in its vicinity hemmed in as it is by all enemy nations whenever it sees a threat to its people and/or assets.
It is rare that any great diplomatic uproar is caused against Israel when it acts against terror targets in its vicinity. So when you see a good thing going, we should with all grace compliment the present government. It is also natural that the BJP and its allies will crow about it.
Srinivas Kamat, Alto St Cruz
Give students freedom to use their ‘own time’
There is a certain degree of freedom that must be afforded to college students to pursue not only their own interests, but also make their own personal decision about what to do with something as important as their own time. A lot of people will say that students misuse this freedom and as a result attendance should be made compulsory, to keep these people in check and to ensure that their learning process continues, which is touted to be fundamental to being in a college.
To that, making attendance compulsory does nothing to improve their learning; it is their focus in the class that matters. From a more fundamental viewpoint, how long will society (in this case colleges) keep restrictions on growing adults? If they are not allowed to decide how they want to spend their own time at the age of 20, when will they? Will we keep placing further restrictions on them claiming to help put them on the right path?
By this stage, it must be innate. It cannot be produced simply by making attendance compulsory. Think if there is a course which you find particularly easy, or have already studied before. Why would you waste time learning it again? Here is the merit of free attendance - I could either study an advanced course of the same topic, read a book, learn an instrument, play a sport just about do anything with that time. Even sleep. It will be my personal choice, and choices like these ultimately shape an individual not sitting in a class just because you have to.