Herald: Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor

09 Mar 2019 06:12am IST
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09 Mar 2019 06:12am IST

Whose money is it?

Recently there are full page ads appearing in the newspapers praising the BJP Government for various development projects. The question is, who is paying for these ads?

There are also reports in the media that the Government employees (talathis) have not been paid for six months. Could this money not be used more prudently to pay the hardworking Government employees of our country?

Chrisanno Pereira, Pomburpa

Stealing people’s identities

Cyber bulling has become one of the most notorious crimes in the world today and more than half of the world is facing this problem.

According to various researchers, approximately a single identity gets stolen per minute.

The phonies and identity thieves who disguise themselves as normal people on social media are hard to detect. They harass people or steal their identities either for their sadistic amusement or for money.

Jubel D’Cruz, Mumbai

Machismo is a contagious disease 

This refers to the article, "Gender equality an unfinished agenda" by Freddy Dias (Herald, Comment, March 8, 2019). Gender equality is not possible in a society that has been suffering from the contagious disease called machismo which demeans anything feminine.

According to the Encyclopedia Britannica, machismo means exaggerated pride in masculinity, perceived as power, often coupled with a minimal sense of responsibility and disregard of consequences. 

In machismo there is supreme valuation of characteristics culturally associated with the masculinity and a denigration of characteristics associated with the feminine.

It is difficult to get rid of the problem of tobacco, alcohol and drugs because these things are interwoven with masculinity. They have become signatures of machismo as these destructive elements show I-don't-care attitude which is a characteristic of machismo as it is "coupled with a minimal sense of responsibility and disregard of consequences".

Machismo is indeed a contagious disease that can spread quickly. It causes nasty symptoms in a society. For example, while "wear churi" is a sarcastic comment, Dalits are being killed for growing a moustache and riding a horse because the moustache is a biological and horse riding a traditional symbol of masculinity. If a society is obsessed with machismo then the powerful people want to have a monopoly over these symbols to exploit others.

The humorous Bengali poet, Sukumar Roy made a dig at machismo in his poem gonf churi (Missing Whiskers). His son Satyajit Ray translated the poem into English. In the poem a man became hysterical about his moustache and equated it with his identity. He even went on to declare that his moustache is his master   "What man is to Moustachio/Man is slave, Moustache is master/losing which man meets disaster!"

In this kind of a society, the size of one's chest, the length of one's moustache and the roughness of one's voice become signatures of authority.

Sujit De, Kolkatta

Phasing out 

old coins

The government has reportedly released the new series of Rs 1, Rs 2, Rs 5 Rs 10 and introduced the Rs 20 coins on Thursday. These coins contain design features which will be of great assistance to visually impaired persons. In this regard certain pertinent questions do arise.

Will the old coins continue to be in circulation? Will the old coins continue to be a legal tender? Will these coins be phased out in the course of time? If so for how long will the old coins be in circulation? It is pertinent to note that in the past there has been a lot of ambiguity about the old Rs 10 coin. Many shopkeepers were reluctant to accept the coin even though there was no official communication on the withdrawal of the old Rs 10 coin.

The air of uncertainty regarding the old coins need to be done away with, once the new coins of Rs 1, Rs 2 Rs 5 and Rs 10 enter the circulation.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Formality of celebrating Women’s Day

The formality of celebrating International Women’s Day is fulfilled every year on March 8 but without any attitude-change towards women which though being 50 per cent of population, get only a minute representation in law-making system.

Many political parties cry for reservation on man-made aspects like religion and cast evidently for vote-bank politics, but oppose reservation to women which still remain dominated section of society created by nature in our male-dominated political system. Even Islamic world, including Pakistan and many other democratic countries, have adopted Women-Reservation in legislature.

Election Commission formula to make it compulsory for every political party to give at least 33 per cent party-tickets to women may be immediately enforced as an interim measure, till Indian women get their legitimate right for 33 per cent state-wise reservation in legislature. Moreover to prevent wives or other relations being misused as proxy of male politicians, there should be a system whereby name or photo of husband or any other relation may not be permitted in election-campaigns of women candidates.

At a time when women-quota in panchayats and local bodies is being increased to 50 per cent from earlier 33 per cent, it is meaningless to resist 33 per cent reservation to women in legislature. Rather there should be uniform 33 per cent reservation for women at all stages from civic bodies to Parliament.

Madhu Agrawal, Delhi

Bond between Goans & Pakistanis

This is in reference to the beautiful article in Herald Café dated March 7, 2019 by Neshwin Almeida on “Goa & Pakistan” where it was nicely highlighted the strong bond between Goans and Pakistanis.

In fact this bond was existing not only in Pakistan mainly in Karachi where the early Goans settled there for the jobs just as they did in Bombay but also elsewhere in the world where Pakistanis and Goans are settled.

I have seen this bond in Kuwait between Pakistanis and Goans where Pakistanis are having very close connection with Goans. Even many Goans and Pakistanis are sharing the same flats or same rooms besides having so many marriages between Pakistani Muslim boys and Goan Christian girls. Also, so many Goan ladies are having extra marital relationship with Pakistanis. This was due to the result of the bonds built between Pakistanis and Goans when Goans came to Pakistan and settled in Karachi and Rawalpindi too and to other parts of Pakistan. I saw how much soft corner Pakistanis are having for Goans especially for Christians.

When in mid fifties the students of the then well-known Arpora School were banned from appearing for SSC examination of Poona Board because of the anger of its great principal Rev Fr Mendonca whose pro-Portuguese leanings angered government of India, it was Pakistan that immediately welcomed these students to appear for their SSC exam through Karachi Board.

Pakistan, especially the city of Karachi, gave lot of opportunities for the Goans to come up in life just as Bombay did, otherwise Cardinal Gracias would never have become Cardinal after attaining priesthood in Karachi if he was in Goa with all the discriminations existing in Goa then.

A Veronica Fernandes, Candolim

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