In these days we read advertisements from the Election Commission of India advising voters not to sell their vote by accepting cash, liquor or gifts, in the interest of impartial and fair election. The Commission reminds voters that doing so is betrayal of democracy as well as a punishable offence with imprisonment. Who can disagree with it?
There are many clean citizens in Goa who have been voting consciously without receiving anything only to find later that the elected representations betrayed their trust by crossing over to other parties at midnight. Offices of Constitutional authorities which closed for the day have been hurriedly opened at midnight to facilitate such crossovers as if the world would end the next day. We have even a case where a MLA did not serve even one hour after election but entered the Assembly hall with a resignation forcing a bye election at public expense. Isn’t this the biggest betrayal of democracy? It is, but it is also a tragedy that the betrayers are lawmakers themselves. God save Goa.
ECI norms should not be violated
Everyone believes in this country that no citizen has dual nationality and it is not allowed to any person in India. However, what baffles is the fact that there is very clear evidence that those who possess the Portuguese Bilhete de Identidade or Cartão de Cidadão are eligible for voting both in Portugal as well as in India.
This news has appeared in the print media when the Portuguese government extended facilities to those possessing the Bilhete da Identidade or the Cartão de Cidadão and even informed each of these holders individually. Now, since those possessing the Bilhete da Identidade or Cartão de Cidadão are not barred or deprived from contesting elections in India or voting, as these BI holders under the new law endorsed by the Ministry of Home Affairs and thus it is pertinent to investigate and detect if this dual voting rights is acceptable by the Election Commission of India (ECI). At least, candidates contesting elections should be probed for this duality of voting rights such that ECI norms are not violated/flouted.
Ban rallies and political road-shows
Political-funding through electoral bond after transparency; friction is necessary evil. The above refers to Supreme Court directing disclosure of names of contributors of electoral bonds which were started in complete opaqueness about contributors even though names of recipient-parties were disclosable and 95 per cent funding was received by ruling BJP. Small 5 per cent might be for getting favours from State-governments ruled by non-BJP parties.
Disclosure will expose contributors who have funded the ruling party obviously to get favour from the government, where it is now established that political funding is done as some indirect bribe for getting government-favour rather than for some public good to promote democracy.
But after transparency is induced, contributions through electoral bonds will sharply decline because neither the ruling party nor the contributors to ruling party will like to be exposed. Again the role of black money in electoral process will increase tremendously. In a way, opaque electoral bond was an evil necessary like friction is a necessary evil.
Only remedy to cut role of black money in election campaigns is to completely ban political rallies and road-shows which consume maximum money and resources of political parties, like banners and posters are now banned.
The article headlined Mining dependents, ramponnkars reject Modi’s ‘false assurances’ in your edition dated April 12, 2019, shows that Modi is indeed the most ‘transparent’ politician today. It hardly took any time at all for the aggrieved people to “see through” his empty and hollow promises and false assurances.
For almost five years, the PM couldn’t give the aggrieved the time of day in his backyard but chose to address them in Goa whilst their representatives were in attendance in Delhi! This condescending, arrogant, disdainful and scornful attitude of the PM towards the aam junta has made the task of citizens especially the first-time voters that much more easy.
Children of mining dependents and ramponnkars voting for the first time would have been in their early teens during the last elections and relatively secure in the surrounds of family but would over the past few years have experienced first hand the brutal impact this inconsiderate and deceitful government has had on their parents’ and their own lives.
Every citizen owes it to themselves, their children, their parents and grandparents to come out in large numbers to vote in order to secure our future. Only a 90 per cent plus turnout will give us a fairly good idea of what kind of future we aspire for.
Bosco D’Souza, Reis Magos
Kabhi graduate, kabhi intermediate
Educational qualification is not a requisite for contesting national election, but filling in the educational column correctly in the nomination form is. In her nomination form Smriti Irani has downgraded her educational qualification from BA in (2014) to Intermediate in 2019.
We've heard of Open University but this is perhaps the first time we are hearing of Open Degree! Perhaps this may even give birth to a new serial 'Kabhi Graduate, Kabhi Intermediate'!
Robert Castellino, Calangute
The main point for elections must be India’s biggest threat also considering our size and population is climate change not Pakistan, cow, Nehru, minority bashing, etc.
Ruling BJP under Modi has made these the main election focus and their blind supporters are too narrow minded to think otherwise!
Take care of church’s cooks, gravediggers
The Good Samaritan Fund for the needy in all churches across the State is a welcomed initiative by the Church. The teachings of Samaritan in the bible have been very clear to help the needy, but somehow many parish priests and parishioners lost the way in creating such funds.
It’s never too late though the Archdiocese of Goa has been very instrumental in taking care of the needy through the Caritas and the school for children of disability. Many Catholic congregations have ventured into many areas of helping the needy and such as the Mission of Charity by Mother Teresa speaks volume of the Bible teachings. Most of the time the parishioners discuss about the Sunday collection money, donations for every work to be undertaken and its purpose. Today the public is becoming increasingly inquisitive to know how the money is spent, be it by the government, charitable trust or religious institutions or any other organisations.
My suggestion to the Bishop apart from what I read on the newspapers, there is a need to support the Gravedigger, the Sacristan and the cook who are the most neglected lots of the workers in the church. These people earn their livelihood from this service, while the office staff is well taken care off in some parishes. Maybe the Archdiocese can bring all the workers of the church under one umbrella and provide them a decent average salary and a life time pension too.
Gregory E D'Souza, Siolim