Check on artificial ripening of mangoes
It is the season of mangoes. Various varieties of mangoes including the popular Mancurad, are flooding the markets. In the past there has been a scare of artificially ripened mangoes being sold in the market. The question that arises is whether the authorities concerned are still keeping a watch on artificially ripened fruits, including mangoes, being sold in the market. The other day I bought mangoes at the market which seemed to be artificially ripened as the fruit was not uniformly sweet. While one part of the fruit was sweet, the other part was sour. This is a clear sign of artificial ripening using chemicals. The authorities concerned need to keep a check on the fruits sold in the market and destroy those found to be artificially ripened.
Setting the stage for an epic battle in Bhopal, Sadhvi Pragya Singh Thakur, the woman facing trial in Malegaon blast case was fielded by the BJP to defeat Digvijay Singh in the Lok Sabha elections. Sadhvi joined the BJP only hours before the party announced her name as its candidate from Bhopal. This is a clear stand of the BJP of how they are hell-bent on to bring the Hindutva plank at the centre stage of polls in the state and it is also clear that they are inherently and internally saffronised people. True to its outlook too, what is bred in the bone will come out in the flesh.
The Sadhvi case is only a tip of the iceberg of the Hindutva plan of the BJP. More such acts of right-wing Hindu nationalism glorifying Hinduism are in the offing once they come back to power. There is no denying the fact that India has been always in the secular mode from time immemorial and the vibrant and dynamic aspect of being secular, has always won India a unique position in the entire world and our country is being revered and respected for that.
So, it is the sincere expectation of the people of this country that BJP may not adopt aggressive Hindutva mode lest it should create any panic in the minds of others in the country.
When Actor Kamal Hassan started his party, 'Makkal Mayyam' he informed that he had no money and only depended on his followers and party workers for funds to manage the functioning of his party and election expenses.
Even when political parties like the MDMK and VCK that are in fray for so many decades find it extremely difficult to augment necessary funds for expenses, it’s a great wonder from where Kamal has received so much of funds in such a short time which he is freely and generously spending to conduct meetings all over the state, print posters and even release full page advertisements in the print media and continuous ads in electronic media costing a fortune!
Though the complaint of the opposition parties that Kamal is only a sleeper cell of the BJP did not merit much attention earlier, considering the free flow of funds in his camp and also that he is found to be vehemently attacking only DMK but soft pedalling with the BJP-AIADMK alliance, one is convinced that Kamal is not all that honest politically as he pretends to be.
Tharcius S. Fernando, Chennai
Thanks to pressure from the CPCB and the threat of steep fines from the NGT, our life sustaining rivers have been inspected and the pollution will hopefully be substantially mitigated in about a year. The beautiful stretch of the Mandovi which surrounds Panjim has been neglected for far too long while tiresome political charades take centre stage, and the same goes for the other rivers that have nurtured this tiny oasis. An overpowering stench at low tide, low fish catches and a marked increase of illnesses are some of the consequences of having a succession of state governments that have lost the plot.
The River Rejuvenation Committee or RRC, which has been set up to appease the CPCB, has come up with a series of measures which will be in the public domain as a cursory obligation, just like when Panjim citizens were allowed to volunteer suggestions about the smart city initiative, provided they steered clear of pandemic breeding issues like the Campal Creek and the landfill on Parade ground.
The WRD should be working around the clock to recharge groundwater reserves and although the met dept claimed yesterday that neither Goa nor India would be adversely affected by the El Nino effect, as citizens who have been lied to when coal pollution reports and nearly everything life threatening is concerned, we have the right to be more cynical about such reassuring "facts".
The CAG had reported last year that groundwater studies had not been carried out for years by the Goa govt although funds had been earmarked for the same; everyone knows the horrendous plight of the tiny Campal Creek due to petty differences of opinion between government agencies and that the merchants of sin aka the floating casinos are now permanent unwelcome squatters on the Panjim riverfront.
Activists have been helplessly trying to warn Goa about the health hazard that the Assonora water treatment plant would potentially become if a nearby mega construction site is left to its own devices. Water is life and each conscientious Goan with a pulse should keep up the pressure on the authorities to do at least one of their sworn duties.
Sitharaman immaturities on Rafael deal
Nirmala Sitharaman as Defence Minister needs to brush up on government procedural matters and diplomatic protocol. This comment is being made in the context of the latest news from France as published by Le Monde, their leading newspaper, that Anil Ambani's Co., Reliance Flag had been given a substantial concession on tax running into millions of Euros, months after the Rafael deal was signed. That Nirmala Sitharaman voluntarily issued a statement that this had nothing to do with the Rafael deal made her sound like wanting to clarify the matter before any question about it was raised, making us feel that - Was there really a link? Like they say there is no smoke without a fire and then saying there is no smoke, no smoke when you can actually see it makes one ask - Where is the fire?
The other thing it also seemed as she was the spokesperson for Anil Ambani, clarifying on his behalf where actually it was Ambani who should have come out and said that there is no connection between the tax refund and the Rafael deal, which he did but later.
As for the truth of the matter only the prime players can tell like the then President of France, Narendra Modi and Anil Ambani but one must say that France as a country thrives on controversy and in international deals things like this can happen and the tax refund may have been part of the package given to Ambani along with the Rafael offset deal.
Coming back to Nirmala Sitharaman and her somewhat blaise comments, just after the Supreme Court recently junked the AG's argument that the 'stolen' Rafael documents could not be accepted by the Court, she had said that Rahul Gandhi without knowing the full story is going to town with bits and pieces of the Rafael deal. What choice does the poor fellow have since those who have the full story will not come out with it? That is why he has to make do with the bits and pieces hoping one day that he will have the whole. It is time therefore that Nirmala Sitharaman puts out a White Paper on the Rafael deal.
Srinivas Kamat, Alto St. Cruz