16 Mar 2023  |   04:53am IST

Letters to the editor ( 16 March 2023)

Cheap excuses to justify inactivity

Is our police now deaf and dumb? Do they need such cheap excuses to justify their inactivity? It is the duty of the police to ensure law and order. If someone in front of police is attacking the life of another person, do they have to wait for a complaint before intervening?

 If someone is lighting a forest fire under the eyes of police are they waiting until a complaint is registered best in a written form before they become active. 

If someone is driving a car in a reckless manner in front of them, do they let the driver go on endangering the life of other persons as they did not receive a complaint? If they would walk every evening along the beaches at 10pm they could easily stop the noise pollution. Or would they stop too many parties businesses?

Helmuth Ester, Anjuna

Set up rumble strips as per specifications

It is learnt that three major accidents have occurred recently at the site of the rumble strips at Dhandeavaddo in Chinchinim killing one person. There seems to be a misconception regarding rumble-strips. Unlike the speed-breakers, the function of these rumble strips is not for the vehicles to slow down, though some drivers may reduce the speed. Rumble strips are grooves or indents on roads that are used to provide the driver with a tactile and audible warning. 

These strips are usually placed ahead of merging lanes or road shoulders in order to warn the vehicular driver. 

As a matter of fact the rumble strip is applied along the edge line or center-line of the road in order to alert drivers when they drift from their lane. They create noise and vibration inside the vehicle that alert a driver as they cross the center or the edge line. 

Often this alert is strong enough to get the attention of a distracted or drowsy driver, who can quickly make a corrective steering action to return to the roadway safely. However such rumble strips along the road median or the road shoulder are seldom seen in Goa. 

Rumble strips need to be up as per specifications. But in the state it is observed that no specifications are followed. In the long run rumble strips can damage the tires and suspension of the vehicle. But the worst part is when a vehicle moves at high speed over these strips the vehicle can veer off the road leading to accidents.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Freedom of speech causing social unrest

The freedom of speech as a gateway to success and improvement, however some see it as an open invitation to insults and treason.  The hate speeches have widely affected freedom of speech and expression in recent times giving rise to social unrest and public disturbance.  

The effect to the citizens is large because hate speech and rumour mongering has the potential of provoking individuals or society to commit acts of genocides, terrorism, etc.  Hate speech has no redeeming or legitimate purpose other than hatred towards a particular group.  A more tolerant society would have a larger bound. Unlimited freedom in speech is dangerous for the survival of human society. Efforts to suppress nonviolent expression, far from ensuring peace and stability, can allow unseen problems to fester and erupt in far more dangerous forms. It's important that specific and durable legislative provisions be enacted to combat such speech.  

K G Vilop, Chorao

K’taka Cong to pay BJP in the same coin

The buzz in Karnataka is that the Congress is readying itself to give BJP a taste of its own medicine. The Congress party which is, by all indications, in the driver's seat is set to poach a few crucial BJP leaders ahead of the May elections. 

It has to be recalled that the BJP is known for orchestrating the now infamous “Operation Kamala” across India to lure key opposition leaders into its fold for the sake of power including Karnataka.  A top Karnataka Congress leader, and chief ministerial aspirant, is said to be eyeing a few BS Yediyurappa supporters, most of them lingayats to expand wings in lingayat strongholds. Among them, a senior minister in the BJP cabinet, quite a few sitting and former legislators are reportedly being cajoled into toeing Congress' line. 

Since the Congress' offer is difficult to resist, it will be interesting to see whether or not the contacted  BJP leaders will switch allegiance. Since most of those contacted by the Congress leader are turncoats, the party appears to have hit the bulls eye. The Congress is said to have "reserved" a percentage of tickets to the new entrants. This is where, sadly, the Indian politics has come to. When there are party hoppers amenable to be enticed through offers, there are bound to be bigwigs eager to cash-in on their weaknesses. Electoral reforms are begging to be ushered-in whereas no political party, for obvious reasons, want changes, and the results are there to see. 

Ganapathi Bhat, Akola

Mobile phones have disturbed family peace

This has reference to the report ‘To avoid distractions during board exams prep, 15 class X students hand over mobile phones to school’(O Heraldo 15 March 2023). I think that was indeed a great initiative undertaken by those 15 students preparing for their class X Board exams. Yes, rightly, they should be appreciated for this act. It shows the courage, the maturity and responsibility on the part of those students.  It would certainly be great if others could take a cue from these students and do likewise. Mobile phones have in reality, disturbed the peace of people. It may be a boon to many but unfortunately, man seems to have become slave to the mobile phones.  However, we need to take the middle path viz., limiting the use of mobiles like these students have done. Another area is the dinner table - here is one place where the family can sit together and share their thoughts while sharing a meal. 

There is video circulating on WhatsApp showing the woman of the house, the mother, serving food to the family members.  While the family members come with their plate for the food, they have to hand over their mobile phone to the woman or else food would not be served to him. When the man of the house approaches with his plate, he hands over a mobile phone. Now, here's the twist - the woman would not serve the food until the man surrenders the second mobile phone! Man smart? Woman smarter!

Well, we need to take a message from this video and learn something from the students who have surrendered their mobile phones during their exam preparations.

Melville X D'Souza, Mumbai


Idhar Udhar