20 Mar 2023  |   04:55am IST

Letters to the editor ( 20 March 2023)

Why not a festival of 'Pork dishes'?

Thanks to the Goencho Festakar, Goans have over the past several years witnessed more than 70 “festam” showcasing the rich cultural heritage of our great state. The last such ‘Nachneachem Fest’ was a huge draw and the crowds are only swelling for every such fest. It must be said that for the Goan Catholic community pork dishes are a must at the dining table be it the local church feast, wedding spread, baptism or for that matter any family occasion. No celebration is complete without the traditional pork dishes, be it the sorpotel, pork vindaloo, pork sausages, etc. It would hence be desirable that the next fest would be the “Goan Pork Dish fest” or simply “Dukra Masachem Fest’. The best place to hold such a festival of pork dishes would obviously be Agassaim which is famous for its pork sausages the world over.  The fest could showcase the various dishes prepared from pork including Sorpotel, pork vindaloo, Dukrachem aad-mas, pork sausages, choris-pau, kailuntle mas, etc. It will obviously be a huge attraction for pork lovers in the state and in the process preserve our Goan culture.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Happiness is in the mind

It may not appear strange at all that a day is reserved for "happiness" by the United Nations (UN) and it is aptly termed the International Day of Happiness observed on March 20 every year since 2013.  Invariably, the definition of happiness may elicit a plethora of contradictory answers.  

However, that happiness is a state of mind is absolutely beyond doubt.  It is not only a subjective feeling of being well but it also encompasses a wide gamut of physical and mental emotions.

Emotion is a central theme to happiness because philosophers have simultaneously compared emotion, happiness and experience.  No medicines can make a person happy and there is no panacea for happiness.   

What makes an individual satisfied is perhaps the key to happiness.  Wealth, fame, health, relation, achievement, close family and love life as separate, or taken together, may also constitute happiness.  Work, love and hope are inspirations to a happy life.  A contended individual is more often than not "happy".   Again, the definition of "contended" may defy the basic tenets of happiness. Quite often people fail to count their happiness, and dwell on unhappiness, forgetting the fact that only a past unhappiness will make the present happiness sound real. The responsibility of being happy is thrust on the individual, and no one else, via positive thoughts and good memories.  All said and done, perhaps the best definition of happiness is "not getting what you want but wanting what you get".  

Ganapathi  Bhat, Akola

Ensure installation of VRS at all petroleum outlets

The Honourable Supreme Court has directed CPCB to ensure installation of Vapour Recovery System (VRS) at retail petroleum outlets located in different cities with population more than 10lakhs after the NGT had passed an order. 

If the issue is for the safety of human health why should there be restriction of installation of the VRS on petroleum outlets of more than 10 lakhs. If the Government can implement the cigarette ban/No smoking law in public places this should also imply for the petroleum outlets. The local authorities and Govt Dept. PWD, Health, SPCB, TCP, Office of the Collector, Police and Fire Services are part of the total violations that allow such outlets to come up in residential areas, even schools or hospitals are not spared, such is the omission and commissions. Who is going to keep a check on the floating population that visits Goa every day and 365 days as a tourist destination? The visitors are more than the local population. In Goa, the Collector and Goa State Pollution Control Board should first see that the outlet is not allowed in any residential area and that VRS should be compulsory implemented wherever the outlets are already existing. As we celebrate World Consumer rights, I hope the authorities are listening. 

Gregory E D'Souza, Siolim

‘Raghu’, ‘Ammu’ brought laurels to Indian cinema

Both ‘Raghu’ and ‘Ammu’, the two calves who star in the Oscar-winning documentary The Elephant Whispers, have actually not whispered, but rumbled their way to glory and brought laurels to Indian cinema worldwide. The 39-minute film is a brilliant portrayal of how humans and animals can have a unique bonding and coexist. It tells an enormous story that is dripping with gorgeous visuals, uncanny twists and turns, and above all heart-warming human emotions that show the very best that we, humans, are capable of doing.  The Elephant Whispers is a kind of once-in-a-generation movie that transcends boundaries that cinema has put up for itself and aspires for more. The movie also underscores a significant point that while humans have followed elephants along ancient migration paths, elephants have influenced humans biologically, culturally and mythically for hundreds of thousands of years. 

Elephants are considered to be one of the most complex mammals on the planet, exhibiting a lot of similarities to humans than we might actually think. Even to a casual observer, it is evident that these herd-travelling giants are tightly bonded within their family unit.  Scientific research not only supports this commonly held belief, but expands on it with examples of what humans would call deep devotion, compassion and even altruism on the part of elephants.

Ranganathan Sivakumar, Chennai

There should be no curbs on music 

It is in response to the news item in local dailies regarding ban on music. The ban on loud music was earlier finalized at the 12 midnight deadline in the interest of public sleep. Now, however the High Court has called for a ban on loud music after 10 pm.

Music is the way of life for the thousands of people in the entertainment and Tourism industry? Therefore there should be no restriction on music in tourism related states – especially in Goa.

Babluis Pereira, Pomburpa

Can Xi broker peace between Russia, Ukraine?

This refers to “Prez Xi to visit Russia for talks with Putin  to boost ties, discuss ending Ukraine war”(March 18), weeks after brokering a deal between staunch foes Saudi Arabia and Iran, Chinese President Xi Jinping is visiting Russia, raising hopes that Beijing will try to get Moscow and Kyiv to the negotiating table.

Interestingly, Xi’s Moscow visit comes as US ties with both China and Russia have been on steady decline.  In fact, Xi’s visit to Russia signals Beijing’s strong support for Moscow.  Unsurprisingly, both the leaders share a similar world view and both embrace the idea of a multi-polar world.  Last year Xi hosted his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin at the opening of the Olympic Games in Beijing where he declared the Moscow-Beijing Partnership has ‘no limit’ following which Russia invaded Ukraine.  Putin’s sudden idea of waging war with Ukraine cast scrutiny on Beijing as many observers feel that China had backed Putin’s offensive tactics.

Though China is talking about a peaceful settlement between Russia and Ukraine, it has failed to condemn Russia so far. 

Since China has managed to broker peace settlement between Iran and Saudi Arabia who fought tireless proxy war, one wonders whether President Xi who was confirmed for his third term and one who wishes to play a bigger role like US President Joe Biden in world affairs, will try to bring Russia and Ukraine to the negotiating table to end the senseless war.

Gregory Fernandes, Marcel


Iddhar Udhar