23 Sep 2021  |   05:47am IST

Letters to the editor (23 Sept 2021)

Letters to the editor (23 Sept 2021)

End the dance of democracy

This has reference to ‘Elections are a festival of the people, and politicians are only guests’ (Herald insight, September 22). Elections are indeed a festival of the people. Election time is festival time, a time to get free gifts,  a time to make people happy and hopeful, with politicians making promises of better times to come. Election is a time of expectation as people expect better governance, candidates to fulfil their promises and remain faithful to the party from which they get elected and for politicians to reap where they have not sown. Polling days are festival times, when the affluent class of society go out on a holiday without exercising their franchise. Poll counting day too is a part of this festival when victorious candidates celebrate with dance, music and fireworks. So, there we are, all in all, elections indeed are a festival of, by and for the people. But the guests, whom you call politicians, have hijacked this festival for their own glory. We, the people, must put an end to this behaviour and show these politicians what it means to be a guest. We need to teach them to respect what the people serve them. We need to extract from them a bond of good behaviour. It's time we put an end to this dance of democracy.

Melville X D'Souza, Mumbai

Gutka entering Goa

After the Konkan Railway Police effected a major seizure of gutka at the Margao Railway Station, the police on Tuesday confiscated another big consignment of banned tobacco products worth Rs 14 lakh. It is believed that the consignment was unloaded from the train and brought to the parcel room with the help of porters and loaders, giving no clue to the police about the persons who had brought the consignment to Goa.  It must be said that Goans, by and large, are not addicted to gutka. Many Goans have probably not tried it even once. It may be recalled that in the past gutka which was labelled as “Goa” was available in the market. It is the migrant population in the State who are addicted to gutka. With the rising number of non-Goans residing in the State, the demand for gutka has only gone up. That is the reason why such large quantities of gutka are being brought into the State. School students, especially in the villages, could also be addicted to gutka. This could be the first step towards drug addiction among the youth. The police need to be complimented on the seizure of the gutka at the Margao Railway Station. A keen watch needs to be kept at the station on the arrival of more such consignments. An inquiry needs to be conducted into the seizures at the Margao Railway Station for which the Railway Police and the Goa Police need to work in tandem so that the culprits are brought to book.

Adelmo Fernandes, Vasco

Vaccine racism unacceptable

In a deplorable move, UK has mandated that travellers from India who have received both doses of the Covishield vaccine shall still be considered unvaccinated and must undergo ten-day quarantine on arrival. Consider the supreme irony here, the vax in question is the flagship product of a British pharmaceutical giant , researched at Oxford, tested for efficacy worldwide by international healthcare professionals,  manufactured under a licensing agreement in India and of which five million doses have been exported to UK under the  'vaccine maitri' programme. 2.5 million Britons have been inoculated in double quick time via their National Health Service doctors, 30% of whom are of Indian origin. Is it that Covishield used in India fails to produce antibodies in our citizens while the very same vaccine is kosher as soon as it reaches British shores? This is not only downright discriminatory but adversely impacts the finances of Indian citizens travelling to UK who have to shell out a considerable amount from their own pockets to undergo quarantine besides wasting ten days which could have been utilised gainfully. Interestingly, travellers from other developed nations who have taken the same vaccine are exempted from quarantine. This reeks of nascent racism and is an insult to our nation.  We can't be treated like 'vax coolies' by the first world; as an initial step India should impose reciprocal restrictions on travellers from UK and then negotiate for parity from a position of strength. Medical apartheid in any form must be condemned and is unacceptable in an increasingly globalised and connected world.

Vinay Dwivedi, Benaulim 

E-Integrating govt depts  

There is a move to digitise and integrate 10 government departments by the Revenue Department and Department of Information and Technology with Goa Online. Presently the PAN portal and Directorate of Settlement and Land Records have been linked. Once all the departments are interlinked then it would be faster and easier to submit e-documents across the different departments. Through Application Programming Interface the required documents (birth certificate, Aadhaar, passport, residence card and many more) would get attached from the government’s database to the application forms. When fully implemented this excellent process would stop the vexing need for the applicants to submit the same documents every year and to one or more departments. This progressive step would help save costs and time. A similar procedure could be used by the Goa University and affiliated colleges to assist students to attach mark lists, passing certificates, transfer certificates, transcripts, etc. when they apply for various courses and jobs.    

Sridhar D’Iyer, Caranzalem     

Election gimmick 

Politicians must not make mockery of religion visiting churches and take blessings of the priests at election time. This is just a gimmick to impress the Catholic community for their votes. Creator Almighty reads our intentions before we act and play our game. The present electorate generation is of the digital age supposed to be knowledgeable and well informed unlike our ancestors, simple and believing. Most of us know what is happening in Goa and in our country. Once in five years politicians wake up from their slumber announcing schemes, giving promises, offering freebies, visiting our homes with their supporters, speaking hi fi, delivering speeches, at times without logic, sense and authenticity. Gifts come at the cost of the public exchequer or from the loot and plunder during their term in power. This is corrupted curse passed on to the voters at festival time most of which is thrown away by the people. Ironically, the persistent problems of bad roads, erratic power supply and water scarcity in many villages in the State remain unsolved year after year. In the midst of this scenario, water suddenly comes free to the mull Goenkars with unexpected surprise. Commented a regular daily reader, having read a news article:  money can't buy love but politicians buy our votes with folded hands seeking blessing not disclosing their deceiving mind. Indeed! 

Ayres Sequeira, Salvador do Mundo 

Commence tiatr, nataks

The government has lifted the ban on most business activities including casinos and spas following months of closure due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, since the government has started most businesses considering the economic condition of the people it should have given a thought to the tiatr and Natak fraternity. There are so many people dependent on this medium of entertainment from musicians to artistes in between there are so many artistes working behind the stage. The government should open tiatr and natak medium of entertainment.

Diomedes Pereira, Corlim