30 May 2023  |   05:57am IST

Letters to the editor ( 30 May 2023)

Wasn’t our Goa better off as a Union territory?

 On 30th May 1987 Goa attained Statehood. But after 36 years, the debate still rages whether our Goa has benefited after becoming India’s 25th State. Truly, there has been nothing to cheer about having achieved Statehood.  In fact, Goans now realize the trap they got into by craving for statehood.

An illusion gone awfully sour. Statehood has left our state in a right state where the common man has lost out financially, environmentally and in every facet of development but only the politicians have had the last laugh with broken promises and abdication of responsibility and accountability. Our capital city Panaji now reduced to a dangerous and risky eyesore is a symbol of this degradation. 

 As a Union territory, we were ably governed with 28 MLAs and a very small cabinet. Today Goa is totally mismanaged with 40 MLAs and a jumbo cabinet of 12. Goans were promised the moon with Zero Tolerance to Corruption and Good Governance. But it has been only U turns and rampant corruption all the way. The cavalier manner in which the recent governments have been heartlessly and mercilessly destroying Goa is a matter of great concern. It is distressing to see and be witness to the continuing widespread destruction and devastation of our land.

 Our Goa is sadly by the day getting disfigured and corroded beyond recognition. It should have now been the endeavour of those currently in power to at least salvage and safeguard what remains. But unfortunately Goa is being defaced at an electrifying speed. Posterity will never forgive those politicians who for their selfish gains have dubiously allowed this irreparable damage and wreckage of what was once a beautiful Goa, the Paradise of the East. 

Statehood without delivering the benefits for all the people that the potential of our dynamic state of Goa promises is totally meaningless.   

Now sorrowing lies our Goa for us all to sadly see.

Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

Do we need a new Parliament building?

Yes, we do need a new Parliament building.  The old building is nearly 100 years old. The space is cramped. The law makers need more space and comfort to function efficiently.  (The old Parliament could accommodate  550 MPs in the Lok Sabha. The new Parliament  has the capacity to  accommodate up to 880 Lok  Sabha MPs . Besides the new Parliament has more space and facilities)

But do we need more MPs? The answer is an emphatic “No”. The existing ministers spend little time in deliberating  issues  of national importance. Most of the time is taken up by shouting over each other, protesting and walking out. If the number of MPs increase, the cacophony will only increase. The net output of the house will  decrease.

Moreover,  the humongous  cost of each new MP will  be an unnecessary burden on the exchequer.  However, for increase in people representation commensurate with the increase  in population,  I suggest  that  the number of MLAs be increased at the state  level.

Robert Castellino, Calangute/ Mumbai

Freebie politics should go away

Politicians are playing with human mentality from the yesteryears of British Raj.  The Congress government came in to power promising five guarantees to everyone.  If they fail to implement people will be forced to revolt against Karnataka government for false promises which they could not be implemented. 

Some people expect the Congress to make good on their poll promises right away and are refusing to pay for electricity and bus rides. The Congress came to power in Karnataka with an impressive victory by waving a bunch of freebies at voters that worked for the Congress. The financial implications of the freebies have not been considered. But these vote-buying freebies will send the state deeper into debt. The freebies are utilized by tax-payers money only for increasing the popularity of the party and electoral prospects. Freebie culture makes people lazy. 

It is not that one single party indulges in such malpractices but the whole spectrum of political parties is to be blamed for this sorry state of affairs.  The public also needs to be made aware of the damage it would cause to them for their welfare and development.

K G Vilop, Chorao

The fuss about the Sengol

The BJP has a very confused mindset. On one side it claims to be the custodian of our nationalism and then brings up the colonial masters on the other side in the context of the Sengol. 

The fact that after 76 years India has been able to build a new Parliament is a good thing. Why spoil this moment by bringing the British into it? The Sengol stated to have been given by Lord Mountbatten to Jawaharlal Nehru as a symbol of power and transfer of governance is nothing but yet another event relating to symbolism leading up to India's Independence.

Nothing more. Nothing less. Mountbatten may have been representing the rulers Britain but Nehru was a representative of the people in a new democratic India. He was not a ruler in the true sense of the term and hence the Sengol was irrelevant. The Chola kings may have used it to convey transfer of power at the time of succession or when a new king ascended the throne but that was part of their hoary tradition, the veracity of which is in question. 

And why are we the world's largest democracy making such a fuss on a custom of royalty. As for the BJP, a party predominantly holding dominance in the cow belt in the North accepting a royal tradition of die-hard South Indian kings like the Cholas is another odd note in the Sengol matter. If Modi thinks by accepting the Sengol as a symbol of transfer of power and installing it in Parliament anoints him as a ruler of India then he is sadly mistaken.

Srinivas Kamat, Alto St Cruz

Ponje should be ready for any eventuality

Who mooted the Smart City project for Panjim. The work has been going on for a long time but of late it is pushed off haphazardly creating fear in the mind of Panjimites.

With no part of the smart work done applying proper skill, we have already seen heavy loaded vehicles getting rammed underground exposing the poor quality work executed. 

The existing drainage system built during the Portuguese regime kept the city free of flooding no matter what was the intensity of rain fall. But now under the smart city project to make the city Smart Ponje, with too many smart politicians for, perhaps, only their interest, it is feared that Panjim will see its worse in the coming monsoon. 

However assurance is given by the CM that all is well and the work will be completed before the onset of monsoon while the PWD Minister claims that he doesn't have the old layout of the drainage map. Basically, as usual, the statement made by the Panjim MLA recently, it is interesting to note what he said: I am watching the work silently; the contractor and the engineer of the PWD will be responsible for the shoddy work. Come what may, Smart Ponje awaits the monsoon unpredictability and the Ponjekars must be ready to face any eventuality.

Ayres Sequeira, 

Salvador do Mundo


Iddhar Udhar