Drinking alcohol or cooking in public and on beaches will now attract a fine of Rs 2,000 or imprisonment of up to three months. Those committing the listed offences in groups will be fined Rs 10,000. This is a step in the right direction as local tourists have been creating nuisance by drinking on the beaches and littering it with bottles and cans and also cooking in the open. However the move will also affect Goan youth who go on a picnic with friends and also the family picnics. No picnic is complete without the drinks. At times the picnickers may also prepare grilled chicken on coal at the picnic spot. This can be construed as cooking in the open and hence banned by law. If possible Goans enjoying a picnic on the beach and other picnic spots could be made an exception to the rule as they do not create nuisance.
It is easy to differentiate a Goan family picnic and the tourists who drink and cook in the open. To prevent littering at picnic spots it could be made mandatory for those going on a picnic to carry along a portable garbage bin or garbage bags in order to collect the garbage after the picnic is over.
There is also every possibility of tourists mixing alcoholic drinks in soft drink bottles in order to hoodwink the police and consuming it on the beach.
It's a wrong move to stop co-operative societies from collecting bills. People don’t have time to waste on paying bills at limited counters. Bills are getting complex and more time intensive to process for clerks.
Co-operative societies have been helpful and easing this burden. Electric, water and even phone bills should be routed via them.
In an election year, as usual, it's raining poll promises. Rahul Gandhi has promised minimum income for the poor if his party comes to power. The promise is a bit far-fetched though not a patch on the BJP's promise of 'Rs 15 lakh promise in every bank account' made before the last general elections.
Minimum income will encourage drones. What we need instead, is a minimum hourly wage in the unorganised sector, which makes up about 90% of the country's workforce. Take the case of our building watchmen who earns roughly Rs 8,000-10,,000 a month for a 12 hour shift with no weekly off, or any benefit. Even worse is the case of housemaids who do a back breaking job in several households for a pittance. We pay the maid every month much less than what we spend on single family meal at a good eatery!
We also need a separate minimum hourly wage structure for farm labourers.
Robert Castellino, Calangute
The vibrant Kumbh Mela has an additional sparkle this time. The presence of the Indigenous Nations from around the world. It is a kind
gesture on the part of our country to show its support for their cause.
These persons had their own continents until migrants from Europe forced themselves and their cultures on them. In the Americas, force
and devious methods were used on the original dwellers. The same happened in Australia. Somehow, the people of Asia and Africa managed to get their countries back; but the original Americans and Australians were completely crushed or eradicated.
The presidents of the US, Canada, Australia and many other regions are not actually natives of the country and have no righteous claim to even lead these countries, or comment on other migrants. And Indians abroad should become aware of what they are supporting.
Carmo Costa–Viegas, Assolna
On January 30 we remember the killing of Mahatma Gandhi. He was eliminated. But no one could eliminate the values he stood for neither his convictions. These cannot be eliminated by physical killing. To eliminate values and one’s convictions a psychological process is required this psychological process is being used now to discard what led Dr Jack de Sequeira to claim the Opinion Poll which gave our small Goa its identity as a State in the Indian Nation.
At the time I was posted to Mumbai and actively busy in helping to build a new Church at Chembur. As the date of the poll neared I took the boat trip to Goa. As I arrived, I could not digest what I saw, cars of all types crisscrossing Goa offering presents like saris etc to the poor, the fisher folk etc. Bandodkar and his party were doing their best to make the Liberated Goa a small wadi of the great Maharashtra.
Where Goa would not be a State neither have any Assembly, Ministers or Governor but only a Collector or someone of the kind to rule Goa. It is in this situation that the Opinion Poll brought an identity to the liberated Goa.
As I arrived, I voted and next day took the boat in Panjim to go back to Mumbai. I could not imagine the surprise I would experience on the boat. It was the day of counting the votes, and I tried to follow it with a transistor. Towards evening I went to the upper deck which was empty. As the counting was going on, in no time I was surrounded by about 12 or 15 men. Noticing their interest in knowing the results of the Opinion Poll I thought they too were Goans who wanted to know the results of the voting thought they were Goans and asked what part of Goa they come from for the counting was still in the Northern Sector of Goa. They said to me “we are not Goans but we were taken to Goa to vote for MGP!
I understood as never before how the Lord God we try to serve and rely on was actually helping the helpless Goans to have their place of worship and service. It is in this situation that I was very disappointed when the new bridge which is going to serve the State of Goa, not a wadi of Maharashtra, in a big way was not named after Dr Jack de Sequeira, the Father of the Opinion Poll.
Antonio Rodrigues, by email
In the demise of George Fernandes, India has lost a bold, daring and admirable leader who stood tall among political leaders and was loved by all. Starting his career in public life as a dauntless trade union leader he is best remembered for his stint as a leader who strongly resisted the Emergency rule in the mid 1970s.
A brave politician who strongly believed in 'Swadeshi ideology' he is known as the fearless man who opposed and showed the door to corporate Giants Coca Cola and IBM as an industry minister. Honest and forthright he fought for the rights of the poor and the downtrodden and he conquered the hearts of the masses through his brilliant oratory.
Winning the election in 1977 and that too at a time when he was in jail goes to show how much the people loved him. He shined as India's railway and Defence Minister. As the brave Defence Minister in Vajpayee's ministry he oversaw India's nuclear test in 1998 and played a remarkable role in India's victory over Pakistan in the Kargil conflict. If the people of Kerala and coastal Karnataka are able to reach Mumbai and Northern India by train within hours rather than days, it is because of this great farsighted leader who piloted and was instrumental in the making of the Konkan Railway linking Mangalore with Mumbai.
He is truly a hero, a path breaker, an admirable leader from whom present day leaders have to learn a lot.
M Pradyu Thalikavu, Kannur