With reference to Herald article dated June 3 titled, ‘WRD minister’s driver gets challaned for overtaking on bridge’, congratulations to the WRD Minister Vinod Palyekar for making his driver to pay a fine of Rs 600 for wrongful overtaking on the Mandovi Bridge. Palyekar has set a good example for his staff and ministers in his Government to follow the rules which are framed by them and to live by example so that the common man is also encouraged to follow their example.
We can go a step further and hold these ministers accountable for bad roads which cause accidents, non-completion of pre-monsoon works on time which endanger lives and cause inconvenience and loss to the public and also for not attending to grievances of the public which result in loss to the state exchequer in thousands and lakhs of rupees. Paying a fine of Rs 600 is easy, but will they take responsibility and own up their bigger mistakes?
Tourists will now no longer be pestered by pesky photographers at heritage sites as the Culture Ministry at the centre has reportedly notified a policy by which only licensed photographers will be allowed at the monuments under the Archeological Survey of India (ASI). The government notification has laid down a set of rules for photographers, including qualification necessary to be approved by ASI. The notification has also notified the rates applicable as well as penalties for misbehavior with tourists.
Several Goans who visit Archeological sites located across the country like the Taj Mahal, while on vacation, need to take note of this aspect. It is pertinent to note that the churches at Old Goa also come under the Archeological Survey of India. Even though tourists prefer clicking photographs on their mobiles, there could be private photographers who operate on the sly. The photographers who are appointed by the ASI need to be provided with identity cards so that they can be identified. Incidentally in Goa there could also be photographers operating on the beaches who provide instant photographs of the tourists at a price.
People had faith in our judicial system, but it seems to be eroding due to lack of transparency. Instead of initiating action on Justice Karnan’s complaint and finding the truth, the Supreme Court has acted against the complainant.
Though it looks messy at the moment, the Karnan episode may turn out to be a blessing in disguise for the judiciary. As it said there is no smoke without fire. So there may be some substance in Karnan's allegation which needs to be investigated.
Prudence in speech it seems is a virtue that is not easy to come by. In the Salman Khan incident for instance he could simply have said. “After a grueling day at work, it’s like having an extra glass of wine, I feel graped."
In the case of the Bengaluru incident the minister in question could have said. "As the sun rises and the day gets warm, women can dress down. As the sun sets and it gets cool, women can dress up."
However, it is perhaps easier to think and speak well in retrospect than on the spur of the moment.
Showing the way
to the nation
This refers to Shrikrishna Govekar's letter, "24-hr food bank for the poor" (Herald, June 2). Hats off to The Society of Saint Vincent de Paul and parishioners of Sangolda and Guirim for their setting up a 24-hour food bank on Chogm road for the needy so that they can satiate their hunger with dignity anytime round the clock.
Those parishioners show the way to a nation where 194.6 million people are forced to go to bed every night with empty stomach. It is our shame as they are the victims of our greed and policies. So, we must not forget that they, first of all, deserve dignity along with employment and education. It is really wonderful that they are being provided food with honour on Chogm road. Sri Aurobindo had said, "Help men, but do not pauperise them of their energy; lead and instruct men, but see that their initiative and originality remain intact; take others into thyself, but give them in return the full godhead of their nature."
Goebbels lying propaganda
Amit Shah seems to have learnt the art of making false and lying propaganda a la Goebbels, Hitler's propaganda minister. Goebbels believed that if a lie is repeatedly palmed off as true, the masses would fall for it.
Amit Shah is doing the same. When he says that Modi govt has achieved in three years what was not achieved in 70 years since independence, he is not only lying through his teeth but also insulting the Intelligence of the average Indian.
India embarked on taking the public sector to commanding heights under Jawaharlal Nehru, India's first PM. Thanks to his vision. India could resist attempts by capitalists both local and foreign from taking vice like grip on the Indian economy. The Green revolution in the sixties helped to set the country free from dependence on foreign food aid, which was common during the early and mid-sixties. And India became self sufficient in food production and starvation deaths became history!
India's famed IITs were set up along with high quality IIMs, which have produced some of the best tech engineers and designers and management experts who are making a name and fortune in the Silicon Valley, USA besides locally and elsewhere.
Under PM Rajiv Gandhi, telecom and computers got a huge boost. Narasimha Rao along with Manmohan Singh ushered in the liberal Raj and a virtual goodbye to socialism in the early nineties. India's foreign exchequer holdings crossed US $300 billion during the Congress led UPA I rule between 2004 to 2009. India was already attracting world attention after liberalisation was introduced by Narasimha Rao.
So it does not lie in the mouth of Amit Shah to dismiss the achievements of the country since Independence till 2014. The achievements of the Modi government have been exaggerated and hyped out of proportion. The jury is still out on demonetisation.
On the contrary, it has allowed social unrest to exacerbate. Lynchings by criminal mobs of farmers and cattle traders and suppression of Dalits by upper castes are becoming increasingly common.
It refers to Reserve Bank of India notifying yet another 2017-series of new one-rupee notes signed by Shaktikant Dass, Secretary in Department of Economic Affairs, Government of India. One-rupee note was re-issued in the year 2015 after being discontinued long two decades back in the year 1994 with signature of the then Union Finance Secretary Rajiv Mahrishi. Re-issued one-rupee notes never came in practical circulation with their packs sold at premium multiple times of their face-value. Even most of the bank-employees never knew about the re-issued note. Earlier a futile exercise was made to get issued one-rupee notes signed by the then senior-most Secretary in Union Finance Ministry Ratan P Watal.
Costly and undesired decision to re-start printing of one-rupee notes is a deliberate bureaucratic exercise to get signature of some top bureaucrat of Union Finance Ministry on currency, because only one-rupee notes carry signature of a bureaucrat in Union Finance Ministry while notes of all other denominations bear signature of governor of Reserve Bank of India. If decreasing print-cost due to advanced technique is the reason behind re-issue of one-rupee notes, then notes in denominations of rupees two and five should also be re-issued. Rather instead of minting coins, only currency-notes should be printed in all denominations.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal, Delhi