Let’s Treat All Equally
One of the numerous problems our country is facing today is the sidelining of the so called ‘lower castes’ or ‘untouchables.’ And it is all the more saddening to see that even our state, which is apparently one of the most literate states, has the same malaise. Development does not merely mean improving the economy and having advanced technological infrastructure or industrialising the nation. It also significantly encompasses elements like broadmindedness, empathy towards others and brotherhood. We live in an age where on the one side compassion towards animals is promoted to a great extent but on the other hand individuals of the same race who have the same flesh and blood are considered untouchables. Isn’t that ridiculous? The ongoing atrocities, especially against Dalits in India have increased tremendously in the recent past which proves our nation’s backwardness, and this is in some or the other way affecting our growth and development. Had God created class and caste and divided us humans accordingly, then probably we would have had another zone or rather a different planet for some to live in. Let us make our nation grow by not disparaging any individual but consider each individual equal in every sense.
AMBRIN BEIG, Mapusa
On Newly Ordained Priests
This is with reference to the news item ‘Archbishop ordains seven diocesan priests at Se Cathedral’ (NT, April 23). With seminaries in the West fast emptying out and priests leaving the Church in large numbers, the ordination of seven deacons to the priesthood in Goa is something to be proud about. Priestly ordination is a “hidden treasure” which brings joy not only to the ordained but to the entire Christian fold. Pope Francis has spoken at length on several occasions on priests and priesthood, capturing headlines with his metaphors, likening priests to shepherds with the odour of their sheep – who need to be close enough to smell the sheep and bold enough to spread the fragrance of Christ. It is, therefore, hoped that the message of Pope Francis is kept in mind by the newly ordained priests who need to be always “ahead of their flock to show the way, in the midst of their flock to keep it united and behind their flock to prevent someone from being left behind.”
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim
Rewarding Performers At Workplace
There are ‘performers’ and ‘non-performers’ in every field of work. Some are born performers and doing well at work comes as a habit to them. Many shine due to their unmatched grit and sheer perseverance. There are indeed a lot of persons who metamorphose from ordinary to extraordinary taskmasters as time takes its own course. Doing one’s duty diligently should, in the normal course, be seen as a person’s routine ritual but in a society where brilliance and efficiency are admixed with mediocrity and laxity, awards and rewards can go a long way in instilling that extra confidence in a person and making him/her feel recognised and, perhaps, propel a ‘non-performer’ to emulate the former. Both, private and government establishments have their own yardsticks to reward the efficient. The Union government has set in a practice to honour outstanding civil servants on the Civil Servants Day every year. Prime Minister Narendra Modi, while honouring the officers this year, focused more on the non-performers who did not make it. It looks strange that one needs to ‘apply’ to be felicitated for doing their work well. But in a vast country like ours it looks reasonable that there may be innumerable achievers with an adequate performance record and their applications for the high honour of being appreciated by no less than the Prime Minister himself may not be out of place. But Modi provided a different dimension to the competency discussion itself by wondering why many government officers had not applied for the honour and lamented on the causes that might have led the government servants to underperform. He asked for a list of “last 25 underperformers.” If Modi’s directions are followed in letter and spirit, it may well prove to be a unique drive. The reasons are no secret: unpleasant environment at home, unending financial anxieties, crippling personal and family health worries, frictions at workplace are the main impediments for the smooth transition of a human being into a worker. If undertaken appropriately, the task to find the ‘non-performers’ may not be an exercise in futility.
GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA