Putting Restrictions On Freedom Of Expression
Corruption during the Congress regime had sunk to new lows, but the Karnataka elections have proved that the party with a difference can sink equally low to win elections. Only the Supreme Court could save democracy by post midnight hearings and mercifully it was able to. And now a big issue is made of the letter of the Archbishop of Delhi to his flock to pray for love, peace and brotherhood in our country to come with a new government that will be elected in 2019 elections. It was futile explaining to the Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh (RSS) ideologue on television that this was nothing anti-national and that the new government could be BJP, Congress or third front or any combination being elected. The BJP went to town saying religious leaders should stay out of politics never mind politicians visiting temples/religious leaders and even promoting them in government. It appears if there is any thought or talk not in line with the party in power, it is anti-national. How can people like Mayawati refuse to honour the Supreme Court’s long-overdue directive to vacate illegally occupied accommodation or Akhilesh Yadav dare ask for a two-year extension, as he cannot find any alternative accommodation? How much more poison will be injected into the body politics of democracy is anyone’s guess.
JOHN ERIC GOMES, Porvorim
Transfers of Diocesan Priests
Transfers of Diocesan parish priests and assistants usually come into force every year in the month of June. This is the prevailing norm in every Archdiocese where the tenure for parish priests is usually six years and that of the assistant, three years. Parishioners are, therefore, wary whenever their parish priest is transferred, wondering what will befall the parish after the arrival of the new incumbent. This, of course, is not without valid reason, going by past experience where parish priests are known to have acted in an autocratic manner, much to the detriment of the Church and the parishioners. Parish councils have also been rendered toothless with such overbearing attitude of the parish priests. There have been cases where parish priests have even defied transfer orders and refused to move out before the completion of six years, as a matter of right. Surely this is not what Jesus Christ had in mind when he founded his Church on his Apostles. To avoid such unpleasantness, it is suggested that the tenure of the parish priest be restricted to three years initially, and extended only after satisfactory performance and approval of an especially appointed parish committee.
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim
I was in a state of shock after reading the report that a Dalit ragpicker Mukesh Vaniya was lynched when he and his wife Jayaben were picking garbage near Radadiya Industries located in the Gujarat Industrial Corporation area in Rajkot. Five men came, accused them of theft, tied Mukesh by a rope and lynched him. How long are we to witness such hatred against Dalits? When a crime is committed against a Dalit every 15 minutes in our country, must not we admit that Dalits need special legal protection for their survival? How can we ignore that we have totally failed Dalits? There has been a 66 per cent growth in crime against Dalits during the period from 2007 to 2017. In such a scenario, must not we ensure that there should be a stringent act to protect not “them” but our very own Dalit brothers and sisters? Must not it be ensured that there should be palpable presence of Dalits in government administration especially in police force so that such laws are properly executed without any hatred towards Dalits? Dalits have been exploited and tortured for thousands of years. Now, it is too much to expect that there will automatically be enough presence of Dalits in public administration. So, reservation is the only way to ensure their participation and to make the administration free from caste hatred and caste bias. As a matter of fact, absolute equality means no equality at all or just equality of “might is right” in a jungle raj. So, laws have been enacted to do positive discriminations in favour of some who need protection for survival. We must admit that roads could have been much wider had there been no footpaths. But in that case, many pedestrians would have been killed in a free for all – equality for both, pedestrians and cars. So, footpaths have to be sliced off from both sides of a road to get them reserved only for the pedestrians.
SUJIT DE, KOLKATA