Coalition Politics Is Here To Stay
National political parties seeking alliance with regional outfits to help form governments in many of the states is quite a common practice in India. However, it is generally observed that while regional parties join forces with their national counterparts to address local issues, more often than not they are conspicuous by the secondary status accorded to them by their more dominant partners. While some of the state political parties like DMK and AIADMK have asserted their supremacy in the alliance while aligning with national ones purely by the strength of the popular mandate received and their overwhelming presence in the regional political scenario, the national ones have only served to increase their tally when short of numbers to form a government. But in more recent times it has been the coastal state of Goa that has been leading by example when it comes to a regional party exuding the sort of confidence that eludes the more established national players. The GFP, a fledgling regional political party in the state, has been making waves in the region right from the day it decided to prop up the Parrikar-government by extending support to it immediately after the assembly election results were announced in March last year. Since then, through controversial and conservative working styles, the Goa Forward Party has become so synonymous with the government in Goa.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO
Power failure in Porvorim
Residents of Porvorim were put through a harrowing time of frequent power outages followed by prolonged power failure for almost 24 hours from Friday evening onwards, till Saturday, when power was restored at about 4 pm. It is a matter of shame that it takes only a shower or two and a spell of gusty winds to disrupt power in the state, even after crores of rupees have been spent recently to upgrade the distribution system by replacing the overhead supply lines with underground cables. And now a Rs 1,700 crore is proposed to be spent to upgrade the infrastructure to provide “quality power supply” and 24×7 uninterrupted power, as promised by the Power Minister in the next 2 years. Hopefully, it does not turn out to be yet another pipe-dream of the government. Secondly, what has happened to the much-hyped solar power project of the Goa government which was cleared by the cabinet on priority basis to meet the shortfall of power in the state, but now apparently lies in limbo?
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim
Irish Verdict Legalising Abortion
I often keep reminiscing about the way things have changed this world over thousands of years and transformed it from the worst pains inflicted on mankind by the powers that be based on some ruthless beliefs to what it is now as a liberalised society. As I write this, I feel greatly relieved that Ireland which had gone on a referendum on whether to legalise abortion or not has overwhelmingly decided to do away with the draconian law that criminalised it. Interestingly, what was speculated to be a close encounter simply degenerated into a massive vote, calling to abolish the said law for the good of humanity. But it is worth recalling the sad and sordid saga behind the advancement of this plebiscite. It is the touching anecdote of October 2012 of a 31-year-old Savita Halappanavar, a dentist of Indian origin who had the complications of a septic miscarriage that posed danger to her life, warranting the family to ask for abortion, which was denied by the hospital on the plea that the foetus was having a heartbeat and that Ireland was a Catholic country. The argument of the woman that she was a Hindu yielded no sympathy or reason. As the situation worsened the heartbeat of the foetus stopped and it had to be removed but it was too late and the woman died due to Septicemia and multiple organ failure. There was widespread revulsion in the country and a fortnight later more than 2000 people gathered in Dublin in her memory to protest Ireland’s harsh abortion laws. In years to come it gained momentum, which ultimately forced the conservative country buried in millennia-old religious dogmas to yield to the pressure and settle for a vote.
, which overwhelmingly sought the repeal of the existing law, to bring it in sync with 133 other countries that have legalised abortion. It is worth reflecting for a moment on the way things degenerate into when we are besieged with irrational and obdurate views. Which life is more important – the one that is yet to be born or the other that has been in the world for 31 years having a family to care about and other societal commitments? In India abortion was legalised way back in 1971 but there are other burning issues like decriminalising of Section 377 of IPC to protect the preferences of the LGBTQ community. That apart we should criminalize triple talaq and polygamy practised by some Muslims to redeem the women from the pangs of their insatiable men folk.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES