AFTER playing a glorious innings of presidentship serving as the conscience of the nation for five years, Pranab Mukherjee has once again made us all proud. Despite lecturing on the platform of an unit calling for ‘one language, one religion, one people’ in this multi-lingual, multi-religious, secular, heterogeneous country, Mukherjee has again stressed on the importance of diversity, equality and tolerance towards all beliefs and faith. Instead of denigrating the Muslim invaders as ‘aliens’, he has invoked Rabindranath Tagore’s epic poem ‘Bharat Tirtha’ to welcome the incoming flow to India and to be proud of our assimilated history. While indirectly condemning the current dominant force practicing intolerance and hatred in crudest manner possible with sole emphasis on a particular religion, Mukherjee boldly bats for pluralism and secularism. RSS deserves thanks for showing the moral courage to invite Mukherjee in the meet despite knowing fully well that this impeccably secular personality will not endorse any divisive philosophy. It is hoped that from now on this camp will try to work and speak for all Indians by drawing inspiration from the historic speech of Pranab Mukherjee — the jewel of current India. Lastly another round of applause for Mukherjee. Despite lecturing on such a zealously Hindi-ised platform, he had preferred to address the convention and the nation-wide audience in English so as to appreciate the sentiments and ethos of this multi-lingual society.
KAJAL CHATTERJEE, KOLKATA
Using Umbrella While Riding
THE monsoon season is here. Heavy rains are lashing the state. People are moving about in the rain carrying out their routine chores protected from the rain by rainwear and carrying umbrellas. It is observed that many a times two-wheeler riders protect themselves from the rain by carrying an umbrella. The umbrella is mostly carried by the pillion rider to protect both the self and rider. Riders of scooters with automatic gears are also seen carrying an umbrella in one hand while riding. So does the rider of a bicycle. This can prove dangerous. The umbrella carried by the pillion rider can temporarily cover the sight of the rider. Heavy rains accompanied by strong winds can blow the umbrella making the two-wheeler rider lose balance which can lead to an accident. It must be said that carrying an open umbrella while riding a two-wheeler can be as dangerous as using a mobile phone. This needs to be prohibited as it can prove dangerous both to the riders as well as other road users and pedestrians. Those riding a two-wheeler should protect themselves from the rain by wearing a raincoat and not by carrying an umbrella.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Authorities Need To Gear Up For Monsoon
IT is very disappointing to note that year after year the state exemplifies its helplessness when faced with the trials and tribulations associated with the arrival of monsoon. Lessons learnt from the past somehow fail to have any impression on the administration that grappled with similar situations with the setting of the wet climate over the region earlier. But what has driven the public to the point of desperation has been the languorous attitude of the authorities who just refuse to come to terms with the vagaries of a typical weather that calls for ever-readiness to tackle situations that may spiral out of control in the wink of an eye. Moreover, the inability of the government to address problems that assail the local populace during the initial rains cannot be hidden citing reasons of ‘unforeseen circumstances’ having caught it unawares. With unseasonal rains and pre-monsoon deluges playing havoc with the lives of citizens almost every year, one would have thought that the administration would have girded up its loins to tackle such eventualities so that repeats of disasters akin to the earlier ones never occur again. But alas! The manner in which it has been treating every incident as a one-off happening, finding it needless to fortify the state against nature’s backlashes, speaks volumes for the lethargy exhibited by the administration under these trying circumstances. The ‘as-is-where-is’ response that typifies the state government’s disaster management methods needs to be discarded for the more modern techniques that pride itself on the state of readiness they have the state in. However, faced with such onerous tasks, Goa has been very conspicuous by its annual tradition of delaying whatever little it has been doing to help the locals tide over the rigours of the monsoon. Where various departments should have worked in tandem to make life that much easier for the public, their obvious inactivity year after year has thrown daily life helter-skelter for the locals during the period of rains. It is imperative that the administration gears up for all such contingencies that could have a telling effect on the lives of the people.
PACHU MENON, COMBA