In Praise of Pastoral Letter
IT has been reported that GPCC principal general secretary Altino Gomes, while speaking at the condolence meeting, said that before the death of former MP Shantaram Naik, the latter had informed him about the need to support Archbishop of Goa and Daman Filipe Neri Ferrao against the BJP workers lest they called upon the Archbishop and pressurised him against his recent pastoral letter wherein the Archbishop, among other things, stated that the Constitution was in danger. One must appreciate that pastoral letters are drawn after a lot of thought and study. The Archbishop has poured in his heart even while the emphasis of the letter is on alleviation of poverty. There’s nothing wrong about it, I feel, given the fact that thousands of scholars in the present times have expressed grave apprehensions that our Constitution is in danger. Our enlightened Archbishop should stick to his guns, as his letter does not aim at any party per se. The Archbishop, though amidst some criticism, has received widespread accolades from his flock for his bold stand.
FRANCISCO COLACO, MARGAO
Watch Out For Vulnerable Trees
MONSOON has set in along the west coast of India claiming the lives of several people in four different states. In Kerala, 12 people died in the initial rain fury, while in places like Coorg, Goa and Mumbai people lost their lives after trees uprooted on them or their vehicles. These incidents can be called ‘acts of God’, but you will notice that there is a hand of man in it and his negligence. There is a need to conduct inspection of trees and foliage before the monsoon to make sure that they are not a risk to people and property. Where necessary these should be trimmed and/or felled. Trees particularly in urban areas should be given enough space around their trunks so that it can draw sustenance from the soil. The lack of nourishment to trees from the ground in cities like Mumbai, Kolkata and others is what leads them to collapse endangering public life and property. Municipalities should have the prime responsibility for this work, which should be supported by the expertise of the forest department. If we are going to call ourselves a developed nation then we need to ensure that fatalities as a consequence of nature’s fury are minimal.
S KAMAT, ALTO ST CRUZ
Chase Indian Fugitives In UK
FUGITIVE and financial criminal Nirav Modi has sought asylum in Britain, which has have become a haven for all such Indian criminals. It is high time the central government drew up an action plan roping in the Interpol, the UK government and other countries for extradition of such financial criminals who have played havoc with Indian banks. The usual legal course, including extradition treaties, will not help us in getting back these criminals. The best option is to hold direct ministerial-level talks focusing on the deportation of Nirav Modi and Vijay Mallya. The move may also deter other financial criminals waiting in wing to take to their heels to the UK.
SUBHASH CHANDRA AGRAWAL, DELHI