On Goa’s History In School Textbooks
Through this newspaper, I came to know about the government’s plan to include history of Goa’s freedom struggle into school syllabus. The content to be included should be positive and not prejudiced or showing hatred towards past events. Let us not poison the young minds with hatred. Let the truth prevail. History should include facts of the past and not any gossip or ‘fairy tales,’ which are defamatory of our past leaders. History teaches us not to make the same mistakes of the past but educates us on the progress made by our past leaders and governments without any prejudices. Inscriptions on stones in forts, educational institutions, statues of the past should be preserved. History should prepare our future generations with a positive frame of mind. Education today must be creative, positive, optimistic, constructive and objective to motive our youth. I hope the historians of Goa will do justice to the job on their hand. We have a rich history and let us share it with the youth of today.
AGNEL CRASTO, Panaji
Let’s Vow To Preserve Democracy
The Congress party has stated that Narendra Modi’s rule is akin to Adolf Hitler’s. The BJP was politically right in referring to the Emergency of 1975 as a blot on Indian democracy. However, where the party is wrong is when it states why this black day, 43 years back, should never be forgotten and how it should be looked at in textbooks. It should be remembered as the day when a strong dictatorial leader showed us how the Constitution and the rule of law could be subverted and how the Supreme Court, constitutional authorities and the media could be bent to the government’s will. A day quite rightly, as the BJP says, was the biggest blot on Indian democracy wherein hundreds of people like journalists, students, politicians, social activists and anyone considered a threat to the government could be summarily arrested /jailed. Nobody was certain when the midnight knock would come on false charges of sedition or anti-national activities. Fear prevailed. Yes, the trains ran on time, administration was efficient, corruption and crime greatly minimised and prices were under control but destruction of the soul of freedom, liberty and democracy was complete. It was too high a price to pay for progress and development. The Emergency should make us all vow never to let this sort of thing ever happen to us again. That is how it should be remembered.
JOHN ERIC GOMES, Porvorim