Probe Slimy White Layer On Fish
The government has assured fish lovers in Goa that the fish that is being imported from other states by trucks is now free from formalin. But the ground reality seems quite to the contrary. A few videos doing the rounds on social media show fish, especially mackerels, having a coat of a slimy white layer. These videos have been uploaded by housewives, who have noticed this thick white coating on fish which can be peeled off in kitchen. In one of the videos doing the rounds a woman is seen peeling the slimy coat at the fish market itself. It is for the Food and Drugs Administration (FDA) officials to test and find out what this white coating is. Is it a layer of formalin that has been thickened? If these videos are to be believed then there is every possibility that formalin is still being used to preserve fish that is being imported into the state. It could be a matter of fish not treated with formalin being stacked in the crates at the top while the fish at the bottom of the crates is laced with formalin. When this formalin settles on the fish stacked at the bottom of the crates it could be forming a layer which thickens due to the presence of ice. The FDA should get to the bottom of the problem and those citizens, who find fish that are suspect need to report the matter to the FDA officials immediately with the fish sample. A complete ban on the import of fish seems to be the only solution to the problem.
ADELMO FERNANDES, Vasco
We Are Not Truly Independent Yet
Instead of viewing Independence Day as a mere holiday to be enjoyed to the full or an excuse to flaunt ‘nationalist muscle’, a thorough introspection is perhaps the need of the hour. So it is high time we realised that what we have achieved as ‘Independence’ is nothing but freedom from White dominance only. But are we truly ‘independent’? If that is the case, what do the ‘nationalists’ have to say in response to the Global Slavery Index 2018 which has delivered the alarming report that India has more than eight million victims of modern slavery with the number of victims increasing each year. Are those hapless child labourers being barbarically exploited by various informal industrial set-ups, bonded labourers through generations, confined victims of trafficking in red light areas not sons and daughters of Bharat Mata? Daily reports of barbaric atrocities and sexual torture on most vulnerable children and orphans in ‘homes’ (which are supposed to offer them ‘shelter’) are simply inundating us from Gujarat to Bihar, Uttar Pradesh to Madhya Pradesh and surely more to come from all corners of the country. What ‘independence’ have they attained in this ‘elite’ and ‘mighty’ land of attainment of Mars Orbit and Mass Yoga respectively?
KAJAL CHATTERJEE, Kolkata
Honouring Our Fallen Heroes
A cursory glance over the list of gallantry award winners released by the Defence Ministry on the eve of the Independence Day this year confirms the eerie fact that most of those honoured owe their citations of bravery to skirmishes with terrorists. It is indeed a sad state of affairs for a country that fought valiantly to unshackle the yokes of colonialism which bound it to centuries of subservience to the British Raj that it is still actively engaged in staving off resistance from secessionist groups within its territories demanding ‘independence’. Though not oblivious to the threat from hostile neighbours who have more than obviously made their intentions clear, the efforts to quell insurgency in different regions of the country actively engage the nation’s armed forces. Exposed now to a new battlefront where the streets and alleys of areas infested by terror activities virtually turn into war zones, reports of our bravehearts succumbing to the bullets of misguided and radicalised youth are quite disheartening. Ordered to take their own evasive actions confronted by stone-pelting mobs in Kashmir, it is unfortunate that various human rights groups and the media are remorseless castigating the army for its ‘inhuman’ activities in the valley. While there are inquiry commissions etc deputed to look into the army ‘atrocities’, have the vile perpetrators ever thought of the misery they cause families of the fallen soldiers whose bodies return home in wooden caskets to pompous funeral ceremonies, only to be erased out of public memory in equally fast time. Along with details of the fallen heroes, the nation also cannot be blind to other sorts of causalities in the wake of the murderous attacks during incursions and other terror manoeuvres by extremists. Maimed and handicapped for life, it is not a mere mention in the despatches that will help the soldier and his dependents sustain their lives. The government should, in all its earnestness, envisage ways and means to rehabilitate the valiant soldiers who now find themselves ‘out of commission’ due to their injuries.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO