Remembering Vietnam War Hero John McCain
American Senator and highly decorated Vietnam war hero John McCain finally succumbed to brain cancer at age 81. I remember seeing the movie ‘The Deer Hunter’ starring Robert de Niro, a film based on actual experiences of American army men in the Vietnam war in which American soldiers were hauled into iron cages and immersed in the river only to be nibbled at by water rats. Such was the enormity of their excruciating suffering that they ended up playing Russian roulette, a fatal game in which four haggard and tortured army men loaded a single bullet in a six-magazine pistol and betted their life’s earnings as they shot themselves in the temple. The one who survived would take the entire booty and then sit at another table and on and on the Russian roulette would continue. These American army men were psychologically exhausted and did not care if they survived this suicidal game. McCain’s death from brain cancer should wake up our medical professionals to conduct thorough and deep research work into the causes of cancer and find ways and means to prevent as well as arrest the rapid growth of malignant cancer cells. It is a travesty of fate that a man of the calibre of McCain should become a victim of cancer after having endured such a difficult life.
ELVIDIO MIRANDA, Panaji
Maintain Traffic Discipline
You provide any safety measure to regulate the traffic, traffic offenders will find a way to ignore it. Come up with any good rule to be followed and they will find a loophole to defeat it. A strange tendency indeed! It is no wonder that road accidents in Goa are among the highest in India. Take the case of signals for example. Everyone knows what a green light or a red light stands for. Each signal lasts for just 30 seconds. Inspite of this, drivers continue to drive and cross the junction even after the red light has come on. The lone policeman finds himself helpless in controlling the situation at times. Such indiscipline not only endangers the life of offenders but also that of disciplined and law-abiding commuters. This type of indiscipline should be dealt with sternly by imposing severe penalties including suspension or cancellation of driving licences. Road safety should be maintained at all cost and rules should not be allowed to be flouted by indiscipline or irresponsible behaviour of traffic offenders.
RODNEY DE SOUZA, Assagao
Let’s Pay Heed To Ecological Concerns
With due respect to politicians and especially the environmentalists, who have relentlessly striven to save Goa’s eco-system, we now have to tread cautiously but surely and certainly to reverse the damages done to our environment so that we can save Goa from becoming another Kerala and prevent the sufferings that ‘God’s Own Country’ endured due to unprecedented flooding. People in Kerala now require a healing touch that will steer them from outbreak of disease and restore their homes and land. Without naming anyone, I would like to proffer my arguments that politicians of the ruling coalition have failed to heed to the various environmentalists’ sustained warnings of worse things to come, if nature is not respected. Let each Goan play his or her role in collectively contributing to Goa returning back to its glorious days. Those who are tired and need rest should gracefully step down from their political offices so that fresh new blood is infused into the political mainstream. Those who had at heart the true spirit of saving our environment may rest assured that the bounty of nature’s blessings will be upon them. Nature heals its wounds to a certain extent, but if the threshold is crossed then there is no redemption. In the light of saving Goa from the wrath of nature, it is absolutely essential that environmentalists’ call for action that will save Goa be heeded without any delay so that our natural environs are nursed back to the best of possible health. Let us admit our excesses and thus curtail our impetuosity that has led to neglect and exploitation of our environment.
STEPHEN DIAS, DONA PAULA