Monsoon And Road Deaths
WHILE law-enforcing agencies have taken steps to tighten the noose around traffic violators, the state witnessed as many as 260 road accidents in July last of which 16 accidents were fatal according to the Directorate of Transport. These must be considered as disturbing figures for a small state like Goa. One prime reason for the large number of road accidents despite the crackdown on traffic violators could be the pathetic condition of the roads. Appearance of potholes on the roads incidentally has become an annual feature. Just like the civic bodies carry out pre-monsoon work of cleaning the storm drains and the fire personnel trim the trees while the electricity department does the maintenance work, it would be in the fitness of things for the PWD to also consider maintenance of roads as a pre-monsoon work. Just before the onset of monsoon roads need to be hot-mixed wherever necessary. Even small potholes should be repaired as they will grow big during the rainy season. Only such pre-monsoon road maintenance will prevent the appearance of potholes and reduce the number of road accidents.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Improved Sports Culture
PERFORMANCE of India in 36 different sports in the just-concluded XVIII Asian Games in Indonesia has drawn kudos. This is India’s best-ever medal haul in the Asian Games. Though the defeat of two times Olympic wrestling medallist Sushil Kumar in the first round, failure to retain Kabaddi gold and defend the men’s hockey title, besides losing the women’s hockey gold and few others, came as a shock, athletes took India’s gold haul to 15, which not only touched four years old Independent India’s inaugural Asian games at Delhi 1951, but also taking the medal haul to 69 with a silver haul of 24 and bronze haul of 30, to beat its previous best that came in 2010 in Guangzhou. Times are changing with more and more families encouraging their children to play and seek a career in sports. Some of the standout performances were that of 16-year-old Saurabh Chaudhary from an Uttar Pradesh farmer’s family who has won gold medal in men’s 10m air pistol, Swapna Barman’s gold medal in Women’s Heptathlon, who comes from a poor West Bengal family. Prime Minister Narendra Modi government’s new ‘Khelo aur Khilo’ policy with Olympic Silver medallist Sports Minister Rajyavardhan Singh Rathore’s sincerity has improved the sports scenario. Hence, I’m sure athletes no longer feel that they are inferior to their international counterparts, and that is probably the most-heartening aspect of Indian sports.
BIDYUT KUMAR CHATTERJEE, FARIDABAD
Changing Scenario Of Movies In India
GONE are the days when Hindi films celebrated their silver and golden jubilee of release with packed theaters announcing their stupendous success at the box office. The phenomenon of watching a film run for months on end is now a thing of the past. Compared to the trend back in the era where the number of weeks a film spent at the box office was the biggest parameter to judge a star, today the opening weekend collection is perhaps the primary tool to gauge an actor’s stardom. Nowadays, breaking into the ‘100-crore’ club is the initial achievement that decides the fate of the films that hit the cinema halls across the country every Friday with a religious regularity. In the bargain some films just take a cursory bow and vanish without any further trace. The multiplex culture further encouraged a huge demand for films to fill their screens. Considered to be a culture economy of urban leisure, India’s multiplex bandwagon has gone beyond the metros to redefine entertainment in the rural sector as well. However, empty theaters and the disastrous performances of even the multi-starrers at the box-office portend a worrisome future for cinema in India. Not to say the yesteryear films can be believed to have a distinct edge over the recent releases which are epitomes of the digital technology that has revolutionised cinema around the world. Ironically, the innovative technology has only succeeded in driving audiences out of the theaters! If movies are to be enjoyed on mobile sets and the cozy confines of one’s drawing room, how has the technological advancement aided the cause of new-age cinema! The huge popularity and success of ‘Netflix’ has made it more than evident that when it comes to entertainment, screen size doesn’t really matter. Streaming movies on androids is the new rage and the cinema houses are bearing the brunt of the new rage. Hence, as with other changing business trends, it is necessary that the Cineplexes too attempt ways to enhance theater experience and woo back the movie buffs. However, the string of worthless releases of late has not helped matters either! Already in the red with contentions of film piracy and such other illegalities denting the profits of the film industry, it is a very precarious situation the film exhibitors find themselves in.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO