Bringing All On Par
Hardik Patel is a social activist from Gujarat who has been leading the Patidar reservation agitation since a couple of years. Presently he is on an indefinite hunger strike to press for the inclusion of his Patidar community in the OBC category for reservation in education and employment. The hunger strike has already crossed two weeks and he is said to be only ingesting water. His efforts are glorified by some and notably he is being supported by the Indian National Congress, obviously a political gimmick, since it is the BJP government both in Gujarat and at the Centre. In the past the agitation has been very volatile and several lives have been lost. The Marathas have also been demanding for caste-based reservations in Maharashtra. The agitation of Jats in Haryana was unprecedented which resulted in severe destruction of property worth thousands of crores. Some years back in Rajasthan the Gurjar agitation demanding scheduled tribe status for the community threatened law and order situation in the state as there was rift between it and the Meena community who felt that inclusion of another community in the same category would dent their prospects. Such is the fate of our country where apart from caste, tribe and class there seems to be no other agenda. Now the Union Minister of State for Social Justice and Empowerment Ramdas Athawale is suggesting for 25 per cent reservation to economically backward among the upper castes, saying the move will bring social parity. His contention is that people have a grouse against the reserved category because they enjoy the quota benefits and to nullify that he wants the 25 per cent allocation for the poor in the upper class.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
Cancer Cases On The Rise In Goa
It is understood that 1000-1200 cases of cancer are reported across the state of Goa annually. This is a disturbing number of cancer cases detected for a small state like Goa. There could be many more patients in various stages of cancer who probably never got themselves tested for the dreaded disease. There has also reportedly been a steady rise in the number of breast cancer in the state. What is also disturbing is that Goa is reportedly the worst or the number one state in the country with cases of colon cancer. Over the past couple of months there has been a lot of public uproar when it was found that fish laced with formalin was being sold in the market. It is a known fact that formalin is a cancerous chemical. Early detection of cancer is important. But more important is the prevention of the spread of the disease since prevention is better than cure. To prevent the growing number of cancer cases in the state it is essential to get to the root cause as to why cancer has become so prevalent in the state.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Unreasonable For Madganvkars To Pay Taxes By DDs
The new Margao chief officer Sidhivinayak Naik appears to have taken a tough stand on TV cables hanging on electricity poles in Margao. Firstly, it needs to be clarified by the electricity department whether permissions were taken for the purpose and any charges recovered. If not, why is the electricity department complicit in this illegality and why has no action been initiated. It is also strange that when serious illegalities, such as occupation of footpaths, illegal movement of gaddas, forceful prevention by shop owners from parking in front of their establishments either by placing barriers or using muscle power, etc are common occurrence in Margao, the chief officer seeks publicity on such an unimportant issue, which harms no one but is admittedly an eyesore and nuisance and affects the aesthetics of the city, which otherwise has nothing aesthetic about it. I only hope that the chief officer is not under pressure to take this step to help some other prospective influential provider, who has dug roads and erected towers without permission using his closeness with the people. Incidentally, some citizens met the chief officer recently regarding MMC’s demand that taxes be paid not by cheque but by bank draft. The chief officer clarified that this was done because some cheques issued by traders and house owners had bounced and MMC had to bear charges for return of such cheques. However, the chief officer was adamant, that despite the fact the citizens pointed out that he cannot penalise all because of a few traders. Citizens surely welcome steps to improve the aesthetics of the city and make their life easier by curbing violations. But issues like traffic, cleanliness, parking, installation of signages, road name boards, clearance of footpaths need to be taken up on priority, for the life of citizens in Margao is turning more miserable by the day.
JOSE MARIA MIRANDA, MARGAO