Categories: Commentary


Don’t Trumpet Petty Arrests

WHILE I honestly appreciate the work done by the Calangute police station in curbing the crimes, it is quite off-putting to see them releasing photographs on busting of a prostitution racket or arrest of a chain snatcher to the media for publication, as if they have caught Jack the Ripper or busted one of the biggest diamond heists of the century. Sadly, but truly, Calangute has become a den of vices and one does not need the intelligence of Sherlock Holmes to bust some rackets or nab some crooks. One gets a feeling that the publication of photographs on such petty crimes now and then is aimed at cooling the tempers of the infuriated Calangutkars or throwing  dust in their eyes for a while to make them believe that all is in good hands and that the police are actually doing their best. If the police are honest in their efforts in cleansing Calangute of the den of vices or at least in maintaining the law and order then they would carry on the crusade without trumpeting the arrests in newspapers.



Qualities Of A True Leader 

A great cartoonist of yesteryears K Shankar Pillai was an expert in sketching series of cartoons revolving Jawaharlal Nehru, criticising him and his policies. But far from taking any offence or cold attitude, Nehru instead praised and encouraged him with these words:  “Don’t spare me Shankar”! This is called self-confidence, democratic spirit and being a true giant. What a far cry from today’s megalomaniac, intolerant, undemocratic and Lilliputian scenario!



A  Hope For Heart Patients

DO you have a badly leaking mitral valve inside your heart that endangers your life? Are you a bad-risk case for “surgical” repair or mitral valve replacement because of advanced age or co-morbidities? If that is the case then cheer up! Doctors at a Delhi hospital have recently performed the country’s first successful MitraClip procedure to repair the leaking heart valve of a 69-year-old man, thereby avoiding the standard open heart surgery for such conditions.  The MitraClip is a novel catheter-based non-surgical repair of the mitral valve inside the heart and is performed in the catheterisation laboratory like angioplasty. Special catheters are inserted through the large vein in the groin. Then, under echocardiography and X-ray guidance a clip is put on the leaking mitral valve to decrease the leak and this speedily improves the condition of the patient who is now ready to be discharged in 24-48 hours’ time. With the introduction of MitraClip to India, it is hoped that more and more patients who are gradually deteriorating from leaking mitral valves, despite medications – and are unsuitable for valve replacement surgery – will be benefitted.



Requiem For A Roundabout 

IT really surprises one to note the pains taken to reduce the radius of the Old Market Circle in Margao to facilitate a smoother flow of traffic. Envisaged as an attraction for visitors entering the city, the traffic island boasted of an eye-catching landscape and a fountain to go with it. Reduced to rubbles now, a hastily reconstructed concrete design replaces the ‘iconic structure’. The ‘engineering blunder’, as the Madganvkars  unduly troubled by the traffic snarls at the junction liked to call it, they are overlooking the initial enthusiasm that greeted the inauguration of this wonderful spectacle as one entered the commercial city. But a fatal accident involving a state transport bus at this traffic turnabout soon changed public opinion. From a designer’s marvel, it was now being recognised as a deathtrap for motorists! The installation of traffic signals further compounded problems here. But Margao residents forget that the perimetre of the Old Market Circle has remained the same all through the years in spite of a giant leap in the vehicular movement witnessed the last few years. And hence the bottlenecks that have assumed perennial ‘countenance’ at the four-road junction! No doubt the reduction in width of the circle has enabled more road space available for public commutation at the northern entrance to the city, but did the installation of the traffic signals at the busy junction necessarily warrant pruning of the Old Market Circle to meet traffic requirements! As commuters regularly using this route would agree, the traffic congestion witnessed at the circle is primarily due to the unruly manners of motorists who are seriously in need of a few lessons in patience. The ‘automatic formation’ of three and four lanes at approaching the crossroads is a disgusting motoring etiquette that could well be avoided. If the motorists and the two-wheeler drivers were to show a lot more constraint at such busy junctions, the commotion that usually characterises the traffic around these intersections wouldn’t be nerve-racking experiences any more. Moreover, considering the psyche of a typical driver, every inch of place available on the road is his to lord over. So the drastic reduction in the limits of the circle at the Old Market is not going to matter much – traffic chaos will soon return to haunt commuters at this junction!



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