On Plight Of Mining Dependants
Heartfelt sympathies and support go out to the hapless and beleaguered mining dependants of Goa who, left with no choice, are forced to stage a ‘dharna’ in the national capital to press for the early resumption of mining in Goa. The plight of these people is no more different from that of the lakhs of farmers from across the country, who marched to the Parliament a week ago, demanding a complete waiver of their loans and fair support price for their produce. Mining dependants in Goa are likewise paying a heavy price with their future in jeopardy because of the follies of the BJP government and its failure to restart mining activities after promising to resolve the crisis through the ordinance route or amendment of the Mines and Minerals (Development and Regulation) MMDR Act. Both these having failed, it is almost certain now that the mining leases will have to be auctioned, which was what the Supreme Court had earlier ordered. It is hoped that the matter is resolved amicably without further delay.
A F NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim
Politicians Must Maintain Their Dignity
It is indeed regrettable that some of our elected representatives have not only lost respect from the people they represent because of their actions but also the sense of dignity they ought to have maintained by virtue of the position they occupy. Ramakrishna ‘Sudin’ Dhavalikar has always hankered after key positions and got important portfolios like PWD and Transport. Obviously, he was given the portfolios not because he deserved them or was best at them but because he could rock the boat if his demand was not met. This minister, better known as an ardent supporter of the infamous Sanathan Saunstha, now allegedly involved in Gauri Lankesh’s murder, and for his ‘bikini’ remark, had at the time of the visit of Portuguese Prime Minister António Costa to Goa sought an apology from him for the Portuguese atrocities in Goa, though he knew very well it would never happen. Dhavalikar forgot that it was one of Costa’s predecessors and incidentally from the same party, Mario Soares, who signed the treaty in 1974 with India over Goa’s accession. Till then Goa had not been recognised as part of India. So, India needs to be grateful to Portugal for having done that, much to the annoyance of many Goans, who expected to be heard on this accession, especially on some safeguards and privileges. Dhavalikar is now visiting Portugal apparently to study some water supply systems. No comments are needed, for if there was any dignity left in him, he would refuse to go after what he said. However, when such trips are paid by the government or someone else, our ministers can stoop to any levels. What a shameful attitude.
JOSE MARIA MIRANDA, Margao