Ensure Basic Amenities
CONSIDERING that the Indian army is well short of the authorised strength of personnel sanctioned, it becomes pertinent to have regular recruitment rallies across the country to draft enough numbers of able-bodied men to meet the scarcity. But whenever there has been a mention of the ‘shortage’ in the armed forces, the country has always co-related it with the dearth of quality officers without ever paying serious heed to the lack of other ranks on its rolls. The army is known to follow a certain set of rules and procedures when enlisting personnel at various recruitment centres. However, it is often observed that these standard operating procedures do not mention anything about the necessary care to be taken by the army authorities while conducting the mass-recruitment rallies in ‘civilian enclaves’. As against the method of selecting officer cadets through the Services Selection Boards designated at specified centres, the practice of holding tests and interviews for recruiting rookie soldiers into the forces at venues teeming with civilian population definitely deserves a re-look by the armed forces authorities, at least from the ‘compatibility’ point of view. Over the past few years the recruitment rallies held at the military training centre at Rawanfond have been tests of endurance for residents of the area who have had to put up with the massive crowds of ‘hopefuls’ converging at the locality for enrollment. It may have been the respect for the armed forces that deterred villagers from complaining about the ‘ordeals’ they had to pass through every time an army recruitment drive was announced. Moreover, the sight of haggard-looking youth strolling on the roads and through the village during these recruitment rallies does not convey an encouraging sight from the security aspect either. With many of the candidates seen spending their nights on the roads, these concerns have only magnified. It is as if the entire area is laid siege to by the youth who descend in droves at the recruitment site. Besides, apprehensions of civic nuisance and other sanitation-related problems for the residents are relevant factors which cannot be overlooked either. Hence, it is essential that the military authorities provide the candidates the basic amenities expected of them while embarking on such mammoth recruitment drives without putting the locals to inconvenience.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO
Manning Traffic On Dusty Roads
THE work on the approach roads to the Zuari bridge has led to massive traffic jams, specially, in the evenings. This has meant that the traffic police have to work round-the-clock to regulate the flow of traffic. The police have to work under trying conditions as the dust pollution seems to be very high along the road due to the constant movement of traffic. The cops are seen wearing face masks to protect them from the dust pollution. However, this protection may not suffice given the fact that the police personnel have to work for long hours. The exposure to the air pollution for long periods of time could have an adverse effect on the health of these cops. A solution to the problem needs to be found. Short stints of work along the route by rotating the cops more frequently could be one way of tackling the problem.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Poll Results Reflect Disenchantment With BJP
THE results of the Assembly polls for the 5 states have come in, widely touted as the semi-finals before the Lok Sabha polls in 2019, with the Congress winning 2 and losing 1, the TRS retaining Telangana and MP turning out to be a close tie. But the important thing is that in part of the Hindi heartland of India the BJP has essentially lost. This is remarkable today in the least and reflects the disenchantment of the people with the BJP through the Modi government’s failure to address governance issues responsibly. One of the BJP leaders, while speaking when the Assembly elections counting process was on, attributed the losses to the anti-incumbency factor. This is trivialising the issue since then one can say it portends what is likely to happen in the Lok Sabha polls in 2019. One wonders if Narendra Modi and Amit Shah will be satisfied with that explanation. On the other hand Rahul Gandhi has said that the results of these Assembly elections should show Modi that he has to change. Now, why should Rahul Gandhi tell him that since if Modi remains the way he is, it will be advantageous for the Congress and they can score big in the upcoming Lok Sabha elections. The Gandhi scion should know that it does not pay to give tips to your opponents. Similarly, with these wins Rahul Gandhi and the Congress should not feel emboldened to go alone in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls and avoid the Mahagathbandhan strategy. That would be disastrous and playing straight into Narendra Modi and the BJP’s hands assuring them of a hands down victory. So the seniors in the Congress party or those who have Rahul Gandhi’s ears should pull down the cap of rationality tightly on his head and concentrate on defeating the BJP. As for the Narendra Modi and Amit Shah combine and for that matter the BJP is not going to take this defeat in the recent Assembly polls lightly. The duo has tasted power and it is heady and therefore not easy to give up easily. With most independent institutions in the country now headed by yes-men chosen from the bureaucracy there will be a tight grip on the administration to throttle the voice of democracy in the country. One hopes that this will not happen but it cannot be discounted since it definitely remains in the realm of possibility.
S KAMAT, ALTO ST CRUZ