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Kick The Bottle 

MANY psychiatric, lifestyle, degenerative and neoplastic diseases have been attributed to alcohol overconsumption, which has also  led to fatal road accidents and suicidal tendencies. Generally, easy availability makes alcohol a crippling intoxicant. A recent government report says that around 14 per cent of the Indians have consumed alcohol at any point in their lifetime and a 19 per cent dependency – alcoholism – has been observed in the above. A staggering 60 million contemporary Indians are alcohol users. The efforts to curb the evils of alcoholism have not really worked in India. Many states introduced a blanket ban on alcohol; some selectively restricted its use. And a few big states went back to their old ways. The revenue accrual through alcohol is too tempting for the political leaders to keep the bottle away from the public. Though kept away, alcohol mafia is too strong, and has been supported clandestinely by politicians and policemen, which has resulted in a spurt of alcohol black-marketing. De-addiction centres have noble intentions, but only a few of them have lived up to the expectations because they have focused their energy more on alcohol and less on the alcoholics.



Significance Of Episcopal Titles

THIS is with reference to the letter ‘On transgressing priests’ by Robert Castellino (NT, February 19, 2019). While deviating from the subject of sexual transgressions by priests, the writer has also called for the doing away with honorific titles, such as ‘Your Lordship’. Your Excellency ‘ Your Grace’ (which are titles while addressing bishops), since “they create an artificial divide between sheep and shepherds” and were also not titles given by Jesus Christ to his Apostles. By the same token then, should we also do away  with the external trappings  such as mitre, crozier, ring, and princely attire of bishops and cardinals,  as they do not fit into the image of ‘shepherd’ with  the odour of sheep.  However, as ecclesiastical authorities we are expected to respect the office of the bishop through the usage of these titles, earned, when bishops in the medieval ages lived in palaces. As regards regalia, there is a religious significance for each of the symbols in use, and even a temporary indulgence for kissing the ring.



Congress Veterans Should Retire

KICKING up a fuss on the Congress fiasco that had unfolded after the 2017 assembly elections, senior Congress leader and Navelim MLA Luizinho Faleiro has claimed  that central Congress leader Digvijay Singh did not allow him to submit the letter to the Governor to form a  government by  the Congress, which had emerged  as the single largest party after the polls. Faleiro has said that he resigned from the PCC in protest, asking the party to accept his earlier resignation as the PCC president. The Navelim legislator has asserted  that  he also  refused to become the CLP leader  and also the Opposition leader. Well, if that was really the case then why Faleiro  did not ‘expose’ Singh during that time itself? Why he waited for so many months to make the revelations? I think that  senior Congress leaders like Faleiro and others, who have had  their innings in the state politics, should retire and make way for some young leaders to take over the reins of the Congress in Goa.



Let’s Embrace Kashmiri Muslims

ALL those who tried to divide India by killing our soldiers at Pulwama in Jammu and Kashmir must be punished in accordance with the law of the land. Also, all those who are trying to divide our country by delivering hate speeches, painting all the Kashmiri Muslims as terrorists and by assaulting innocent Kashmiri students at various parts of our country, must be punished accordingly. In this hour of darkness, we need to be united. We need to show solidarity with the law-abiding Kashmiri students, shopkeepers and others settled down in various places of India to tell the world that Kashmir is an integral part of India and Kashmiri Muslims are our brothers and sisters. Unfortunately, some antinational elements have been creating a wrong impression by attacking Kashmiri students and shopkeepers in some parts of our country. They have been trying, as it were, to justify the cause of the rabid organisation who is behind the dastardly killing of our jawans. The 40 CRPF personnel killed in the Pulwama attack represented the unity in diversity of our great country, as  the slain jawans hailed from  different parts of the country and  belonged to different communities. Indeed, the Pulwama martyrs teach us what India is all about. We cannot tag all the German Christians as terrorists for the Holocaust against Jews. Also, we cannot tag all the Indian Hindus as terrorists for the 1984 riots against Sikhs and 2002 riots against Muslims. Similarly, we cannot tag all the Kashmiri Muslims as terrorists for the terror strike in Kashmir.


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