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LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Irreverence Towards Mahatma 

NOWADAYS everyone makes comments about everything sans knowledge and responsibility. The media, especially  TRP hungry TV news channels, picks up these comments, giving them  undue coverage. There has been no attempt by the media to weigh the import of the comments and their implications. It is expected that the people  making the comments, particularly against our revered political leaders who immensely contributed towards nation building, would  first assess their own position and their contribution to the nation before voicing their opinion. Lately there has been a plethora of comments against Mahatma Gandhi and praises for  his assassin Nathuram Godse.  Comments against the Mahatma came thick and fast from an aspiring actress, an accused in a terror case (who is  now a Lok Sabha MP),  and  an IAS officer working for the Maharashtra government. It is disappointing to read that the IAS officer disparaged the Mahatma as the position  of a bureaucrat is symbolic of education,  knowledge and training. The disparagement from the other two slanderers could be attributed to lack of knowledge – in the case of the actress – and political compulsions of the new parliamentarian, who is a terror  accused.

S KAMAT, ALTO ST CRUZ

Freedom Muzzled Is Freedom Lost 

THERE appears to be a sustained and planned attack on freedom of speech and the prevalence of a polarised and lawless police, which are  abusing their power. The Supreme Court ordered the immediate release of  journalist Prashant Kanojia, who was illegally  arrested and jailed for allegedly hurting the sentiments of Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Yogi Adityanath.  The apex court called the arrest of Kanojia  as  “a glaring case of deprivation of liberty”. Despite the SC observations, UP cops stripped, jailed and reportedly urinated in the mouth of a TV journalist. This time it was the railway police taking revenge for his report on the rise of illegal vendors who have thrived with police blessings. It has also been reported that in three  years over 100 people have been booked for posting comments against the Kerala CM. Lower courts and magistrates are failing in their duty to rein in the polarised lawbreakers in khaki who are in fact there to uphold the law! Mobs also dispense justice with beatings and violence! This malaise will not stop unless the Supreme Court spell out the consequences of  breaking the law and depriving the media or any citizen of their freedom.

JOHN ERIC GOMES, PORVORIM

Do Good In These Bad Times

WHILE the world stands on the precipice of disasters emanating from  military, economies and societies, men and women of goodwill should continue to tread the path of honesty, truth and uprightness. They should not seek benefits but work to keep peace in this mercurial world torn and divided by greed and deceit. Do good for the sake of doing good without seeking to capitalise on it, and change  virtues into divinity. It must be said here that it is in adverse times that the good done will outshine the darkness that pervades the world, which has   become materialistic and egoistic. Let your light sparkle in the surrounding darkness and the gloom.

ELVIDIO MIRANDA, PANAJI

The Scourge Of Elder Abuse

THERE has been  a surge in young population in our country.  However, the number of elderly population is not declining, and more and more  people are expected to join the elderly group by the turn of the decade.  Globally, there has been an upward trend in the population of men and women in the age bracket of 60 to 80 years. Many of the elders in the world are mistreated, and a lot of them are abused. The elder abuse can take various shapes – physical, psychological, financial, and sexual.  One in six adults are said to suffer from acute and chronic mistreatment  across the world. Ill-treatment  need not be confined to physical and mental torture – it can assume different dimensions like neglect and exploitation. The financially dependent elderly,  the health deprived,  and weak adults are prone to mistreatment by their children, relatives, friends or  guardians. There are  hardly any laws in the country which can instil fear in the minds of the abusers. India is  a country which is traditionally known to respect the elders, but the emerging trend  only points to the fact that  the elder abuse is an underrated and underreported form of abuse. Father’s day and mother’s day are occasions to rededicate ourselves to the upliftment of the elderly.  Parents toil to raise their children, but the latter forget the former  when they are very fragile. To recognise and stress on the elder abuse, ‘World Elder Abuse Awareness Day’ is celebrated on June 15. The observance of the day aims to tackle the abuse faced by the elderly. The International Network for the Prevention of Elder Abuse started the observing day in 2006, which was endorsed by the United Nations General Assembly in 2011. The identification of the injured and  anxious elders is paramount to tackle the abuse scourge.  Unburdening the adults of their worries is equally important. Loneliness is one of the biggest tormentors of the elderly.  A word has to go in the social media about perils and punishment vis-à-vis the elder abuse. The wrinkled people  with a sparkle in their eyes and a toothless smile are the natural gifts  to the youngsters who have to love, care and treasure them.

GANAPATHI  BHAT, AKOLA

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