Yogendra Yadav is an intellectual and is primarily an activist and academic and has held high positions as Senior Fellow at CSDS and was the former member of UGC. Above all under the anti-corruption movement launched by Anna Hazare he came across Arvind Kejriwal and when the AAP was formed he was a member of its national executive and was a great party spokesperson. However he was at variance with Kejriwal and accused him for being dictatorial but in the process was expelled from AAP for alleged anti-party activities. He formed his own political organization called Swaraj Abhiyan but is little known thereafter. Presently he has been in the limelight for creating a video against the CAA-NRC-NPR, which is being widely circulated, creating a fear psychosis among the people with his ill-conceived and lopsided arguments that the people of this country will be stripped of their citizenship rights and will be held in the detention centres. I personally feel that it has become a fad among the people to instigate people arousing religious passions and the single most motive behind this is to create ill will against Modi and the BJP. It is unfortunate that despite the government saying repeatedly that CAA will in no way come in the way of the existing citizens and that it is prepared for an open debate with anyone on the issue there is a hate campaign launched by people against the government fabricating issues at will. The new Act is aimed at providing an entry path for the embattled minorities like Hindus, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Catholics facing religious persecutions in the Islamic countries of Pakistan, Bangladesh and Afghanistan.
MICHAEL VAZ, MERCES
Parts of Panaji will henceforth not offer free parking for any vehicle, not even outside one’s house as the Corporation of the City of Panaji (CCP) has reintroduced the pay parking policy. This is a step in the right direction however some clarification seems necessary. Since citizens will have to pay for parking even outside their own house what happens to the space in front of the private garage that needs to be kept free of parking so that the owner can park the vehicle in the garage? Will the citizen be made to pay for this parking space to be kept vacant? Will the time of parking be noted on the receipt? If so will it be as per the time of the vehicular owner or of the staff collecting the parking fees? This can lead to confusion. If the car driver remains seated while the car is parked, will he/she be charged parking fees? It is understood that government vehicles will be excluded from payment. Why should government vehicles be an exception? Government needs to lead by example. After all, the money for paying parking fees for government vehicles will ultimately come from the tax payers. On the flip side though the parking fees are on the higher side, it will discourage people from bringing their vehicles to the city.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Making Goa Garbage-Free
After its hugely popular #ROSTO campaign which sought to reduce road accidents by having speed-breakers in the state painted in white colour to increase their visibility; the citizens’ group which conceptualized the whole idea has now embarked upon another novel venture. The #KOCHRO campaign which seeks to clean up Goa of its littered garbage eyesores comes at a time when the whole state is reeling under the effects of piling garbage. As an issue that has bothered the government, it is even more disturbing to have the public shying away from offering viable solutions to the problem at hand. Staring at a predicament that owes its genesis to the callous attitude of the local populace and the hopelessness of an administration that has hardly bothered about effectively checking the nuisance; the garbage menace in the state threatens to evolve into a stinky affair that will soon consume the whole region. As much as it is the responsibility of the village panchayats, municipalities and the legislators in ensuring a clean ambience of their localities; the onus is on the local residents too to wish for and work towards making their surroundings a trash-free area. But the public is yet to get over its fixation for blaming the government for all the woes that befall them. Of course, the village authorities and city fathers are both responsible in their own ways for the accumulating filth that dots the Goan landscape. Spreading like a virus that has no known antidote to counter its risk, the garbage issue taunts both the administration and the public alike. But with a little effort from the locals couldn’t this malaise have been contained! It is unfortunate that villagers congregate in large numbers for Gram sabhas and heckle the elected members for the problems that assail the village. Should the government always be depended upon to solve civic problems when it is well within ‘public resolve’ to do away with the obnoxity? A voluntary and collective will is the need of the hour. If a committed group of citizens can arouse public interest and earn praise from the government for their ‘community service’, one can well imagine the results if residents in each locality take up the cleaning of their areas periodically. The motto ‘Clean Goa Clean’ should enthuse every Goan.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO