Demeaning A Great Soul
Whether Gopalkrishna Gandhi is correct or not that his parental grandfather Mahatma Gandhi would have chuckled at the “chatur baniya” description by BJP president Amit Shah, also for its “utter tastelessness” and the hidden mischief in it, or noted historian Ramachandra Guha called the comment ‘crude’, may be debatable. But I’m confused that if Mahatma Gandhi was a “chatur baniya” then why Albert Einstein on the occasion of Mahatma’s 70th birthday said, “Generations to come, it may well be, will scarce believe that such a man as this one ever in flesh and blood walked upon this Earth.” Or why Kabiguru Rabindranath Tagore first called Gandhi a Mahatma or a great soul? Or his letter to China’s Marshal Chian Kai Sek in 1938 saying, “At this desperate age of moral upset it is only natural for us to hope that the continent which has produced two greatest men, Buddha and Christ, in the whole course of human events must still fulfill its responsibility to maintain the purest expression of character in the teeth of the scientific effrontery of the evil genius of man. Has not that expectation already shown in its first luminous streak of fulfilment in the person of Gandhi in a historical horizon obscured by centuries of …?” After this if anyone raises a finger towards Shah’s sanity, no one should wonder. Because an insane deserving a place in a lunatic asylum would have irreverent thoughts for Gandhi. No sane per person born on this planet would ever think of demeaning this great soul. Every Indian patriot or nationalist, should be proud of his having been born in India.
Bidyut Kumar Chatterjee, FARIDABAD
Soldiers Are Not Martyrs
I read with great interest the article by Karan Thapar, “A soldier killed in action is not a martyr” (Panorama, June 11). First of all, I wonder what made Karan write this absorbing piece. Second, it appears utterly dishonourable to our valiant soldiers who die in combat. But he is right. A martyr is a person who voluntarily suffers death as the penalty of witnessing to and refusing to renounce a religion. A martyr dies defiantly embracing death in defence of the faith he values more than life. “A soldier may be prepared to die to secure victory but that doesn’t mean he wants to. He wants to live to enjoy his success. That’s what sets him apart from a martyr.” My only problem is about those suicidal terrorists of all religions who harboring a distorted concept of their faith want to uphold false tenets by killing themselves and others in the process.
Dr Francisco Colaco, Margao
Political Will Lacking In Goa
For a state that is in the throes of an economical predicament, it comes as quite a bit of surprise that nothing much is being thought of as solutions to tide over the crisis. Data released by the state economic survey for 2016-17 indicates that Goa’s economy slowed down sharply in comparison to the national average. No matter what the government has to state, faulty planning and a lack of political will to push through good schemes beneficial to the state have been contributory factors towards the financial mess that Goa today finds itself in. Moreover, plans afoot to set up a food-park notwithstanding, Goa can hardly boast of an enviable industrial footprint. In such a scenario, it thus becomes essential that the state government makes the maximum utilisation of all the resources at hand to counter the fiscal shortcomings and stabilise the situation. Rather than sit back and shed tears over the wrought brought over by the mining imbroglio, it is necessary that the government seriously mulls over effective ways to enhance the tourism potential of the state. But somehow, the tourism policy the state governments over the years have been endorsing leaves much to be desired. For long now, the state’s over-dependence on five-star culture has seen an influx of tourists who have viewed Goa as a place for fun and frolic. Is Goa only all about beaches, temples and churches only! Sustainable tourism demands that special emphasis be laid on complete utilization of local resources. Exploiting the natural assets, various states have thus been successful in showcasing their regions and in raking in considerable revenue. Why should Goa lag behind! For instance, the state has never thought of promoting tourism in and along its inland waterways? Where the tourism department should have been pushing the proposals for river cruises and houseboat-stays for tourists in Goan rivers with that special touch of Goan hospitality rendered, the monotonous view of several floating casinos crowding the waters is what greets visitors on their arrival. Doesn’t Goa have age-old customs and traditions that any guest to this heavenly land would love to understand and appreciate? Tourists could also be attracted through local food. Goan cuisine is a reflection of the state’s history and heritage. The state in this respect is guilty of having tried all this, but only as experiments.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO