Porvorim Road Without Vehicles!
A ‘no motor zone’ event will be held at Porvorim on December 10. The road from the SCERT building to the Porvorim police station will be closed to vehicular traffic from 8 am to 2 pm. Several food stalls and game arenas will be put up, and there will be various activities like horse-riding, bullock cart-riding, karate, etc. There will be zones for special children and families. But probably the greatest joy will be the thought that one can walk and cycle on the road without worrying about the traffic. Such a ‘No Mo Zo’ event was organised in Vasco some years back which was a huge success. Citizens need to have space to have a good time along with families and friends and such an event on our busy roads can provide just that. It also brings back nostalgic moments of the past when there traffic was less on roads. Today’s generation may have not seen a stretch of road devoid of traffic during the day, be it in cities or villages. The number of traffic on the roads has been growing by leaps and bounds. It is events like the ‘No Mo Zo’ which gives the citizens a break from the traffic and the related dust and noise pollution, even if it is for a few hours. Civic bodies need to organise such an event in their respective cities, and more importantly make it an annual event and not just organise it once in a blue moon.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Aiyar’s Jibe Backfires
The Congress has “acted” by suspending its senior leader Mani Shankar Aiyar from the party pending explanation on his “neech aadmi” comment on Prime Minister Narendra Modi. Though Aiyar tried to wash away his hands off the controversy by saying he had only commented on Modi as a “person” with no reference to his caste, that explanation has cut no ice with the Congress and its president-elect Rahul Gandhi, who is trying his best to carve a niche for himself. Aiyar’s “poor Hindi” alibi also cannot explain away his intentional gaffe. Those who have followed the veteran politician’s career graph can vouch for his excellent command over the Hindi language. Being a “Delhi resident” for long, Aiyar’s Hindi diction and tone sound like music to our ears. But it certainly was not music to the Congress in Gujarat where most of the opinion polls have predicted it to vastly improve upon its performance in a cliffhanger. Aiyar, however, has a history of veering off course on politicians in high positions. His infamous “chaiwala” description of Modi was seen as one of the reasons for the Congress’ humiliation in 2014. Aiyar had even targeted former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee as “nalayak” in 1998. Erudition and loyalty to the Congress high command seemed to have delayed the inevitable for Aiyar. The Aiyar case will be an acid test for Rahul Gandhi who should not embrace Aiyar back to the party fold following the elections. Whether or not Rahul has the gumption to do away with “paper tigers” like Aiyar is the moot question. Rahul has, in his tweet, decried Aiyar’s language and tone saying they were not part of the party philosophy. Philosophy and culture cannot, and should not, change overnight.
GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA