Rahul Proving His Mettle
CONGRESS president Rahul Gandhi is not known for his eloquence. His failure to effectively communicate with the people, and his party workers, were one among the many factors that was attributed to the Congress’ pathetic show in the 2014 general elections. But make no mistake about it, Gandhi has gradually cultivated that natural skill of being at peace with himself while conveying his message to the audience. His address to the party at the plenary session of the Congress was less on dramatics and high on energy. A poised Gandhi attempted to bridge the chasm in the Congress party. Humility and politeness, unlike many top leaders of today, seem to come naturally to him which should stand the Congress chief in good stead through the tough political battle ahead. The candid admission of the UPA’s shortcomings in the last years of its term reveals he is trying to be different from the rest of his ilk. Gandhi speaking about destroying walls between seniors and juniors, and pointing at the empty stage “meant for an average party worker” was clever thinking. Secularism is the prized possession of the Congress, and Gandhi did well to reiterate the strong point through a telling analysis in the wake of the recent happenings in the country. Gandhi has made a self-assured start as the Congress president. That things have not gone well for the BJP and the NDA government in recent days has worked in his favour. He needs to keep his word, and instil enthusiasm among the Congress workers. Latest political developments have shown that there is no substitute to probity in public life.
GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA
Wear A Good Quality Helmet
NON-CERTIFIED helmets are freely sold in Goa at the side of highways and near bus stops. This illegal sale of substandard helmets could come to a halt with the central government planning to make sale of non-ISI certified helmets an offence by the end of the year (NT, March 19, 2018). It will be mandatory for helmets manufacturers to obtain certification from the Bureau of Indian Standards to ensure that the product adheres to ISI standards. This is a welcome move by the government since most bikers do not value the importance of wearing good quality helmets and opt for cheaper variety. Besides pushing for helmet manufacturers to manufacture helmets with ISI mark, it seems also necessary to keep a tab on two-wheeler riders wearing substandard helmets. However, the general trend with the law-enforcing agency is to stop only those two-wheeler riders who ride helmetless. Those who wear the helmet are not checked for the quality of the helmet they are wearing. Using standard helmets should be made mandatory. For this the police needs to also check if two-wheeler riders wear helmets with ISI mark.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO
Be Ready For Climatic Inconsistencies
THE unseasonal rains witnessed in many parts of the state last week should come as an eye-opener to the authorities who continue to believe that the annual pre-monsoon maintenance works they undertake are the best defence against the prolonged periods of wet-spell bringing with it its own share of calamitous situations. The practice of sticking on with traditions in spite of the irrelevance of the acts somehow fails to deter the administration from introducing new and better ways to combat climate vagaries that seem to compliment the rapid pace of development seen. Of course, the greenhouse effects apart, the frequent depressions in the Bay of Bengal and the Arabian Sea, or some other unnatural phenomena which has been responsible for the sudden change in weather conditions in the country are apparently in the process of re-defining ‘seasons’ as we have known them to be. Clear skies opening out to sudden downpours, a cold and foggy spell in the midst of sweltering heat, etc, are indications that seasonal changes are no more governed by a system where specific ‘monthly quarters’ in a year identifies a particular climatic period. Hence it becomes pertinent that the administration wakes up to the dangers posed by these climatic inconsistencies and be in a state of ever-readiness to face the challenges without any loss to life and property. Apart from the cloudburst in Canacona taluka, which caused the unprecedented and devastating floods in the region some years back, it is very true that we Goans have not tasted the fury of nature at its worst. However, at this moment it appears that it is the negligence on the part of the authorities, more than fears of nature’s wrath wreaking havoc on the unsuspecting that should be worrying the public. As a chill in the air does not always signal the onset of winter, similarly a humid and scorching day is not indicative of the summer season either; nor do sudden downpours herald the wet months! But the government cannot dare be complacent and ignore such ‘seasonal oddities’ and risk the life of its citizens. Not just pre-monsoon works, day-to-day maintenance of all utility services and the necessary steps taken by the civic bodies to ensure a round-the-year readiness to ward off eventualities should feature high in the order of priorities for the administration.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO