LETTERS TO THE EDITOR

Fallout of Calvim Tragedy-I 
THE cancellation of Carnival festivities has become a subject matter of debate across the state. We do share the pain and grief of the families who have lost their dear ones.

But was it right on the part of the government to cancel the event which is not only a people’s festival but also a state event, attended by many cutting across all barriers from people in power to the commoner on the street and from foreign to domestic tourists, counting in thousands? Let us remember that there is massive propaganda for tourists to come to the state in large numbers to witness this so-called unique festival that is glorified as being celebrated only in Goa in the whole of Asia. Was it not a terrible disappointment to those tourists who had flocked to the spot, keeping aside all their other preoccupations? The main thing to be borne in mind is such tragedies do strike and we are grief-stricken but importantly life has to continue under all odds. After the cancellation of the Carnival on last Saturday, some people even downed their shutters putting the tourists to great inconvenience. To show solidarity to one group a terrible problem is caused to another section! How are we justified on this outlook? It is not out of place to ask some genuine questions. If it wasn’t the election period, had the government cancelled the festivities? It did so essentially to show solidarity with the grieving masses and also no one opposed as they did not want to be in bad books before the elections. Next, if  a greater mishap had occurred in Panaji itself, killing several labourers, who too are precious as they put up our  infrastructure, would the celebrations been cancelled?
MICHAEL VAZ, Merces

Fallout of Calvim Tragedy-II
IT is a sad state of affairs that in our country, it takes a national tragedy and the loss of hundreds of precious lives, to wake up the concerned authorities and take corrective measures. Goa is also no exception after what happened at Calvim where the minibus carrying passengers, including schoolchildren, plunged into the river because of the negligence of the driver and alleged poor functioning of the handbrake, prompting RTO inspectors to crack down on passenger buses. According to newspaper reports, 43 buses were found to be defective in a short span of 24 hours, while a few had their fitness certificate cancelled. This could well be just the tip of the real problem which continues to haunt and endanger the lives of thousands of people in Goa who depend solely on public transport, as well as schoolchildren who travel in contract buses. The RTO should also keep a strict check on speeding drivers and private bus operators who overload their buses that are often the cause of accidents and overturning.
A  F  NAZARETH, Alto Porvorim

 

Pre-Poll Violence in Nuvem Constituency
TWO unknown motorcycle-borne goons attacked Independent candidate for Nuvem constituency, Mr Marcus  D’Souza at his residence at Betalbatim under the cover of darkness. Mr D’Souza  does not know who the goons were. But the electorate of Nuvem constituency, who have been attending corner meetings, would certainly know whose work it is anyway. We do not know whether the two goons were brought from outside. But we are inclined to believe that the motive for attacking him was to intimidate Mr D’Souza to stop from canvassing. But we the voters of Nuvem constituency want to give notice to the goons that they are actually harming whatever little chances their candidate had in putting up a fight. I have personally seen some hired hooligans disturbing the meeting by abusing Mr Aleixo Squeira to create an impression that the  candidate was booed. We have seen through the tricks. I believe this is happening at every meeting. 
IRINEU GONSALVES, Verna

 

Migrant Voters Play Important Role in Elections
IN Goa there is one section of the voters which cannot be ignored. These are the migrants who form a considerable chunk of the electorate in several constituencies. Every politician worth his salt has nurtured this vote-bank. It may be recalled that in the last assembly elections some candidates did win by a small margin.  Migrants play an important role in the elections, be it the panchayat elections, polls  to the civic bodies or the assembly elections.  Armed with a voter’s card a migrant becomes a valid voter. For this the local politician is ever willing to help the migrant to get him the voter card. On election day, while many Goans may show reluctance to step out of their homes and vote, on the other hand migrants show a lot of enthusiasm in exercising their franchise. Migrants are fiercely loyal voters. They have probably voted for the same party for several generations. Their needs are minimal. Hence any aspiring candidate, who takes care of their basic needs like a roof over their heads, water, sanitation, etc. will in all probability garner the support of this vote-bank. These migrants are in all probability least concerned of the mining scam, the medium of instruction,  the Regional Plan  or corruption that is plaguing our society. Any candidate who can get them the ration card, the voters card and the Adhaar card can rest assured of their votes. Some constituencies have such a large migrant population that their votes could make all the difference between winning and losing.   With elections being fought so closely and with the ruling party ending up with a wafer-thin majority, it won’t be an exaggeration to say  that these migrant votes will, in the ultimate analysis, have a considerable influence on the election results. If corrupt politicians are elected to power, then only God can save Goa. It is for us Goans to decide the shape the next government should take. Hence we should come out in large numbers and vote on March 3 so that we chalk out our own destiny.
ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO