Railways Rides Roughshod Over Sentiments Of Goans
MANAGER of South Western Railway Mana Ajay Kumar Singh’s outburst against Cortalim MLA Alina Saldanha, as reported by newspapers wherein he called her “Portuguese”, made for interesting reading indeed. Since Singh was at the annual inspection of the SWR in his official capacity, one can only presume that he was voicing the views of the Union government that he represents. His diatribe, however, raises some pertinent questions. Has Singh examined the birth certificates of Saldanha’s parents or other ancestors living or dead to publicly accuse her of being “Portuguese”? If he is right and Saldanha is indeed “Portuguese” then how did this fact escape the attention of Singh’s bureaucratic brotherhood, who apparently permitted a foreigner to stand for elections on a BJP ticket? If other states of India do not value their heritage and have permitted the arguably sacrilegious act of demolishing 5000-year-old houses, does that justify destruction of the valued 500-year-old Goan heritage? If Singh’s publicly expressed views do not coincide with the views of the central government that he represents then what action will be taken against a government employee who has gone beyond his brief by questioning the nationality of an elected representative, and the legitimate citizenship status of an entire community by calling Goans “invaders” instead of limiting his discussion to his railway line? Should Saldanha still choose to stay as a member of a party whose government regards her as an alien and a foreigner i.e. “Portuguese”. The people of Goa deserve answers.
DIANA PINTO, NAGOA
Educate People On Traffic Signals
IT is sad to observe in this traffic safety week that most Goans are not familiar with the colours of traffic signal lights – red, amber, green – and what they mean. There are many who break the red signal when they see that there is no traffic flowing temporarily on the other side. Many people have a misunderstanding that amber light means that they can proceed. However, one can proceed on the amber light when the signal is at red and going to turn green. One cannot proceed at amber light when the signal was green and now turned amber and going to red. This is a dangerous trend. In spite of light turning green on another side there is traffic still moving from the red signal side. Therefore, the traffic facing green signal has to wait for the traffic offenders to clear their path though the signal is green. Will the traffic cell educate people on this subject?
VICTOR DE MELO FERNANDES, COLLEM