LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (05/01/2021)

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On Govt Calendar And Profligacy

EVERY year, we bought the Goa government-published calendar for Rs 40. The calendar was very handy and useful, as it carried all the government notified public and restricted holidays on it. We are already in the New Year and it is for the first time ever that we have no access to that government calendar. It is an irony that this has happened in a year when Goa is needlessly spending Rs 100 crore on a yearlong celebration of Goa’s 60th year of Liberation. The government needs to clarify as to why the 2021 calendar is not yet available. It is high time the government got its priorities right. There is need to heed to the voice of the people and govern with responsibility as sincere custodians of the state. There should be total transparency and absolute accountability at all levels of governance. Only then will the now debt-ridden Goa be on the road to economic recovery.

AIRES RODRIGUES, RIBANDAR   

US Game Plan On Tibet

The US successfully passed the Tibet Policy and Support Act of 2020 despite China’s protest. The  passage  of  the TPSA  strengthened  the  American  policy  on  Tibet  and  reaffirmed  the  government’s  support  for  the  Dalai  Lama  and  the  Central  Tibetan  Administration.  The  TPSA  stipulates  that  decisions  regarding  the  ‘reincarnation’  of  the  Dalai  Lama  are  exclusively  within  the  authority  of  the  present  Dalai  Lama,  Tibetan  Buddhist  leaders  and  the  Tibetan  people.  Stringent   sanctions will be imposed for interference by Chinese government officials.  The  role  of  the  Tibetan  administration  assumes  significance  against  the  backdrop  of  Chinese  aggression  at   the  Indian  boundaries  along   the  line  of  actual  control   and  its  decision  to  appoint  its  own  successor  to  the  Dalai  Lama.  Preparations  are  in  full  swing  for  the  elections  for  the  CTA  and  the  Tibetan  government-in-exile  will  elect  its  head.  Apart  from COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 also witnessed rising diplomatic tensions between the US and China. If any of the Chinese  officials  interferes  with  the  succession  of  the  Dalai  Lama,  the  act  will  cause  economic  and  visa  sanctions.  As  per  the  act,  China  will  have  to  allow  the  opening  of  a  US  consulate  in  Lhasa,  before  any  new  Chinese  consulate  can be  opened  in  the  US.  The    act  contains  special  provisions  for the  approval  of  high  amounts  of  money  for  the  welfare  of  Tibetans.  It  must  be  remembered  that  China’s  construction of  dams  across  the  Brahmaputra  in  the  Tibetan  region  will  have  an  impact  on  the  quantity  of  water  flowing  to  northeastern  India.  Given  that  India’s  stand  on  the  Tibet  issue  will  adversely affect  the  already  strained  relations  with  China,  It  cannot  act  freely   on  Tibet    or  make  an  alignment with the US. However, it must never refrain from raising the issue at international levels. 

VENU G S, KOLLAM

TN Is A Tough Test For BJP

BY tradition, the Dravadian parties have called the shots in Tamil Nadu. The Congress and the BJP have played second fiddle to the DMK and the AIADMK.  With the assembly elections closing in, the BJP wanted to make some strides in Tamil Nadu buoyed by the situational change in West Bengal. Onlookers are surprised, though not shocked, that the AIADMK chose to snub the powerful party in power at the Centre by asking it not to be too enthusiastic about power sharing. It cannot be that the AIADMK is afraid of the BJP bagging a lion’s share in seat distribution or that its chief minister’s post is threatened by the BJP. Nothing can be further from the truth. But the party does not intend to alienate its own support base. The common man of the state views a Dravadian party quite differently from the rest. The AIADMK and the DMK stand for specific principles and beliefs related exclusives to the state. The possibility of such parties being dictated by a party like the BJP may not be to the liking of a Tamil Nadu voter. Also, the DMK, notwithstanding its dismal show in the general elections, can upset the AIADMK’s applecart. Rajinikanth shying away from politics will benefit the AIADMK though V K Sasikala, who is set to return to the state after her release from the jail, may have an ace or two up her sleeve. The BJP is not known to keep friends through thick and thin. In other states, some allies have been used and thrown by the party. The AIADMK is a different kettle of fish. In a state like Tamil Nadu, the BJP needs to something to cling on to, and the AIADMK decided to align with the all powerful BJP not without reason.  Striking an attitude, after all, pays dividends in politics.

GANAPATHI BHAT, AKOLA