LETTERS TO THE EDITOR (13/02/2021)

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Goa Needs Bullfight Sentinels

It is common knowledge that illegal bullfights are taking place in the state at a disturbing frequency. Many a time, the bulls get inflicted with serious injuries that can prove fatal and a lot of money also changes hands at these fights. Hence the bullfights also involve gambling. This cruelty to animals needs to be stopped. It is understood that animal lovers have lost faith in the police force taking necessary action to stop these bullfights, which take place in villages along the coastal belt and draw large crowds. It is observed that police arrive at the site where the bullfight is conducted after the fight is over. Be that as it may, it must be said that the police may not be aware of the schedule of the bullfights. Hence, the best way to tackle this issue is for the police to have a sentinel among the villagers who could inform the police over the phone if any bullfight is scheduled in the village. The police can swoop in and prevent the fight from taking place. Each village needs to have a ‘bullfight sentinel’. The identity of the sentinel should not be made known to the villagers, who may retaliate and the life of the informer could be in danger. The sentinel could be rewarded by the police clandestinely at the police station on a later date for the information leading to the stoppage of a bullfight.

ADELMO FERNANDES, VASCO

India Stands To Gain From Vaccine Diplomacy

While other countries are in the race to bring out a vaccine against COVID-19, India is at the forefront in this exercise to provide vaccine aid through the ‘Vaccine Maitri’ operation. India now has sent its shipments to countries such as Saudi Arabia, Bangladesh, Nepal, Myanmar, Seychelles, Kuwait, Brazil, Dominican Republic, Morocco to name a few. Canada has also recently expressed its willingness to receive aid under this scheme. India has thus earned the tag as the ‘Pharmacy of the World’ for its ability and willingness to lend an ear to other countries by supplying COVID-19 vaccines. Also, more countries are either in the pipeline or willing to seek the support of the Indian government to procure COVID-19 vaccines for the immunisation of their fellow citizens. The United Nations – the global agency for peacekeeping – should take steps to appreciate India’s efforts through this ‘Vaccine Maitri’ operation. The gesture will enable India to stand tall with respect to the geopolitical relationship and may help to foster deep diplomatic relationships with the respective countries.

VARUN DAMBAL, BENGALURU

What Biden Means For India

In the first telephonic conversation between US President Joe Biden and Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the former assumed office, both of them reiterated their commitment to a strong India-US relationship. Notwithstanding the apprehensions of New Delhi about the new US government’s approach to China, the statements made by both, the US and India about the conversation indicate that both countries have acknowledged the need for reinforcing the Indo-Pacific strategy. An alliance between the two countries to counter China has cemented deeper security, intelligence and defence ties between the two nations. In the US statement, Biden underscored his desire to defend democratic institutions and norms around the world. This is also good news for India for democracies must always be at the forefront of countering the authoritarian ways of China. It must be remembered at this juncture that with regard to the farm protests in India, the US State Department had stated that peaceful protests were a hallmark of any thriving democracy. This shows that India will have to prove its democratic credentials. Modi government’s arrogant and indifferent stand on farm protests has caused apprehensions among those who have strong faith in democratic values. The two countries have agreed to collaborate deeply on climate as well. Countering terrorism is also on the list of priorities. The US needs to recognise that the joint fight against terrorism will be incomplete unless and until it adopts a strict attitude towards Pakistan and holds it accountable.

VENU G S, KOLLAM