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‘Achche Din’ Under Modi Government
“Hundred days from now, there is going to be a change in government at the centre and I assure you that all your aspirations will come true,” so spoke Narendra Modi during his whirlwind tour of the country as the BJP’s PM-designate. Now with Modi firmly in the saddle as the PM of the nation after that stupendous electoral success that catapulted BJP to power at the centre; and well after having crossed that ‘magic mark’ of hundred days, the promises of ‘achche din’ pledged to the people of India remain as elusive as ever. For the common man who has learnt to equate ‘good times’ with a sufficiently manageable cost of living, the escalating prices of essential commodities must be giving him sleepless nights. The scams and cases of graft do not bother the common man as much as the ‘attempts’ of the government to ‘disturb’ his set pattern of life. Hence, though the Modi-government is being applauded by economists for having shown the political will to hike rail fares with a view to tide off the shortcomings of the Indian railways that has amassed huge losses due to faulty fiscal planning all these years, the common man makes no bones of the fact that he has been cheated by the ‘Modi Sarkar’ over its insensitiveness in taxing the most affordable mode of transport for him and his ilk. Where there used to be demands for immediate roll back when any increase in prices of petroleum products were announced when the NDA constituents occupied opposition benches, the alternating hikes in petrol and diesel prices the past few months has somehow become a regular feature of the BJP government. Economic reforms ushered in by the UPA government which was met with stern opposition by the NDA now comes in for serious consideration in the Modi-raj! Makes one wonder how this ruling dispensation is any different from the last regime of the Congress that apparently had the audacity to push the country onto the brinks of an economic crisis! Is not the BJP simply carrying the ‘legacy’ forward and arguing that adopting strict pecuniary impositions is the only way for the nation to come out of the abysmal depths of the financial disaster that it finds itself in today? Are we then to summarize that immaterial of which dispensation comes to power at the centre, the promises of a change for the better have no relevance in their scheme of things?

Identifying Door Garbage Collectors
The Margão Municipality has a couple of days back started the door to door garbage collection. Two municipal migrant workers go to houses and flats in the city to collect the garbage. They enter buildings in the city and have a free right to access by the blessings of the Municipality. They have no uniforms that they can be identified, and knock residential doors in the mornings. This exercise is an intrusion into the privacy of the residents and also a compromise into their safety. In time, these migrants will know the movements of residents of each and every flat and house. Besides, residents go for work, children to school, and mostly some maid or elderly members of family are at home during working hours, and opening doors during these hours is a risk to life and property. Any criminal too can take advantage of the situation and claim to be collecting garbage. And it is also to be noted that most of these migrant Municipal workers are paan or tobacco chewing individuals and spit anywhere along staircase walls, defacing private property. I request the Municipality to stop this door to door stupid and birdbrained idea as they are not only trespassing into private area, but also compromising the safety of the residents. And that is illegal!

Constitutional Deadlock
After the Centre’s snubbing of the demand for special status for Goa we have had the privilege of reading the comments offered by a number of legal experts and politicians including some former ministers at the Centre, some passionately holding to their view that it is the right of the state to get the benefit of special status and others claiming that granting such a honour is a difficult proposition and would entail the amendment of the Constitution, an extremely unviable alternative. What was ridiculing against this backdrop was the statement made by the Fatorda independent MLA that all the 40 MLAs should resign en masse in protest against the Centre’s decision, creating a constitutional deadlock. What is the specialty of this statement? If all the elected representatives resign, the option with the Governor would be to dissolve the House and seek President’s rule for the state, may be for six months or more, depending on when our political class reverts back to its good senses. In other words from a democratically elected governance we would downgrade to the bureaucratic rule. It is important that our leaders refrain from making such reckless statements and lose people’s faith reposed in them. It is apparent that the House is collectively making another comprehensive effort to put a rejuvenated proposal before the Centre with another passionate plea to award the special status to the state. While there is nothing wrong in making renewed efforts, it is felt whether each of the 40 MLAs can take upon himself/herself as a special task, to convince the masses under their care, to desist from selling their precious land to outsiders. Can that be a feasible solution? Lastly it is worth noting that even if the special status is granted after a lot of deliberation, who will be the sufferers in the end? The land is with the Goans! Prohibiting sale of land to outsiders or restricting the sale only to the Goans, will put the locals to a lot of restrictions. A prospective seller would like to sell the land to the highest bidder, irrespective of whether he is an outsider or an insider. So even if the limitation is imposed on sale of land the affected lot will be the Goans and not the others, who have a lot of alternatives elsewhere to buy a land and build a villa to enjoy the holidays.

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