First-Time Voters’ Voices And Choices
The first-time voters are being urged by Narendra Modi to vote for “air strikes”! So vote for air strikes only! Why not vote against the failure to prevent Pulwama or Uri or Pathankot! Why not vote against killing Mohammad Akhlaque on the accusation of “possessing beef”, Unsaid on the accusation of “carrying beef”, Pehlu Khan for “smuggling cattle” or assaulting Shaukat Ali for “selling beef”! As if beating Ali for an alleged act, which is not illegal on Assam at all, is not enough; the vulnerable man was forced to eat a piece of pork also! With each passing day the terror by the cow vigilantes are increasing in deadly proportion specially in BJP- administered states! Moreover why not vote against killing of secular rationalists, beating up “anti-nationals” like Kanhaiyas in Universities, throttling the voices which desire to swim opposite the “saffron mainstream”! Why not vote against saffronisation of education! Why not vote against rampant communal propaganda dividing the citizens or “throwing all and sundry to Pakistan”! Or why not vote against rampant price rise, inflation, reduction of bank interest, farmer suicides, scandalous failure of demonetisation killing hundreds and robbing jobs of millions! Why not vote against record unemployment and escape of the looters like Mallya or Nirav! Lastly why not vote against squandering of Himalayan amount of money on sky-kissing statues and flags; bullet trains; Ramayana museum or Mass Yoga on streets when billions of poor are languishing without food, attire, shelter, education, livelihood, medicine, justice and other basic necessities of life! Let the first-time voters exercise their own God-awarded intellect before pressing the EVM button instead of letting it to be brainwashed by bankrupt rhetoric.
KAJAL CHATTERJEE, KOLKATA
Green Stations Of Railways Should Be Started
Dirt and waste on the platforms almost always welcome passengers as they make their way into the portals of India’s Railway Stations. The “scene” on the railway tracks is better left unsaid. Solid waste, plastic and what not, litter all around. True, as you sow, so shall you reap. But, the mindless acts of a few cannot heap misery on the rest. There have been many smart initiatives, on the part of the Railways, for some time to change the picture on the railway stations. Many schemes have come a cropper, some have clicked. Smart stations and eco friendly stations are on the anvil in India. Thirty seven echo-smart stations have been identified in the first phase to keep the platforms spick and span. More will be added. and strict environmental standards have to be adhered to while waiting for the ISO-14001 certificate. Stations’ cleanliness, with frequent watering and sweeping, is a crucial parameter. Garbage consisting of food waste, combustible and non-combustible rubbish, and litters like papers and plastic bottles are seen all around the platform. Water management on platforms should be immaculate for helping out passengers. How much so ever the Railways try to create awareness about not using the toilets when the trains are stationary, passengers care two hoots and flout all regulations. Many a time, it is the intruders who use the toilet.
Ganapathi Bhat, Akola