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At The Mercy Of Rains

RAINS continue battering Goa inundating large areas and inconveniencing road users. Falling trees and threat of landslides due to incessant rains are posing a threat to life and property. People are seen wading in knee-deep water; the rainwater has entered several homes. The stagnating water at several places could lead to spread of water-borne and vector-borne diseases.  People, especially, children could be falling sick. After the rains subside the government will have to immediately focus its attention on public health. It is understood that the Margao-based Hospicio Hospital is bursting at the seams: patents are either put on mattresses on the floor or given the option of going to the Goa Medical College Hospital at Bambolim. It is obvious that in the coming days the number of patients visiting the GMC will  increase. Necessary arrangements must be put in place to deal with the increase in the number of patients visiting the government hospitals in the coming days.


Relief From Power Tariffs

KUDOS to Delhi Chief Minister  Arvind Kejriwal for giving free electricity to low-tariff consumers and subsidised rates for consumption of higher units. This is a first of its kind initiative to counter the freebies enjoyed by parliamentarians, including housing, telephone, mobile phone facilities, security, high-end cars etc, to name a few. As soon as the BJP came to power at the Centre in 2014, it had tried to show off by trimming off the benefits of senior leaders in a phased manner, and the only change visible then was the removal of red beacons. I hope that other states would emulate the AAP model for relieving the common man of the burden of spiraling prices. Back home, the Goa government  should take a leaf out of the Kejriwal government and extend benefits to the people harrowed  by rising prices.


In Praise Of Zomato CEO

ON being demanded that the delivery man  be changed because he is a ‘Muslim fellow’, the food delivery and restaurant discovery platform Zomato did  not hesitate to cancel the order of the communal-minded customer. What a tight slap not only on the face of the customer, but also on the face of the society which shamelessly champions the ideology wreaking havoc in the name of religion. No kudos will be enough for Zomato CEO Deepinder Goyal for taking such a principled stand at the expense of his business. “Not sorry to lose any business that comes in the way of our values,” Goyal said. He is a true Indian and true human being who has taught a lesson to us for transcending  the barbaric boundaries of religion. Goyal represents the idea of India.


Swaraj Ruled Over People’s Hearts

Cherubic, smiling and motherly – many people, ordinary or important, would fit to this description.  But if the name is Sushma Swaraj head would bow in reverence and affection. She was a politician par excellence, outstanding parliamentarian, great humanist and global diplomat. There would be a unanimous concurrence of opinion on the above qualities of one of India’s amazing politicians.  To be a minister at the age of 25 is not a  joke; but Swaraj became one at the age of 25.   Everyone knows she was a ‘people’s minister’.  As the external affairs minister in the first Modi dispensation,  her Twitter handle became so popular that millions of her followers were all praises for the soft-hearted minister. Her out-of-the-way outreach to Indian diaspora was revolutionary. It was as if sympathy and empathy were embedded in her heart. Swaraj stood straight; there was no bend in her demeanour. An eloquent and persuasive orator, Swaraj spoke to the point without any kind of histrionics. But for her deteriorating health she could have had many more superlative years as parliamentarian and minister. But she was a fighter; her contest against Congress’ Sonia Gandhi in Ballary in 1999 was testimony to the fact that Swaraj loved challenges. She lost by a small margin, by Lok Sabha election standards,  but made a lot of admirers and friends in that part of Karnataka. At the swearing-in ceremony of  Modi Sarkar 2.0, Swaraj’s appearance at the venue sparked an eclectic energy among the audience. The noble leader was respected across party lines.  On her last day, too,  Swaraj breathed politics as she complimented the Prime Minister saying she had been  waiting for the revocation of Article 370 and Article    35A that had given  special status to Jammu and Kashmir. The respect and love the humanist, accessible and amiable politician commanded among the older and younger breed of politicians were unique and unmatchable.  Sushma Swaraj is a memory now.


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