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Stem The Tide Of Outsiders

FOOTPATHS are built for people to walk and not for hawkers to do business.  Migrants selling their wares on footpaths and along roadsides inconvenience pedestrians and motorists. We can’t allow the migrants to turn Goa into anther Mumbai, where squatters sleep, cook and defecate on footpaths. It is pertinent to note here that villagers from Benaulim and Colva have taken up the cudgels against migrants coming from outside Goa and changing the demographics. Former chief minister Manohar Parrikar had expressed his concerns over the heavy influx of outsiders into the state, as he had apprehended that this influx of migrants would destroy Goan identity.  Parrikar had strongly called for a need to freeze the state population. I vividly recall that while addressing a gathering of people in Chinchinim at the function organised by the Chinchinim citizens committee on September 2, 2012, Parrikar had stated that migrants cannot be allowed at the cost of local populace. Parrikar had stressed on formulating policies to stem the tide of outsiders; otherwise there will be no Goenkarponn and no Goan identity. I urge the state government to strive to keep Goa and Goan identity for out posterity.


Adjudicating Religious Matters

MY personal view is that judges should not rush in where angels fear to tread. Why should a bench of three, five or seven judges adjudicate on a matter of religion when all it requires is only one judge: God. In our country religion is a matter of deep faith.  Nobody should interfere with the established and deeply entrenched faith, unless there is some manmade change of recent origin which is  perceived  to be  adversely affecting a section of a religious community.


Intractable Maharashtra Deadlock

THE Maharashtra deadlock has finally been broken, albeit in a different and unwanted way. Governor Bhagat Singh Koshyari has acted fast.  Though he could have given Shiv Sena more time to prove its majority, it goes to his credit that he tried to exhaust every option. Factoring in past incidents, the Governor may have thought the two parties will mend fences. The electorate of the state had expressed confidence in the BJP-Shiv Sena alliance.  Despite having a chequered history over the years, both the parties had managed to stitch an alliance to stay put.    Post-Bal Thackeray era saw the Sena vacillating in its outlook.  Aggression was tempered by caution. Internal conflict tore the Sena apart. Needless to say the BJP gained heavily from an inept Sena leadership. In the present scenario, even a soothsayer cannot predict who was lying and who not on the so-called 50:50 formula.  Was the formula restricted merely to the number of ministers to be shared and their portfolios?  Was the issue of rotational chief minister brought in later on by the Shiv Sena? Could the hidden ambition of Uddhav Thackeray have played a major role in leading to the present conundrum?  Either way, Uddhav Thackeray cannot say he was hell- bent on fulfilling the ambition of his father. Even the Shiv Sena founder would not have approved the latest moves of his son.  Betraying the mandate, to be snubbed by the Congress, and again trying to reach out to the Congress, Uddhav Thackeray has put his admirers and supporters in a spin. Since the coming together of the Congress and the NCP, with the outside support of Sena, looks highly unlikely, the Shiv Sena is making all the moves – right or wrong. Uddhav Thackeray, smarting from the earlier humiliation, looks confident now.  But the ball is in the Governor’s court. President’s rule is valid for six months unless revoked earlier. If the Governor is satisfied about the possibility of formation of a government then Uddhav Thackeray can still realise his ambition. He will have to submit the signed letter of legislators supporting Shiv Sena. Meanwhile, the BJP is reportedly keeping its options open in the nerve-wrecking game of power. That Koshyari is a BJP appointee should calm the party’s nerves.


No Final Word On Sabarimala Row

AFTER the Ayodhya verdict pronounced on last Saturday, which rationalists see as the victory of faith over facts, it was conjectured that the Sabarimala dispute would meet similar fate. At least we can heave a sigh of relief that contrary to the Ayodhya ruling which was unanimous, in the current case there was dissidence, for the five-judge bench led by the Chief Justice of India ruled through a 3-2 majority; it has been   opined that  instead of viewing Sabarimala issue  in isolation it would be appropriate to connect similar issues of faith and traditions attributable to other communities like Muslims and Parsis, and adjudicate the matter through a wider seven-judge bench. We would like to stress on the dissidence voiced by the two judges in the verdict emphasising that there was no need to confuse the Sabarimala issue with the other pending cases, since in September 2018 through a 4-1 majority the matter regarding the entry of women in the menstrual age group to enter the temple was upheld. Nonetheless the favourable point for the aspiring women is that as of now the previous apex court verdict permitting women of all age groups to enter the shrine remains valid.  When the fresh pilgrimage season starts on Sunday for two months, the LDF government in Kerala should ensure total safety of women interested to pay homage to the deity. Having said that, it is pertinent to note that in the other cases pertaining to some minority communities pending before the top court the issue is the same, namely gender discrimination. The Muslim women have been fighting for their right to equality to visit the mosques. The Parsi women are demanding their right to visit the fire temple, which has been hitherto denied to them. As far as the Dawoodi Bohra community is concerned, there has been wild repulsion even in social media against the abhorrent practice of genital mutilation enforced on young girls. All these are unacceptable traditions followed under the patriarchy to downgrade and humiliate women and are defended under the questionable faith. Our only concern is issues of faith, which are primarily enforced by mortal men and not supernaturally, should not supersede the right to gender equality and the right to live with dignity, which boils down to right to life itself.


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