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VIP Culture Is A Drag

THERE can be no room for any VIP culture in our country, which is the world’s biggest democracy. With those red beacons now long gone, it is high time the government stopped wasting crores of rupees on providing police security to ministers, politicians besides their kin.  Politicians are supposed to serve the people. Those who really do yeoman service need no protection. Only scoundrels may. Even our soldiers and paramilitary troopers work without any special protection, putting their lives at risk. The politicians apprehensive about their personal safety should either hire their own commandos or quit the public life. In a very cash-strapped state like our Goa, such blatant criminal waste of public funds on security for political VIPs cannot be allowed. Our very scarce police personnel ought to be deployed for street policing and not to hover around the politicians. This unnecessary over deployment of police at official functions attended by VIPs must also stop. The police force is meant to investigate criminal cases, maintain law and order while also regulating traffic. The life of a VIP cannot be any more sacred than that of a common man. And may be our Chief Minister Pramod Sawant should lead by example in surrendering all those police escort vehicles. Let every Goan move around as an aam aadmi.


Make CHOGM Road Motorable

IT is not known why the PWD is still waiting to start the hot-mixing of CHOGM Road, starting from the O’Coqueiro end onwards, despite the earlier assurances by  the PWD Minster that hot-mixing of all roads would be completed by November-end. Only a few potholes  have been filled up in a haphazard and arbitrary manner: the road needs to be properly levelled and graded to prevent flooding and waterlogging. Driving along these stretches is  also proving to be dangerous, especially for two-wheeler riders. Even the filled up potholes are new slowly wearing off. Hence  it is high time the work of filling up, leveling and grading was taken up seriously  before the start of hot-mixing. It is a pity that we have not learnt from the past mistakes of poor planning, workmanship and  supervision.


The Virtue Of Mercy

SENIOR advocate Indira Jaising has urged Nirbhaya’s mother Asha Devi  to forgive the four rapists who are to hang on  February 1 for the horrific rape and murder of her daughter. The noted lawyer cited the example of Sonia Gandhi who forgave the  killers of her husband Rajiv Gandhi. The qualities of mercy have been extolled from time immemorial. It blesses the giver and the receiver. But would  Jaising make the same plea if the hanging was to be carried out in  2012 itself?  Justice delayed is justice denied and diluted.


China Virus Scare For Goa

GOA had hoped to reverse the downfall in tourism by attracting travellers from China who are considered as high spenders. However, a mysterious deadly virus originating from that country could play spoilsport. China reported four new cases of pneumonia caused by the new virus strain called the Wuhan virus which has killed six persons. Experts have reportedly warned that the outbreak is much larger and the World Health Organisation has warned that a wider outbreak is possible. Wuhan a place in China happens to be the primary source of the virus which shows symptoms like the Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome (SARS) which killed 800 people globally during a 2002-03 outbreak and also started in China. It is understood that the US and many Asian countries have tightened their screening process to detect travellers with symptoms of the new virus. The big worry is that over 1.4 billion Chinese people will travel abroad during the Lunar New Year holidays that commence next week. South Korea, Thailand and Japan have confirmed new cases of the virus. The state government needs to tread cautiously as far as attracting Chinese tourists is concerned for the time being.


Of Netas And Juggernaut Regime

THE overwhelming impact of the saffron rule has left quite a few members of the Opposition in the lurch. Acknowledging the fact that the earlier governments that helmed the nation, as also the states, consisted of ministers who were indicted in some scam or the other during their long tenures, the BJP think-tank has adapted strategies from the pages of ancient history to suit its immediate needs. The unyielding among the Opposition who pine for freedom from ‘persecution’ by the BJP have been left with very few choices. It is either an outright nod for embracing the saffron party, or the discomforts of having government investigations into matters from their buried past, and an assured term behind the bars. With many of the ‘apprehensive’ MPs and MLAs going with the former option, the ‘hotchpotch’ that has come to characterise various state governments where the BJP made a backdoor entry to install its dispensation at the helm speaks for the rot that has come in to our political system. Reports every other day about Opposition leaders switching sides for a ‘consideration’ have been aplenty. It is difficult to understand how leaders, who were hitherto subscribing to political ideologies that were entirely different from the party they are coerced into joining, can so easily adopt its ideas! It however comes as a great letdown that an assortment of leaders who were once the staunchest critics of the BJP is today wholeheartedly aiding in the saffronisation of the entire nation. While the BJP evidently believes in ‘quantity’ to assert its dominance in Indian politics, it is the ‘quality’ of governance that has been sacrificed at the altar of false pretenses. As it is the BJP, under the stewardship of Modi & Co, has moved over from being one that has cadre-based policies at its core to a ‘party of drifters’ where the ‘migratory factor’ will very soon disintegrate its core values.


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