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Loss Of A Fashion Giant

In the untimely passing away of Wendell Rodricks, India has lost one of its foremost fashion designers. A Padma Shri awardee, Wendell designed clothes for myriad number of personalities from the Bollywood world. He also was keenly interested in the revival of old Goan clothing, the Kunbi saree being a famous example. He also had a keen interest in food. It is a pity that he will not see his dream project – The Moda Goa Museum, being accomplished. Perhaps, it may take a long time for someone like Wendell to emerge on the fashion scene again.


Victory Of Good Governance

The massive mandate to Aam Aadmi Party (AAP) in Delhi was surely a victory of good governance. AAP demonstrated, as perhaps never before, that honest, sincere, people-friendly and public-oriented   governance eventually pays. To the people of the country and of Goa, it may appear near impossible to have public servants and representatives work without bribes and to have an incorruptible government. Surely, after having seen how corrupt past and present governments have been, almost everywhere in the country, despite all commitments and assertions to the contrary, it would be certainly unbelievable that governance sans corruption could ever be possible. To the credit of AAP is that there have not been major known accusations of corruption in their Delhi government, if at all there have been any. The central government, through its submissive and servile governors, tried its level best, in the past, to bring hurdles in AAP governance in Delhi. It failed miserably. Thereafter, it gave up the stunts but just before the elections, BJP panicked and sensing defeat, the party leaders, including ministers like Prakash Jawadekar stooped to the lowest by even calling Kejriwal a terrorist. Delhi eventually elected the “terrorist” as their Chief Minister. There could not have been a greater humiliation than this to the central leadership, particularly Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Home Minister Amit Shah and Jawadekar. Kejriwal proved to be too smart for them. By putting committed, intelligent and qualified people in charge of important portfolios, he showed how ‘minimum government and maximum governance’ – a principle enunciated by the Prime Minister, but conveniently ignored by him as many others like the special status for Goa – is possible, appreciated and supported by the people. It is to be hoped that this great victory far from going to Kejriwal’s head, will help him to accept this renewed mandate with greater humility to set an example for the country to follow.   


Welcoming Cheetah

The Supreme Court order to allow translocation of the ‘greyhound’ from South Africa has sent wildlife activists into a tizzy. Cheetah became extinct in India somewhere around 1952. It is also not in abundance elsewhere. The world has some thousands of the endangered species. Low genetic variability and prolonged inbreeding were once cited as reasons for the decline of cheetahs in India though many wildlife experts claim that the genetic variability was lost ten thousand years ago. The only plausible explanation was maharajas poached and hunted cheetahs apart from the killing of cheetahs by farmers fearing damage to their livestock and farm. The apex court order should come as a shot in the arm for all those involved in cheetah reintroduction. It cannot be said India made no serious attempts at cheetah reintroduction. Efforts to clone cheetahs by procuring a pair from Iran came a cropper when there were concerted efforts to do so. Molecular attempts, too, failed because Iran would have none of it. Iran wanted an exchange of Asiatic lions; India was loath to do so. The apex court, seven years ago, stayed the ‘Cheetah conservation plan’ by upholding the plea of conservationists quoting the National Board for Wildlife’s policies. Now, it seems all is well that ends well. But not all are ‘happy’ with the court order. Their grumble is the ‘cost’ required for cheetah translocation. What about many endangered species like the Asiatic lion, red panda and the snow leopard? Will their protection plans be hit by the grand project of preservation of ‘cat with a dog’s head’ due to financial and logistical constraints are some understandable queries. It is true that the cheetahs need a vast forest area. They are sensitive and fragile. The man-animal conflict and territorial fights with stronger animals like tiger and lion may put their lives in jeopardy. Implementation of the apex court order will take time. There is no need to rush; an elaborate and painstaking planning should go into the translocation of the beautiful cats. Only then can we welcome the comeback animal.


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