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Perils Of Mobile Phones

As their most treasured personal asset, mobile phones have come to mean a lot to the present generation and any attempts to dissuade their constant use is met with stern opposition. As a permanent attachment toggled to the ears, the use of cell-phones at some of the most unexpected and the most unlikeliest of places defies logic. Imagine a ‘mourner’ at a funeral ceremony harping away on his phone unmindful of the solemness of the occasion! Hence the use of phones on roads does not come as a surprise! However, while traversing, it is not only the motorists who are distracted by their cell-phones and cause accidents. The pedestrians too are equally guilty of imperiling their lives and those around them due to the ‘addiction’ to mobiles. MRF, the largest manufacturers of tyres in India, has very obviously been ‘inspired’ by the cell-phone fad to have its latest advertisement reminding the public about the perils of talking on their phones while crossing the roads. The advertisement purported to show the effectiveness of the tyres the MRF makes, but in effect it should be seen as a warning to those ‘mobile-toting’ millions on the roads who not only endanger their lives but also put to risk the lives of many other commuters with this despicable habit of theirs. Glued to their devices, sights of pedestrians busy talking, texting, watching videos or playing games on their mobile sets will very soon become nightmares for motorists. Reversing my car from a parking lane in the city, I was distressed to note that a lady at the rear end quite unaware of my honking, and quite loud and insistent at that, was busy chatting away on her mobile. Finally when I pulled down my glasses to admonish her for her stupid habit and the danger she was posing for herself, she had the cheek to tell me that she knew I was reversing and I didn’t need to be so flustered about it. A matter of a craze over one’s life!



Classic Case Of Corruption

The digital fare meters and speed governors that are to be installed on Goa’s taxis are leading up to a classic case of corruption. The government has said that they will give 90% subsidy for installation of these equipment. At the same time, there was news sometime back that digital fare meters are available at Rs 3,000 in Belgaum while the cost for the same in Goa is Rs 9,000. Thus with the 90% subsidy the excess recovery by way of inflated prices is funneled to the supplier of the taxi fare meters, so that a large part of the money can come back to the politicians and/or government officials. Precisely the same thing was done some time back in the case of the secure number plates that were to be installed on cars where Goans had to pay around Rs 3,500 when the same plates around the country were being fitted at Rs. 1,000. Large subsidies in excess of 20-30% on anything attract the suspicion of corruption and naturally so at 90% being proposed for the digital fare meters and speed governors.

S Kamat, Alto-St Cruz


Terrorism Has No Religion

Generally, millions of Egyptians practice Sufi rituals such as reciting poetry, dancing and singing as means to be closer to God. But the way an attack at a Sufi mosque at the Rawda in the small town of Bir al-Abd mosque in the northern Sinai peninsula in Egypt killed at least 305 people including 29 women, made the world voiceless. As per media, it was the first time that Islamist militants who have gone after Muslim worshipers. The carnage and audacity were horrific, when dozens of gunmen in off-road vehicles bombed the mosque, which was packed with worshipers at Friday prayers. The assailants then opened fire as people tried to flee, and set fire to parked vehicles to block off access to the mosque in what is being termed as Egypt’s deadliest attack in its modern history. But it is also a bloody reminder of the tragic failure of successive governments (most recent predecessors Mohamed Morsi and Hosni Mubarak), to quell a tenacious insurgency — despite brutal, oppressive attempts to do so. There was no claim of responsibility for the attack. The death of worshippers, shows terrorism has no religion and the bullets fired from a terrorist’s weapon does not differentiate a person from another either.  According to the research wing of the American Department of Anti-Terrorism, 98% of terror attacks effect Muslims. Though in Islam, murdering a single person has been equated to killing the whole of mankind. Egypt has declared three days of mourning after the attack, state television has said. The Security Council has rightly warned that any acts of terrorism are criminal and unjustifiable, regardless of their motivation, wherever, whenever and by whosoever committed. It’s the right time that the international community cannot tolerate barbaric terrorist groups and resolutely supports the fight against all forms of terrorism and stands with the people as well as Government of Egypt and all other relevant authorities in this regard.


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