Your Letters – Nov 26 2016

JUSTICE FOR KILLING DABHOLKAR, PANSARE AND KALBURGI! It was a silent march by participants at the Abhivyakti Dakshinayan Rashtriya Parishad’s ‘Sankalp Yatra’ from Ravindra Bhavan to Lohia Maidan in Margao on November 18, 2016. The march was part of a three-day meet of discussions, talks, cultural programmes attended by over 900 delegates committed to defending freedom of speech. (Pic by Tara Narayan)

JUSTICE FOR KILLING DABHOLKAR, PANSARE AND KALBURGI! It was a silent march by participants at the Abhivyakti Dakshinayan Rashtriya Parishad’s ‘Sankalp Yatra’ from Ravindra Bhavan to Lohia Maidan in Margao on November 18, 2016. The march was part of a three-day meet of discussions, talks, cultural programmes attended by over 900 delegates committed to defending freedom of speech. (Pic by Tara Narayan)   

ACCHE DIN FOR WHOM?

I STRONGLY believe that prime minister Narendra Modi made his recent “historic” announcement of demonetisation so much to fight a war against black money/corruption but only to score a few political points, and distract the people from all his government’s failures.

The end result of this demonetisation will be absolutely zero because people in India are deeply rooted in corruption due to a variety of factors. Corruption runs in the genes of all Indians. Most just don’t get tired running after money as they are forever hungry for more!   

The main reason why most Indians are historically forced into corruption is because they have to fulfil demands and personal needs of their families to impress society. For example, every family celebrates numerous festivals with a big bang, compulsorily buying expensive things to show off status and wealth – the best and most expensive homes, jewellery, attire, cars, mobiles, etc. To indulge in all this, from where will poor people bring money and why will they ever say no to corruption, when they are forced to struggle to make ends meet by all governments through harsh taxes?

It is because of the lavish lifestyles we seek that we have become used to demanding bribes and forever seeking to make extra money through whatever corrupt means we can – not just in government offices but from top to bottom in our society and across the country.

Secondly, if Indians are seen hiding their money and refusing to part with half by way of taxes, it’s because they have always seen elected leaders looting this country systematically, pocketing and wasting public funds for years on end right. Who trusts elected Indian leaders and politicians today?

Our so-called leaders should first improve the conditions of the poor, eradicate hunger completely – and then alone dream of winning a war against black money and corruption. An exercise like demonetisation is not going to change the morals of our people! But corruption will cease automatically the day our poor start enjoying their acche din along with the richer classes and our so-called government servants (who are almost royalty now courtesy the acche din they enjoy by exploiting the poor). So much for Jai Hind!

– Jerry Fernandes, Saligao

GOENCHI MATI!

IF you are growing anxious with the currently unfolding state of Goa and our country, you may want to align yourself with the Goenchi Mati movement detailed by the Goa Foundation. Help contribute by constructive participation and a sustainable future in Goa worth fighting for. Innovation and courage can take us and our children to a better, safer, greener Goa!

What are the inheritance rights of our children in Goa? The Goenchi Mati movements details this in its manifesto for the upcoming Assembly elections. I suggest all political parties who truly love Goa, and in the larger interests of protecting and conserving Goa for a future generation, subscribe to some simple Constitutional principles in the management of our natural resources, especially mineral wealth.

The Goenchi Mati movement urges all political parties to include these points in their manifesto:

  1. We, the people of Goa, own the mineral wealth of Goa as common wealth. The state is merely a trustee for the good of future generations.
  2. As we have inherited the minerals, we are simply custodians (not exploiters).
  3. If we mine and sell mineral resources we must ensure zero loss, that is capture of the full economic rent (sale price minus cost of extraction, cost including reasonable profit for miner). Any loss is a loss for all of us and future generations.
  4. All receipts must be saved in a Geonchi Mati Permanent Fund as implemented the world over. Like the minerals, the Permanent Fund will also be part of the commons. The Supreme Court has ordered the creation of a Permanent Fund for Goan iron ore and already `94 crore has been deposited.
  5. Any real income (after inflation) from the Goenchi Mati Permanent Fund must only be distributed to all as a right of ownership, a citizen’s dividend. This is like the comunidade zonn, but paid to everyone.
  6. The implementation of these principles will be done in a transparent participator process with the people of Goa.

If all this can be done in the larger interests of the people of Goa, the mining dependent will benefit, mining affected will benefit, government of Goa will benefit, people of Goa will benefit, future citizens of Goa will benefit, and miners can get up to 20 per cent returns but no longer loot the state.

– Dr Sharmila Rao, Goa

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