LETTER TO EDITOR FOR THE ISSUE DATED 09TH JUNE 2018

Mermaid Himani Chaudhuri of Goa here is posing on a hot noonday sun down Campal Promenade, a day ahead of World Ocean Day on June 8! All for the cause of promoting veganism for the People for Ethical Treatment of Animals (PETA) folk, who would like Goans to eat more veggies, no nustem (fish/seafood), please! According to PETA India “animals are not ours to eat…500 research papers on fish intelligence prove that fish have impressive long-term memories and sophisticated social structures…” Are we a killer civilization?

GOA, MY GOA!

I LIVE in Goa where the rest of India always felt that we were on a 365-day holiday. I live in a Goa which was earlier sussegad but is now the prostitution, gambling and crime capital of our nation. I live in Goa where fish curry, rice and sleep used to be a priority. I live in a Goa where the soul used to find tranquillity. I live in a Goa where the only religion earlier was being a Goan. I live in a Goa where it was earlier as good as heaven, the paradise of the east. But this year around it was a very unhappy Goa Statehood Day for our state which is in a total state of collapse now with an ailing Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar running Goa from a New York hospital indefinitely…a hundred days are over, my dear Goenkars, it’s high time we chalked out a way forward or bure din will turn into more bure din with more power outages and water shortages and our ministers running away to hospitals out of Goa or India to treat themselves for diabetes, strokes, heart attacks and all the illnesses they have brought upon themselves courtesy their cut-throat greed and lack of concern for aam aadmi!
— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

RELIEF FOR BPL
THE government should provide interim relief to the unemployed and retrenched employees of mining companies to alleviate their hardships. The MLAs of mining affected constituencies should arrange a rapid road map to provide free rations for BPL ration cardholders so that rations like rice, wheat, sugar, palmolein, etc, is supplied to them free. Their power and water bills should be waived. Daily pao should be made available to them at a token `1 and vegetables provided at extra subsidized rates at government outlets. Ration shops, Goa Horticultural and PWD departments may be compensated from the government’s Permanent Fund which has remained unutilised for such a long time. All these relief measures become more urgent given the onset of the monsoon season. All with BPL ration cards should be assisted.
— Elvidio Miranda, Goa

BEWARE NIPAH!
NIPAH virus (NIV) infection has started at Calicut in Kerala and has claimed nine lives in two days! This disease is spreading fast to neighbouring Mallappuram and Waynad. Please avoid eating fresh fruit, juice and other fruit products for some time, for the infection has 80% mortality once you get infected.
— Vijay Talgaonkar, Panaji

SICK GOVERNMENT
AAP wants the governor to grant sick leave to the government. Recently, while speaking to media people AAP convenor Elvis Gomes said that like any government servant “sevaks” must take rest by either handing charge to others or the whole government itself must be given rest by the governor of Goa.
He was talking about the termination of contracts of LDCs and DEOs and raised concerns about youngsters being forced to quit while grandpas and grandmas are considered “essential commodities” and given service extensions. Citing a specific instance of the Electricity Department, which is in the news currently for shutting down power supply for 22 hours to help an outsider builder, Gomes said there were reports of a further extension to Chief Electricity Engineer N N Reddy to deliberately deny promotion to a local lady officer, who the government feared would with her tough approach cut everyone’s unauthorised power.
The Goa Government Employees Association has reported tampering with the service rules of LDCs in some departments to give double promotions to relatives of ministers and officials. In Goa anything is possible when it comes to helping near and dear ones of ministers.
In this respect Elvis Gomes wanted to know why local interest is sacrificed to suit crony capitalists and big business lobbies of outsiders? Interestingly, why are Opposition MLAs silent on all such issues?
— Shodeep, Panaji

FROG RESCUE!
WE will soon be receiving the south west monsoon rains in all their glory. The first few showers activate the frogs and toads population as they rise from dormancy to spread across fields, ponds, countryside fields to breed and lay eggs. Bullfrogs are considered a flagship species amongst Indian amphibians globally and an important link in any pond, river, field or grassland ecosystem. Being the largest of its family this species is distinguished by its large size and tiger-striped pattern on body and limbs.
Unfortunately, in Goa in the last decade or so, a community of frog hunters with gumboots on and torches in hand hunt down bullfrogs systematically to massacre and consume them as “jumping chicken.” Bullfrogs are on the verge of extinction and it is illegal to hunt or consume them either at home, eateries or restaurants.
The survival of bullfrogs is essential as this species plays the role of a pest and insect controller due to its feeding habits. It is largely responsible for curbing mosquitoes and their larvae. The Indian bullfrog is a protected species under the Wildlife Protection Act and anyone hunting them is liable to be fined `25,000 or imprisoned up to three years.
This monsoon on behalf of wildlife conservators and researchers, I appeal to all nature lovers and sensible Goans to be vigilant in reporting instances of frog poaching or frog meat consumption to the nearest Forest Office or Police Station for action to be taken.
— Nirmal U Kulkarni, director, Mhadei Research Center, Goa

ACTIVATE FIREWALLS
COMPUTER networks use firewalls to screen internet traffic for malicious software. Firewalls stop Trojans, worms, viruses etc. The most successful ones are those that immediately act — no deliberation or second thoughts — just delete, quarantine, block!
What about your own hardware (heart, brain etc.) and software (peace of mind, human rights, health, safety and environment)? You need to put in a firewall for these too.
The names ‘Trojan’, ‘worm’, ‘virus’ are all taken from real life attacks on humans. Recall the ignominious Trojan horse subterfuge and relate it to your present-day life. Zero corruption, jobs, development: this is projected as your trophy. Who gains from all this? What did you get? Oh yes, you got a lot: gave up beef, feared for your life on false beef handling, gagged media, no jobs, fake encounters.
Yes, a week back the Supreme Court questioned the Defence Ministry on their silence on the CBI claim of killings by the Army and Police in fake encounters in Manipur. Till today I have not heard the answer to the Supreme Court’s question!
When the BJP came to power they told us what we must and must not eat. Beef was banned and millions of worms justified the same. Murders took place in the name of beef ban. They then told us what we should be: a Hindu Rashtra and again the worms urged minorities to pack off to Pakistan and Rome. Today, they tell us what we should speak/not speak. You cannot access the Modis and Shahs or their kar sevaks to question, can you? Yet you can stop the worms who boldly claim in our dailies that religious leaders — not Yogis — must learn to speak with care!!
Facebook, Twitter, Instagram are rife with mostly Trojans and worms — by virtue of sheer volumes — targeting your peace of mind and all your rights. When you are troubled by stalkers, ad calls etc on your phone you immediately block them. When you see people telling you what you should speak etc, do the same — don’t wait. Act like a firewall and immediately delete, quarantine, block them. You are never going to get anything worthwhile from them. Don’t deliberate ‘Oh, it is the fringe elements, not BJP’ — no such firewall would ever make it in the corporate world. And never ever forward such content: even the apparently humorous ones.
Activate your Grade A Firewall today!
— R Fernandes, Margao

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