Your Letters & Comments – Dec 10 2016

7th LITFEST OPENS: At the inaugural ceremony at Maquinez Palace in Panjim on Dec 11 there were several highlights including the unveiling of a special GALF-16 painting by Padma Shri-award winning Goan artist Laxman Pai. With him are keynote speakers P Sivakami (feminist Dalit writer from Tamilnadu) and Jorge Barreto Xavier (former secretary of State for Culture, Portugal), curator Damodar Mauzo and Yatin Kakodkar (president, ICG).


I appreciate auxiliary Bishop of Ranchi Theodore Mascarenhas for his courageous speech to the Catholic community at St Francis Xavier’s feast high mass in Old Goa. This was before a large congregation including the Chief Minister of Goa and other politicians. In his powerful message he said living a Catholci life is not easy in our country. Catholics are peace loving and patriotic, involved in nation building, but they fervently ask the government not to interfere in our affairs and educational institutions, to give us freedom to live and practice our faith as per the country’s Constitution.

It was a landmark speech. Bishop Mascarenhas rightly pointed out to all the bad experiences which happened to the Catholic community in the near past. It may be recalled that in 2014 we had witnessed throughout the country vandalism and burning of churches, missionaries, desecration of crosses and attacks on nuns, places of worship, even the crosses in cemeteries were not spared. Does not all this sound like a communal threat to prevent citizens from living in peace? The time has come for the Catholic community, including its politicians and church parish priests and missionaries, to take stock of Bishop Theodore’s speech and distance themselves from the heat of communalism.

-Babluis Pereira,Pomburpa


I’M happy to hear that the Swachh Bharat Mission in collaboration with the Corporation of the City of Panjim (CCP) is going to construct more household toilets, community toilets, public toilets, solid waste management facilities and create more public awareness of the same.

To start with a survey is being conducted to find out where toilets are urgently required, wherever open defecation is going on in Panjim. Those who wish to benefit from this service in their locality may apply in prescribed format forms available at the CCP offices and documentation comprising of a copy of Aadhar card and copy of passbook should be submitted. With the provision of these details a bio-toilet will be provided or as required. The applicant must deposit Rs5,333 in the CCP treasury. The CCP has been asked by GSUDA to deposit amount of Rs19,667 per bio-toilet applied for. In the meantime the maintenance and reconstruction of existing community toilets and public toilets maintained by Sulabh Inernational and other agencies is under way.

It’s useful to know that the CCP is one amongst 500 cities in India selected for the Swachh Survekshan 2017 benefits. At ground level it would be pertinent to appeal to wealthy citizens and institutions (including temples, churches, masjids!) to donate for the cause of toilet construction in the slum pockets of Panjim and Goa.

Also at ground level it would be useful if the concerned authorities considered the construction of toilet blocks to be used exclusively by women. Ask any woman living in one of Panjim’s slums and this is the most frequent and urgent appeal. Sharing a public toilet with the menfolk of the area is uncomfortable, irksome and disagreeable for most of the women young and old! After all, women too vote, don’t they?

–Pankajbala R Patel, Panjim

Voices from on-line Goan Observer…

(dec 03-09)

Ranjan Solomon: The Church should have had the courage to stand up and make their submission conditional. Either investigate everyone or don’t you dare enter our premises. The cowards would have scooted. Church needs courage!

Ravi Sangekar: Sir, no religious institution is abo e law of the land, your post is misplaced, we are not living in medieval times, those days are over.

Ranjan Solomon: I know, medieval times are what the BJP is taking us back to. Open your eyes. Listen to what is said. No one will accept your discrimination. It is nonsense.

Ravi Sangekar: Unless you are a willing participant no political party can take you where they want, Constitution has given you right to vote, you can elect a political party and also vote out a political party. No point in crying wolf. No political party in India is blemish free. Secularism is a myth to exploit gullible voters, you may like it or not but that is the fact.

John Lopes: Communal harmony is more important than anything else. Please let us not make the fight against black money a temple vs church issue. It would be more honorable to ask why there was an income-tax notice to the Church and no such notice to the casinos.

Simon Nazare: That’s a balanced thought and thank-you for that. In Goa we are all brothers and sisters, Hindus and Christians.We have a common bonding.

Annela Fernandes: BJP is trying its best to polarize people on communal lines as it has failed miserably to deliver good governance due to semi-literate and extremely incompetent ministers in the Cabinet. See the state of Mapusa town and the state of the GMC…

Milind P Palondicar: All Goan temples pay taxes, show their income and expenditure on regular basis to government, trustees of church rob the church, sell the properties with help of bishops and priests, this was the reason for Fr Bismark’s death. Mr Colaco must check on Holy Spirit Church trustees.

Avadhoot Prabhu: Goan Observer has no love for Goans! You are only involved in spreading rot which only cushions your views…

Nitesh Naik: Did anyone talk to God? I think no one. God is only one. Since all human beings can’t go to one place for prayer, God himself divided all human beings into different religions like Hindu, Christian, Muslim, etc. Only language is different, all other body parts are same, even blood.

Joseph Vaz: Very well said and truthful, Mr Naik!

Kishore Shirodker: India’s scriptures tell us to seek the truth and not to simply believe. It’s the believers who are creating problems all over the world. It’s my belief vs your belief and then fights and fanaticism! Indian culture accepts everything the world offers. Please be seekers of truth and not believers.

Sameer R Kudav: What Narendra Modi wants us to do is use 1 condom 10 times in a month!


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