LETTER TO EDITOR FOR ISSUE NOVEMBER 20 2021

NAUTICAL TOURISM IS HIGH-END TOURISM

Why shouldn’t nautical tourism be promoted in Goa? At the CII Goa Conference on `Nautical Tourism’ organized at the Salgaocar Centre, Panaji, on November 19, 2021 this was the question being asked. Various spokespersons keen to promote high-end tourism like nautical tourism spoke about the need to showcase the benefits of this category of tourism to develop skills, generate revenue and much more. Development in this sector is vitally needed as per recommendations submitted to the government to facilitate Ease-of-Doing Business in Goa. CII Chairperson Atul V Jadhav in his welcome address observed that Goa is the perfect state to lead in the development of nautical tourism in India. He said Goa has been a premier tourist destination for the last four decades and it has a 100-km long coastline, with six rivers ideal for inland waterways development. The conference was attended by Union Minister of State for Tourism, Ports, Shipping & Waterways Shripad Naik, who agreed that such development is crucial for Goa because of its small size and limited population. Goa cannot survive only on local/domestic tourism although that has been a strong driver of tourism in the state. In 2019 Goa attracted approximately eight million tourists, of which 88.4 per cent were domestic tourists. Since Goa opened its borders for tourism in September it attracted 3.5 million domestic tourists. Tourism is in revival mode in Goa and will rebound to pre-Covid lockdowns level in the next couple of years and many factors will play a role. Picture above depicts (from L to R) Vincent Ramos (Area Director, IHCL Goa & General Manager, Taj Hotel & Convention Centre), Hemant Arondekar (convener, CII Goa Panel on Tourism & Managing Director, Clube Nautilus de Goa), J Ashok Kumar (IAS, Secretary, Tourism, Government of Goa), Atul Jadhav (chairman, CII Goa State Council & Managing Director, New Era Shipping), Union Minister for Tourism Shripad Naik, Jayant Singh (IRTS Chairman-In-Charge, Inland Waterways Authority of India—IWAIJ), Kirit J Maganlal (past chairperson, CII Goa State Council) and Deepankar Bargali (head, Goa State Office).

GURUNATH SHETYE TRIBUTE

OUR Ribandar’s principal Gurunath Shetye was a great educationist and a refined human being par excellence. As founder-principal of Ribandar’s Bal Bharati Vidyamandir, the multitalented Gurunath Shetye tirelessly built the institution from scratch, transforming it into a great centre of learning.
All through his life till his death in 2018 at the age of 95, Gurunath Shetye lived a very simple and so very humble life, working selflessly in rendering services to the community. He was also extremely modest.
It is very disheartening that the government has not given adequate recognition to this unassuming man. Will the authorities now act swiftly in ensuring what has been long overdue for our dear principal, Gurunath Shetye? We, his students, hope that justice will be done to enhance the our educational levels and standards which he maintained meticulously. He treated every student like his own student and found time to take care of them and their needs.
Please ensure that Principal Gurunath Shetye gets due recognition for his selfless contribution to the educational arena in Goa.
— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar

HAPPY BIRTHDAY, POLITICIANS!
QUITE frequently we come across birthday greetings of Goan politicians, sarpanch, panch and Municipal corporators in the local newspapers. The greetings of various shapes and sizes, with photos of even their family, could run into pages. There would be a sob story as how the person rose from rags to riches and was an activist/social worker/do-gooder since young and a list of works done or started by him.
All these make for a good light reading and newspapers also financially gain from the fanfare of all these fanfares. There are 3 types of politicians who like to be greeted on their birthdays. The first type are those who announce 2-3 days in advance that their supporters/well-wishers should not spend money on advertisements but donate it to a noble cause. One does not know whether this is a genuine request or a subtle hint to people that his birthday is fast approaching and the greetings published!
The second type publish a statement that they will not be available in Goa on their birthday. There’s a third type not shy to proclaim that they would be available at home to welcome his supporters and cronies.
Interestingly, the traits are only for male politicians. We hardly see them in female politicians on the scale we see them with their counterparts! Also, greetings from political parties generally feature male politicians. Why such discrimination?
—Sridhar Iyer, Caranzalem

KANGANA, GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT!
THE central BJP leaders who otherwise display great enthusiasm in swiftly arresting innocents (including intellectuals, writers, poets, thinkers, journalists, etc) under serious charges of sedition, for fighting to uphold the rights of all down-trodden poor, marginalised people, in our country, have still not issued any statement or taken action against actress Kangana Ranaut. She openly described India’s Independence in 1947 as “bheek”, or alms, recently, meaning that India attained real freedom only in 2014 with the Narendra Modi-led BJP government which came to power at the centre!
This whole thing tells us she has the full backing of the central BJP leadership and her statement is typical of BJP spokespersons in the country. In a sense Kangana is right about 2014 or partly right. The BJP-Sangh Parivar right from 2014 started openly abusing and carrying out violent attacks against minorities for consuming beef, refusing to say “Jai Sri Ram” slogans, putting “love jihadi” behind bars, religious conversions, etc. So this is the divisive agenda of the Sangh being promoted by dadagiri in the name of pseudo nationalism. Kangana should first tell the BJP leaders to stop asking for “bheek” in the name of religion for political survival, and then falsely keep accusing former Congress governments of accepting “bheek” from Britishers to run this country after India’s Independence in 1947.
The Sangh Parivar and Muslim League who wanted to see the country divided on religious grounds are solely responsible for India’s partition in 1947. Not modern, secular-minded leaders like Mahatma Gandhi and Pandit Nehru, who wanted to keep the nation united as one, forever based on humanity and common sense.
Padmashri Kangana Ranaut should get her facts right instead of distorting history to curry favour with the current government to collect awards and enjoy her own “ache din!”
— Jerry Fernandes, Saligao

VIOLENT MOBS BENEFIT GOVERNMENT!
VIOLENT incidents took place in some parts of Maharashtra following an incident which did not take place in Tripura. This can only be called targeted violence. Because only one (Hindu) community has suffered in this and how can that happen? This is what was seen. It is not hidden.
What happened during Navratri celebration in Bangladesh? The clip was circulated on social media. However, the majority of Hindus in India did not vent their anger on anyone here. It is well known that Hindu society is tolerant and easy to target. Who is attacking them? Despite the information attackers are rarely severely punished. If that happened there would be more violence or so it is assumed.
When will those who attack us go to jail? Or will they be allowed to attack us again? That is the question. What does it mean to agitate democratically? Nobody is interested in democratic agitation. We want the benefits of democracy but our laws are implemented democratically anymore.
Implementation of the law is so arbitrary. So I will say only the government benefits with mob violence where there loss of life and havoc in the affected people’s lives. All mob violence should be banned and strictly cracked down and all those who have suffered compensated. Vandalism, provocative speech, targeted violence, should not be allowed in the society. Anger persists in the mind after such incidents and repercussions will take place from time to time.
—Jayesh Rane, Mumbai

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