inauguration of portrait exhibition: GOA’S FREEDOM: Deputy Chief Minister Chandrakant Kavlekar inaugurated an exhibition of freedom fighters’ portraits organized by the Department of Information & Publicity at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao on Thursday, November 25, 2021. Present on the occasion were Damodar Naik (former MLA and chairman of Ravindra Bhavan, Margao), Sandhya Kamat (member-secretary, Ravindra Bhavan), Shyam Gaonkar (assistant information officer, Information & Publicity), Vasant Nagarsekar (artist ) and others who graced the function. Kavlekar appealed to students to come and see the exhibition to get updated information about Goa’s freedom struggle movement. The exhibition remains open for the general public till November 30 at Ravindra Bhavan, Margao.
THE International Film Festival of India (IFFI) came to Goa despite Goa having no filmi culture, unlike cities of Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Bangalore. It was brought by the late Manohar Parrikar in 2004 in the name of bringing long term development and with the promise of benefits for Goan filmmakers, musicians, artistes and more. But nothing has changed over the years. Forget other parts of Goa, capital city Panjim itself turns into a chaotic city with traffic congestion when IFFI is in town with all the VIPs coming in. On account of IFFI there is extra garbage generated throughout the festival.
In the meantime how many world class film directors or producers or musicians have Goa given the world since IFFI came to Goa? I personally feel this festival has only helped all the discarded/aged/retired actors to come on a holiday every year and enjoy to the fullest at tax-payers money in Goa! It also helps politicians to get mileage and moolah via contracts for their chamcha and friends and family, also rub shoulders with filmstars/actors/directors/producers and bask in the limelight – while for the people of Goa it is a nightmare.
Only a handful of people find IFFI improves the image of Goa! Our government is spending Rs18 crore on this faltu, fun-loving circus of India which local Goans are not at all interested in being a part of.
— Jerry Fernandes, Saligao
COVID SOPS FLOUTED!
A NEW study conducted by researchers from the INSACOG consortium, CSIR and National Centre for Disease Control in two Delhi hospitals has found that though vaccination prevents severity of a viral attack, there have been breakthrough infections with a risk of onward transmission to vulnerable people. Hence, vaccination plus an infection prevention and control strategy is required.
Other studies show that vaccines wane in six months. Now the Task Force is allowing vaccinated tourists to enter Goa without RT-PCR tests. How does this help Goa? Tourists invariably fail to wear masks so how does this take care of infection prevention and control strategy? The new DGP says his priority is to protect tourist but he gives further liberty not to wear masks? Who is protecting the locals?
Schools are also re-opening with no clear-cut SOPs to tackle the viral infection. Students living with their grandparents or vulnerable parents must avoid meeting them – it is the very first SOP. Ventilation standards are also forgotten. ICMR chief says there is no scientific evidence suggesting a need for booster dose. Yet, several countries have mandated the same.
Why not just test people for antibodies after six months of vaccination? Does anybody know how many antibodies define immunity. Clearly it is a case of lack of knowledge and not evidence. Hence, risk assessment must be done. ICMR chief says all people in India and the world must be vaxed first – then only boosters can be resorted to. This reason is not equitable rights but India’s profits in exporting the vax. Perhaps he should concentrate on ramping up production.
— R Fernandes, Margao
THERE is work in progress of the road in front of CCP corporator Nelson Cabral’s house near NIO circle at Dona Paula, but it is not well planned. A new approach road is being constructed for a tourist bus stand and this is apparently not approved. A tree is protected but passage for vehicular traffic is very narrow.
There is no line of sight for vehicular traffic coming down the Bambolim slope which comes up at high speed and I am confident the situation aggravates as the road curves around and exits right onto the slope at a junction.
The PWD, Traffic Cell, Tourism Department and CCP/Taleigao Panchayat should have thought of this danger, before advising higher authorities to plan to get both these new roads approved by the court without widening the existing main road. Traffic Cell needs to advice that no parking is allowed on this narrow road. All residents nearby are very worried about having a new tourist bus stand here. After widening the main road the government needs to also consider the needs of pedestrians! There is a need for a safe and easily accessible sidewalk. Traffic signs are also a must, these are currently conspicuously missing. We cannot put blinkers on and pretend everything will miraculously fall into place!
— Stephen Dias, Dona Paula
REMEMBERING CHANDRAKANT KENI
NOVEMBER 26 was the late Chandrakant Keni’s birth anniversary. He was an icon of the Konkani movement and Opinion Poll, having dedicated his life to drawing the country’s attention to our native language. With his passing away on February 3, 2009 Goa lost a very distinguished son. The very articulate and versatile Chandrakant Keni never retired. He always had that zeal and determination to keep going. Besides being a distinguished journalist, he was an outstanding writer who penned in Konkani, Marathi, Hindi and English. His writings were thought-provoking and his language was simple, clear and comprehensible. The very humble, unassuming and outspoken, Chandrakant Keni even in his last few years, despite his very failing health, was always on the move with passion and resolve.
A very staunch Gandhian, Chandrakant Keni’s nationalist stirrings began at the tender age of 14 when he made his first public speech, at the immersion of Gandhi’s ashes at Colva in South Goa. I had the opportunity to first interact with the very knowledgeable and resourceful man in January 1979 during our student agitation for 50% bus concession. Our relationship later strengthened over the years.
Dedicated to the cause of Konkani literature and in particular to the Konkani movement, Chandrakant Keni played a pivotal role to get our language recognition of the Sahitya Akademi. While encouraging several young writers, he created a league of successful and established writers. Keni firmly asserted that Goans owed it to themselves to preserve their unique culture. He lamented the Goa government’s uncoordinated educational and industrial policies which attracted migrants from the states so that Goa has become a permanent abode for migrants. “This is gradually reducing the local population to a minority and diluting the linguistic and cultural identity of Goa,” he warned. He was very persistent that Goans outside Goa should integrate and participate in the development and future of their land.
In 2001 when Chandrakant Keni was appointed chairman of Goa’s NRI Cell, he got Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar to appoint me as vice-chairman, a government post I flatly declined to accept as I was fighting against various illegalities of the government. Chandrakant Keni was very upset but he respected my decision. Over the years whenever we met, we had a very frank and enriching exchange of views with his advice and guidance being very invaluable. Though we had a 25 year age difference, we understood and respected each other’s views. He was a very caring person always very concerned about me.
I always hold Chandrakant Keni in the highest esteem and respect while those memories of our interactions on various topics and issues concerning Goa will forever be cherished. I feel blessed to have known this very outstanding Goan, Chandrakant bab Keni. A very sincere and dedicated true Goan, he always was.
— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar.