MOUR CM Pramod Sawant (otherwise known for refusing to issue a single statement against those openly spreading communal hatred and even insulting our patron saint’Goencho Saib in the state) is aggressively attacking a prominent pastor, unfortunately arrested charges of “coercive conversions” and later released on bail. The pastor belongs to a Christian sect from Sodiem-Siolim and doesn’t deserve to be portrayed as a hard core criminal or terrorist with the local media promising strong action against him for allegedly converting people through inducement/ using dirty hypnotism tricks.
CM now wants to enact an anti-conversion law in the upcoming monsoon session of the Legislative Assembly. Clearly the pastor’s drama was produced/directed by the CM Sawant himself to bring in his own controversial anti-conversion law into Goa, on the lines of other BJP-ruled states. It is all about harassing Christians in Goa, UP-style.
Whether this pastor is a genuine religious leader or a money-making fraud, should be decided by his devotees and followers and not by RSS-remote controlled politicians. The Constitution gives all citizens a fundamental right to practice, propagate and their religion of choice in a democratic country. Forcible conversion is a myth. People convert if the quality of their life is going to improve.
We know Hindu babalok preaching all kinds of superstitious beliefs and selling fake medicines in yoga ashrams and now some non-Goan right wing organizations who are claiming to be doing spiritual research. Why all this instigation of our peace-loving Hindus by fabricated anti-minority lies to destroy communal harmony Goa is famous for? Are these right-wing type propagandists not dangerous too?
It is time the chief minister of Goa stopped visiting swami and baba and religious leaders in temples to touch their feet and seek blessings. Then start advising aam-Goans to stop visiting or seeking the blessings of other religious leaders (including the pastor) by selectively blacklisting and portraying them as Mogambo or Dracula in Goa!
— Jerry Fernandes, Saligao
GOA – CRIME DESTINATION
WHILE we get distracted by non-issues Goa is seeing a growing spurt of assorted crimes, some of them of a serious nature and not sparing children. We have no doubt that these crimes are related to the growing casino culture promoted by the BJP, encouraging dens of vice (while it was in the Opposition). The law enforcement authorities are seen struggling with their conscience with the growing number of crimes in a once tranquil state for happy holiday makers.
Now we have white collared crimes galore by way of fraudulent sale and transfer of property through forged and fabricated documents. This is happening with political patronage and in some cases with the involvement of advocates, notaries and government officials – all part of the plot. Dead people are show alive and vice versa while land grabs go undeterred in these well-orchestrated crimes. Suddenly, Goans wake up homeless and landless. Mr Chief Minister don’t console victims by saying “Bhivapachi garaz na!” (Nothing to worry about.)
— Aires Rodrigues, Ribandar
THE new BJP government has its ministers hitting the “I canLead” button and leading to gaffe after gaffe. So much for the Oppossition when even Digambar Kamat can’t hide. The Labour Minister wants to amend upwards the Minimum Wages Act – and we know it is to benefit his vote bank. This was shot down by the local businessmen lobby. He also wants to use CSR funds to install CCTVs in government offices. Such funds then cannot claim execution under the company law and auditors must take note.
While shooting down the proposed change in the MW Act, what responsibility do they take? On2/6/2022 the Indian government was to meet representatives of restaurants to sort out contentious issue, of service charges that customers are forced to pay when eating out and also now for home delivery. Do you know that service charges are not mandatory and you pay for ordered items only?
Cleverly restaurant says the menu mentions service charges and the same becomes a contract, but the law hasn’t mandated it. Tips originated in the early 60s when restaurants were struggling and in fact, paid less than minimum wages, so tips were okay. Restaurants still pay their staff minimally and say they can make money on tips. Is this fair? It is their job to pay their staff and not push 10 to 15% charges to customers.
Do people give tips to nurses, plumbers, electricians, taxis? Next time you meet a restaurateur you might ask him to run an honest business. TTAG? Nah! We know their signature. For beggars, ragpickers, waiters, coolies, plumbers, mechanics and a host of others there is an All India Scheme, applicable in Goa too, up to Rs5 lakh called Ayushman Bharat scheme. Recently, bone marrow transplant also covered the same. Have all these categories in Goa been enrolled? No? Why? Who is lacking?
—R Fernandes, Margao
DONA PAULA MONSTROCITY!
THIS is about a road nearing Dona Paula or NIO Circle passing from a narrow slope coming from Bambolim. A number of accidents take place here regularly. It is here that the Tourism Department has proposed a bus stand! Residents of Dona Paula feel that this bus stand will further aggravate the already dicey situation here which is vulnerable to accidents. The speed of vehicles coming from Bambolim is above the safe limits and no proper boards nor circles at prominent places are installed.
Dona Paula corporator Nelson Cabral resides just here opposite to the slope and he too tried his level best to impress CCP authorities that the widening is most important to avoid accidents. I have informed Governor, the Director of NIO, the Commissioner of CCP, and the Principal of Our Lady of Rosary High School to put pressure on RTO and get this widening of road done at the earliest.
It so happen that there are two houses which are on the line of widening of this slope. One belongs to my colleague of NIO Mrs Filomena Estrocio and another a travel agency. This agency hires two and four wheelers parked on the road all the time and also we see repairs are undertaken on the road itself. The situation is getting worst day by day as the building of Ms Filomena, who has given her house on hire, has started with modification with sophisticated glassware windows. Both buildings must be checked by CCP or NGDPA as they fall in the line of widening the road.
Recently we noticed that the filling up with mud by CCP and other private operators is in progress on a nearby plot which also falls on road widening. Now the monsoon is here and by next week in June the situation will be alarming if the spot is not controlled and filled up properly. Mosquitoes will start breeding here. Last I saw one broken pole just above the slope near NIO colony/ Sagar Society broken into two parts probably due to accident at night time when the lights play hide and seek and linesmen are busy with private contractors and builders to provide them power supply.
Similarly, see the other broken pole near Kamat Supermarket at Caranzalem which has not been attended quite long time. Earlier the installation of these poles were objected by me for being sub-standard, having a base weak with four-screw fitted superficially. We see such poles at number of places found damaged. While coming to the slope we see vehicles travelling at high speed from Bambolim …and there are the two roads going sideways, one at Bay View and another coming from Our Lady of Rosary High School, where Tourism Department is already constructing a tourist bus stand. Do review please!
—Stephen Dias, Donapaula