LETTER TO THE EDITOR FOR ISSUE DATED FEBRUARY 17 2024

GALF WITHOUT FEAR!

“May the Goa Arts and Literature Festival remain a platform for fearless discussion!” urged poet Ranjit Hoskote in his keynote address at the 12th edition of the GALF inaugural evening at the International Centre on February 15, 2024. The noted poet sported a Palestinian keffiyeh, the traditional scarf which has become a prominent symbol of Palestinian nationalism in the light of the present Israel-Palestinian conflict.
The award-winning poet made an impassioned plea for prayers for the estimated 12,000 Palestinan children killed in the present continuing Gaza conflict in Israel. Hoskote said that the attacks on innocent women and children are clearly aimed at destroying future generations of Palestinians. He said, “Even as we take part in a festival here in peaceful circumstances, it is so hard to believe that in another part of the world, innocent children are being subject to death and destruction.”
According to Hoskote, poets and writers must not consider themselves at the margins, “We must raise our voices against tyranny. We must raise our voices against forces that seek to curtail the freedom of speech. May GALF remain a platform for fearless discussion.” Another keynote speaker was Padma Shri awardee Mamang Dai from Arunachal Pradesh who too spoke about the need to respect diversity in our society, she said, “Differences must be acknowledged. We are a diverse nation. Platforms like GALF help us tap into our invisible roots.”
There was a spirited poetry reading by the charismatic Tamil poet Meena Kandasamy and her recitation of poems by noted 6th century Tamil poet Tiruvalluvar against political tyranny drew spontaneous applause from the gathering on the ICG lawns. This year’s GALF poster is by 24-year-old Goan artist Sagar Naik Mule and it depicts Goa’s traditional “kaavi” artwork done in local red soil in a unique style.
Other highlights: The release of Damodar Mauzo’s novel “Boy, Unloved” (English translation from the original Konkani titled “Jeev Divum Kai Chya Marum” by noted translator and author, Jerry Pinto). The two-day lit fest has a line-up of readings, book releases and related events on final day Saturday, Feb17. It is open to anyone wishing to catch up with the latest in the literary world.

BEAT BJP’S SOUTH GOA CONTENDER!

THE BJP leaders in Goa must be having a hearty laugh after hearing statements Opposition leaders and seeing the on-going infighting amongst themselves over the South Goa Lok Sabha seat issue. In fact, it looks like the Opposition leaders are hell-bent on giving the South Goa seat on a platter, this time to the BJP by unnecessarily putting up their own separate party candidates. Split secular votes and help the saffron party’s South Goa candidate to win by a huge margin in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Goa!
Don’t these sick leaders know that the BJP’s South Goa seat contender has always been defeated in the past by Opposition parties after putting up just one lone common candidate in most Lok Sabha elections in Goa?
If Opposition leaders are really serious in defeating the BJP’s South Goa seat contender this time, then instead of doing their own “Tu-Tu, Mein-Mein” and fighting amongst themselves like kindergarten kids, they should unite and support –I really doubt that they will ever as most of them seem to be BJP collaborators-cum-habitual opportunist backstabbers — just one lone common candidate and defeat the BJP candidate in great style in the upcoming Lok Sabha polls in Goa. Hope better sense prevails!
—Jerry Fernandes, Saligao

UPA RULE VERY PROFITABLE
OF the 23 PSBs identified during the UPA II rule, all of them were profit making. These facts and figures have been extracted from a national business daily dated Thursday, 30/08/2012, a national daily of impeccable credibility and integrity and the following analysis of an independent media leaves no scope for doubt of its genuineness.
It may be noted that the highest share price among the PSBs was of India’s largest state lender among the PSBs whose current market price on that day was quoted at 1829.5 with an earnings per share (EPS) of 760 and the price to earnings ration (P/E) of 6.93.
Next in line was a bank from our northern- most state at that time which quoted at 925.65 with an EPS of 180 and P/E of 5.2. None of the 23 PSBs were loss making and the CMP at that time ranged from 1829.5 to 62.5. Also since the P/E ratios were between 3.03 to 7.97, none of the PSB share values were inflated. Also importantly on that day the Sensex was traded at 17,490.81 and thus the figures were quite robust.
Also since all the PSBs then were profitable, annual dividends were being paid to the government. It may be stressed also that with more banks now, the number of employees in these PSBs were greater and thus contributed to high quality employment generation. The situation at present may not be so rosy as loss making PSBs with high NPAs were merged into lesser units that might have been not so robust as far as the total quantum of moneys as net values after the deduction of very high NPAs just a couple of years back.
—Elvidio Miranda, Panaji

17TH LOK SABHA CONCLUDES
The 17th Lok Sabha has concluded its last session. This Lok Sabha was unique as no deputy speaker was elected for the entire term. This Lok Sabha has seen passing of historic bills but also saw the high handedness of Treasury Benches and an inept Opposition. The mass suspension of several Opposition MPs was not correct.
— Sadanand Raikar, Colva, Salcete

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