LOTUS SINKING, HAND RISING!

By Rajan Narayan

AND a few stray thoughts for yet another Saturday. For a Saturday following the week when the prediction of Arvind Kejriwal, chief minister of Delhi, for the 2024 election For a Saturday following the week when there is growing fear that Narendra Modi will declare an emergency in the country. For a Saturday following the week when Goans treated migrants very badly. For a Saturday following the week when the latest incidents of the victims of drunken driving happened in Goa. For a Saturday following the week when Pune teenager killed two IT persons with his fancy Porche. For a Saturday following the week when parents and teachers are anxious about the full-day school hours for students.
AND a few stray thoughts on the prediction of Chief Minister of Delhi Arvind Kejriwal on the 2024 election. Arvind Kejriwal told Rajdeep Sardesai of “India Today” that the BJP and Narendra Modi would not get more than 200 seats in the 2024 parliamentary election. Kejriwal is confident that the INDIA group will get a clear majority with 300 seats. Kejriwal insisted that there was a revolt against Narendra Modi. Kejriwal pointed out that the number of young unemployed people have risen sharply. The poorer section of the population has not benefited from ten years of BJP rule.
Kejriwal claimed that Narendra Modi and Amit Shah have destroyed the country. Kejriwal pointed out that senior Opposition leaders had been arrested by the Modi government. Kejri pointed out that all the top leaders of the Aam Aadmi party like himself Manish Sisodia and several others have been arrested. He also pointed out that in Maharashtra Ajit Pawar had been forced to rebel against Sharad Pawar. In Haryana the Congress MLAs were bribed to revolt on the eve of the Rajya Sabha election.
Similarly, in other parts of the country like Bihar, Opposition leaders like Nitish Kumar have been forced to join the NDA. Meanwhile, the SC refused to extend interim bail to Arvind Kejriwal who is campaigning for the parliamentary election on bail. Kejriwal had asked for an extension of interim bail by four days but it was refused.

FEAR EMERGENCY
AND a few stray thoughts on a growing fear that Narendra Modi will declare an emergency. All the exit polls are predicting that Narendra Modi will not get his fourth term as prime minister. Independent political experts like Yogendra Yadav are predicting that the BJP will not even get a simple majority. The exit polls suggest that even in the Hindi heartland the BJP may not get the seats it was expecting.
In UP where the BJP got all 80 seats in last election it is not expected to get more than 40 seats. Its rallies in UP and Rajasthan are also expected to be much lower than in 2019. In Bihar, the BJP will be affected by the emergence of Tejaswar Yadav as a counter to Nitish Kumar. In Maharashtra the alliance of the BJP, Ajit Pawar and the rebel group of Shiv Sena, are expected to pull down the BJP. Besides the Muslims and Christian communities a large number of liberal Hindus have voted against the divisive policies of Narendra Modi.
It may be recalled that even to the very end Narendra Modi kept attacking Muslims. Modi kept insisting that the Congress wanted to take away mangalsutra from Hindu women and extend reservations for Muslims. The OBCs and the Dalits are also reported to have turned against Narendra Modi. The upper caste Hindus have also objected to Modi performing the rituals or “prana pratiksha” of the Ram Mandir in Ayodhya.
Interestingly, Modi has stopped projecting Ram Mandir in Ayodhya. The ground reality is that while the wealth of the Ambanis and the Adanis may have increased, there is been a sharp drop in employment. Farmers have been bitter over the fact that their demand for a guaranteed minimum support price has not been considered.
The fear is that Modi may not be willing to accept the election results to be announced on June 4, if they go against the BJP. The fear is that Narendra Modi may declare an emergency like Indira Gandhi did in 1975. Only the Supreme court can save democracy in the country now.

GOANS ANTI-MIGRANT
AND a few stray thoughts on Goans treating migrants very badly. Almost 50% of the population of Goa are now migrants. There may be first, second or third-generation migrants. Many migrants have lived in Goa for more than two or three decades. Goans may need migrant labor for construction work happening all over Goa. Goans needs electricians, plumbers and carpenters, AC mechanics, and increasingly mobile repair experts. They need migrant security guards and maidservants.
Though migrants are in Goa to serve Goans and meet the gaps in the Goan economy, they do not respect migrants. They use and throw away migrants as I know from my own bitter experience. Very few of my Goan friends were around while I was ill for the last two years. This is in sharp contrast to Kerala which has four million migrants. The locals in Kerala have migrated to the Gulf countries in large numbers. The migrants have taken their place.
But the migrants in Kerala are treated as guests. The Kerala government has introduced the Roshni scheme to help migrant children acquire fluency in Malayalam, English and Hindi. There is a provision for morning classes for migrants. The result has been that many of the toppers in the 10th exams are the children of migrants from Bihar and UP. Kerala has ensured the integration of migrants by promoting knowledge of Malayalam, the local language. Migrants also have opportunities in both government and private jobs.

PUNE’S TEEN KILLER
AND a few stray thoughts on Pune’s teen killer case. The police have now discovered that the doctors in the government hospital who tested the blood samples of the teenager, Vedant Agarwal, were bribed by the father of the boy. The forensic department doctors in Sasoon government hospital in Pune threw away the sample collected by the police and substituted it. The result according to the blood rest claimed that the boy was not under the influence of daru when the deadly accident happened.
This despite the fact that the club videos showed the teenager drinking with his friends. The grandfather and the father have been arrested for trying to make their driver take the blame. It would appear that if you have money you and your children can literally get away with murder.
In this case the evidence is openly tampered with. The Juvenile Board has made a mockery of the trial in court. So the teenager has been released on bail and he has been asked him to write an essay on road safety. This is true of all cases of drunken driving where the rich and the powerful are involved. It may be recalled that in the case against Salman Khan when he ran his car over some bakery workers sleeping on a footpath was also sabotaged.
Similarly in Goa the case against the builder in the Banastarim accident seems to have been buried with indecent haste. A special police unit has to be set up to deal with hit and run cases. Many senior citizens have fallen victim to drunken drivers including the father activist doctor Dr Oscar Rebello.
AND a few stray thoughts on the latest incidence of drunken driving in Goa. The driver of a bus who transported labor to factories in Verna rammed into huts along the roadside, huts put up by contractors to accommodate their labor. It has now been established that the bus driver who was responsible for the death of four migrant workers was drunk.
Four workers were seriously injured in the incident. The bus belong to a private firm which employees a large number of migrant labor. In this case because the driver was also a migrant the police have been quick to arrest him. But there is pressure from the private firm to release him claiming that it was an accident. A bus accidentally got off the road and hit the roadside huts. Drunken driving is very rampant in Goa and has to be checked. The poor rate of conviction in the case of drunken driving has encouraged drunken driving.

FULL DAY SCHOOL
AND a few stray thoughts on the shift from morning school to full day school. Teachers have been told to report to school at 7:30am. Students have been ask to come at 7:40am instead of 8am. This is part of the government implementing the new educational policy. Twice a week from the coming academic year the school timings will be extended by two hours. It is also been revealed that there will be internal marking at class 10th and class 12th. The marking will be made on presentation made by the students. Schools are expected to shift to the semester pattern instead of one single exam at the end of the year.
Chief Minister Dr Pramod Sawant has also made it clear that no permission would be issued for any more English-medium schools. The Konkani Bhasha Mandal has again demanded that all government school primary education should be in the mother tongue, Konkani.

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