Poll duty taking undue toll

I am afraid neither the media nor NGOs have ever interacted with persons on election duty. The treatment being meted to these souls is heart-wrenching. Be they teachers or the quasi-government employees, I am sorry to say, they are all being treated worse than animals. While they slog and do their duties sincerely and with integrity, I am afraid and ashamed to say that the Election Commission seems to be wary, deliberately or otherwise and behaving autocratically. They are being treated shabbily. They have to travel long distances from their homes in the early hours of the day and keep very late hours, without any convenient transportation being available at odd hours and neither does the EC make provisions for their transportation; no drinking water availability, lack of provisions for eating, unless they carry their own food; lack of, or no toilets,  a huge inconvenience for females; no compensatory offs in lieu of overtime; inhuman responses from those in charge at the voting booths and the list goes on. Yet, we need to salute these souls who do their duty diligently. They should be cared for, made comfortable and adequately compensated, over and above their regular wages and be given compensatory offs by the EC. I am afraid if they are  ignored, they may one day lose their cool and it will be a massive and untimely setback to the EC. Prevention is better than cure.

Kedarnath Rajah Aiyar

Out-of-sync state and central polls

Time, energy and money are being spent in campaigining for the forthcoming assembly elections in Maharashtra and Haryana. Leaders, right from the PM down to local ones are involved in the daily speeches directed towards the voting public at the cost of urgent official work. Even the public is wasting a lot of time listening to these speeches, which will be followed by spending more time and money to reach and cast the vote at various polling booths. The entire campaign is just a repetition of what happened at the just-concluded Lok Sabha elections.  The EC should implement synchronised national and state elections to eliminate this duplication of effort, save hundreds of crores of rupees and provide for a government at the centre and state simultaneously, instead of keeping various parts of the nation in this perpetual election mode.

Atul Gupta

His writing will be deeply missed

 This morning, as I picked up the FPJ to read, I was shocked to read about the demise of M V Kamath.  I was shocked not for passing away at the ripe age of 93 because in Christianity such a death is known as heavenly death, but was deeply grieved that hereafter, I shall not be able to read his knowledgeable and meaningful columns. I have been reading his column for nearly fifty years. It was his column which encouraged me to read and write in English. This helped me in my trade union activities across the nation. I remembered showing an article by Kamath to George Fernandes, then a central minister and he was surprised that I was a regular reader of his column. He advised me to continue reading Kamath, and gave me a book written by the latter.

As a student of history, his weekend review of various historical books in the Sunday edition of your paper made me rich not only in India’s ancient history, but the world as a whole. Based on his reviews, I have purchased many books, which helped  me write in a Marathi weekly in the Vasai area.  His latest review in last Sunday’s Weekend section, ‘Global Jihad and America’ (October 5)  is a landmark review of Jihad on the future of this world. I salute him!

 Marcus Dabre 

Most Venerable Kamath

The FPJ must feel a monumental loss with the demise of the Most Venerable (M V) Kamath.  The news of his passing away brought to my mind those days when the greats Acharya Atre and P L Deshpande had departed, leaving their fans and followers in sorrow.  MVK was the most noble soldier of the world of journalism and what one is left with now is his memories and his writing, which will last until eternity.

Ramesh N  Hasgekar

Towering figure of journalism

 Veteran and illustrious journalist M V Kamath, who passed away on Thursday, will be undoubtedly  best remembered as the doyen of Indian  journalism, both of the pre- and post-Independent era of country. He was a towering personality, a versatile journalist and a prolific writer, upholding the finest professional standards of integrity and objectivity.  He built up a vast circle of friends and admirers not only among journalists, but in varied fields. The nation is poorer whenever men like Kamath fade away from the scene. With his demise, a glorious chapter of Indian journalism has come to an end. He touched numerous lives with his writing.

Ramesh G  Jethwani

Keeping it clean

Our honourable Prime Minister Modi has launched a ‘Swachh Bharat’ campaign. Though most of the rich and middle classes are aware of the importance of cleanliness, not many abodes are as clean as they could be — some present a clean facade, but fail to keep their toilets clean. Also, houses are full of clutter. Items not used for more than three years must be dumped or sold to the ‘Kabariwala,’ as otherwise, a lot of time is spent annually, just before Diwali, to clean them up. Less clutter in the house means less time spent cleaning and more space. Even in offices, there are many files which are just not needed – destroy them and digitise important papers and save precious space. From the health point of view too, this system of cleanliness is a blessing and it is also healthy for one’s wallet.

Mahesh Kapasi

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