A Big Drain on Exchequer
THERE was a big hoo-ha in acceding to the promised OROP for the armed forces. ‘Complicated’, ‘no money’, ‘government welfare schemes will get affected’ were the excuses. Now, civilian government employees will get one rank one service and on retirement OROP. The 7th pay commission proposals have been made without factoring in the total number of government employees. There have been no talk of financial implications of the proposals vis-à-vis OROP to the armed forces personnel, as service pay hike is 23.5 per cent while hike in pension is 24 per cent. Besides, there are medical and other perks. The big hike is astounding and has been suggested ignoring today’s high prices and raised taxes. Now, from where the government will get the money? Which hard working aam aadmi will earn that much in a year, or get such guaranteed increases?
JOHN ERIC GOMES, PORVORIM
World Goes Through Momentous Times
IS this Armageddon, the final battle at the end of the world between the forces of good and evil! With the maliciousness of terrorism metastasizing at a phenomenal rate, the malignancy associated with every act of terror that has struck different corners of the globe has definitely had a disastrous affect on humanity. Some dates like 9/11 will live in infamy. Even if only for arguments sake, there is no denying the fact that the daring Al Qaida assault on the United States had had far-reaching geopolitical consequences! Terrorism, as evident today, could well be attributed to the ‘religious indoctrination’, as subscribed to by hardcore fundamentalists, which appears to have spawned a legion of killing machines that has been causing mayhem in different corners of the world. There is no other sensible answer to this madness! The level of religious extremism the ‘radicalized’ are ready to sink to is unbelievable. But yes, religious hardliners are strongly of the opinion that violence is the only means to a justifiable end. This lends weight to the belief that ‘in ostensible contrast to rational and modern secular ideologies and commitments, there is something distinctively disruptive, divisive, and dangerous about religion that makes it inherently prone to irrational and intractable violence’. Theology as the systematic and rational study of concepts of God and of the nature of religious ideas has been grossly misinterpreted.
PACHU MENON, MARGAO