Water is precious and for the first time the city is feeling the heat and finding shortage of monsoon rains. From nearly 20 per cent at the same time last year, we are feeling the shortage with just 6 per cent in the month of June. The intensity of rainfall ought to have increased by now, but since the monsoon arrived late in Kerala and the Cyclone Vayu swept away monsoon clouds we are not getting sustained rainfall. In actual terms, every year by June the city has recorded sufficient rainfall, but this year only six per cent has been recorded and which means it is 14 per cent shortage and we hope that the city may receive good rainfall to compensate the shortage in a big way.
Don’t make mockery of religious festivals!
Hindu festivals follow one after another after ‘Vata-Pournima’. Greetings and messages giving information on festivals and also messages making mockery of festivals are posted on social media on these occasions. There is ‘Dharma-Shastra’ for celebrating every Hindu festival and our Sages and Seers has written down, hundreds of years ago, such knowledge in detail about ways of celebrating festivals. Changes taking place in Universe as per times and true stories given in Holy Scriptures are the base for celebrating such religious and other festivals. Everything in this world is form of God and all animate and inanimate things also have God’s existence in them; therefore, we are taught to pay respect to everything through medium of these festivals. Banyan tree i.e. a tree is worshipped on the day of ‘Vata-Pournima’. Serpent is worshipped on the day of ‘Nag-Panchami’ while bulls are worshipped on the occasion of ‘Pola’ festival. All weapons and things used during the year are worshipped on the day of ‘Dussehra’. Food is offered to crows during ‘Pitru-paksha’ as if feeding our departed ancestors. Thus, festivals celebrated in Hindu Dharma teach us to worship animate and inanimate things. The present generation under influence of western culture, however, doesn’t hesitate in making mockery of Hindus festivals or to forward such messages since they lack in ‘sanskars’ as importance of religious things is not taught to them at home. However, those, who have respect towards our festivals, should explain science to these ‘jokers’, rather than forwarding such messages / posts to others.
Hotels charging compulsory service charges from customers
It refers to highly irresponsible Guidelines dated April 21, 2017 issued by Department of Consumer Affairs (Government of India) wherein consumers going to hotels and restaurants for enjoying food are advised to approach Consumer Disputes Redressal Forum against malpractice of certain restaurants and hotels charging compulsory service-charge in their invoices instead of the Department imposing ban on such levying of service-charges or even providing column for tip. Guidelines doubt of some under-the-table deal with associations of hotels and restaurants, because everyone knows that consumers go to hotels and restaurants for enjoyment and relaxation rather than fighting for their rights through cumbersome court-procedures.
If eateries are really sincere for staff-welfare, they can increase their wages at their own. Also since there is no limit on served food-prices, they can increase prices rather than adopting back-door route to fool consumers through unfair service-charge. Law must be tightened for incorporating prison-provision for eatery-owners levying service-charge in bills. Rather paying and accepting tips otherwise also may be made an offence since gifts and tips are polished form of bribes. Even provision of writing tip-amount on credit-card pay-slips must be abolished.
Central government should go ahead with its proposal to reduce GST on services provided by restaurants including also by air-conditioned ones to 12-per cent slab by abolishing corruption-generating provision of Input-Tax-Credit (ITC) of raw material. Any objection by restaurant-owners against abolition of ITC must not be entertained.
Subhash Chandra Agrawal