Friday, 23 May 2008

RAJI’S RANTINGS

“At least 160 people, around 90 of them in Bangalore and its neighbourhood, have died in Karnataka and Tamil Nadu after drinking spurious liquor on Sunday,”

This was a very sad report of needless deaths, mainly among the working class. I thought about the lost lives, the fatherless families left behind. Not the first time this has happened, either. Some policemen and excise men have been suspended in connection with this. The manufacturers of illicit liquor have been traced and arrested, and stored sachets of the liquor seized and destroyed by the state police.

And it made me sad. And then mad. And then, very angry. The anger strangely is not so much at the manufacturers of the illicit brew (who I am sure will suffer in purgatory forever) but at the consumers.

Do not the people who drank the liquor have any accountability? Are they not responsible for their own tragedies? It is not as if someone held a gun to their heads and forced them to drink the spurious liquor. Have they not heard of looking after themselves? Why drink at all in the first place? (I can hear various voices of dissent here). Do they not know they have wives and children to be taken care of? Is it okay for them to go and drink every evening after a hard day’s work? Don’t their wives work just as hard? Do the women go and relax and unwind by drinking liquor, spurious or not? High time this culture of tolerating liquor consumption by men was changed. What is good for the women (stay away from drink) should be just as good for the men.

All the nethas who have deified Gandhi and swear by his principles, but have forgotten Prohibition, are busy showing sympathy to the families of the dead, and visiting the survivors in the hospital. No doubt thinking of the vote bank.

What made me angrier was this: “The Karnataka government has increased the compensation to the kin of the dead to Rs.50,000 from Rs.10,000 announced Monday.”

WHAT? Compensation for dying by drinking! Is this not encouragement of more foolhardiness? Is the government showing sympathy to those who CHOSE to drink? Will the government show the same sympathy to people if they die of food poisoning at some place where they have voluntarily eaten? Or in a road accident in a private vehicle? And whose money is it that is being so sanguinely distributed to the families – for whom I am genuinely sorry for having lost a member (breadwinner may not be true in all cases ) – of the dead ? The tax payers’?

Sure, definitely disburse it in cases like natural disasters or accidents. But state recompense for people’s own folly is just a little too hard to digest. This will only encourage people to repeat the recklessness.

10 comments:

Gardenia said...

Why should the government offer compensation? Is it acknowledging that it has links with liquor manufacturers (spurious and otherwise)?

Gurooji said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Gurooji said...

Some clear thoughts there. Agree with most of the stuff. Why indeed am I paying for some guy's folly, whether he be poor or rich??
I guess the compensation is the government's "prayachittam" for not properly policing the spurious stuff.

Anonymous said...

Wholeheartedly agree with last two paragraphs.

hantan said...

never seen myself agree better to any other post concerning this issue

Kat said...

A good diatribe on the recklessness of the liquor consumers and their compensators..!!!

The anger in Raji's blog is reasonable. If only it reaches the right quarters, men will think twice before drinking.... even water..!!!

Indrani said...

Very sad indeed, all because of the greed of the illicit brewers. The illiterate consumers need to be educated on this.

Pradeep said...

It's a social problem; not quite easy to solve if one really goes deep into it.

It's not that anyone is deliberately mixing methyl alcohol and poisoning people. Not also that people are consuming liquor knowing very well that they will die.

Ethyl alcohol (that is not poisonous) meant for industrial purposes is cheaper. It's made unfit for consumption my adding the poisonous methyl alcohol.

The manufacturers of cheap liquor resort of illegal tapping of industrial alcohol.

I find no difference between the rich consuming liquor and the poor doing so. The rich are more safe because they can afford them. The poor -- as usual -- are the mercy of everyone around them.

Should they drink, is an altogether a different issue. Why should anyone drink for that matter.

The excise dept should be more alert to make sure that there is no one illegally brewing liquor in the backyard and selling them to gullible customers.

Regarding compensation: it's more of a token gesture than anything substantial. A coverup for the govt's guilt of not having been able to protect its citizens.

By the way, I have taken the liberty to give a link to your wonderful blog on my blog. I hope that's okay.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Gardenia, Gurooji, Indrani - My quarrel is with the government, yes, for giving compensation, instead of providing information and/or preventing the production of the killer brew - it just did not do its job.

Hantan, Anonymous - thanks for the support.

Kat - As usual, you made me laugh. Drinking per se is not the problem, but knowing WHEN to stop.Apparently, even excessive drinking of water is now said to be bad for your system. :)

Pradeep - a nice analytic and detailed comment. I am flatteredthat you want to give the link this blog on yours. Thanks you.

RAJI MUTHUKRISHNAN said...

Gardenia, Gurooji, Indrani - My quarrel is with the government, yes, for giving compensation, instead of providing information and/or preventing the production of the killer brew - it just did not do its job.

Hantan, Anonymous - thanks for the support.

Kat - As usual, you made me laugh. Drinking per se is not the problem, but knowing WHEN to stop.Apparently, even excessive drinking of water is now said to be bad for your system. :)

Pradeep - a nice analytic and detailed comment. I am flatteredthat you want to give the link this blog on yours. Thanks you.

Sociable