“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.