COVID/ SUICIDES … After 8 end life over liquor ban, Pinarayi govt comes up with ludicrous paperwork for a bottle

Image credit ,, News 18
KOCHI: The state government on Monday issued order “relaxing” the provisions vis-à-vis sale of liquor in Kerala. A complicated procedure is introduced for those who require consumption of liquor, on health grounds. This too, after eight people have committed suicide across the state, out of desperation in the absence of liquor availability to keep their life up.

As per the new order issued on Monday evening, those who feel uncomfortable about not having their daily booze must first obtain a certificate from a doctor, stating that the individual requires liquor on health grounds. Then, he will have to approach the excise commissioner’s office with the doctor’s certificate, and obtain the clearance for a bottle of liquor. The order also made it clear that liquor will not be distributed via the beverages corporation for the duration of the present three-weeks lockout.

Grocery, fish, mutton and meat shops as also bakeries across the state are open during day time even in these times of lockout, and what’s excluded are liquor shops and bars, on the ground that crowding is not acceptable. Most men in Kerala, as also considerable number of women in modern lifestyles too consume liquor.

The new order on liquor purchase is fresh proof of how the Chief Minister is getting caught in bureaucratic red tape and officials’ anachronistic and unhelpful styles, even in facilitating simple matters.

The state government, which is having monopoly over liquor sales in the state, has blocked sales in one single go after the lockout was announced, without being mindful of the adverse impact of this decision on the large number of regular liquor consumers. A comment that was overheard went like this, “Pinarayi Vijayan is posing to be more Brahmanical than the spiritualist Brahmins.”

Indian Medical Association, the umbrella organisation for doctors, has already made it clear it is not the business of doctors to issue certificates for liquor purchase.

NSS general secretary G Sukumaran Nair was among the many who sharply criticized the government decision, in view of its adverse impact on social life. In the minimum, the CM might or might not be subscribing to the old concept that everyone who takes liquor is an anti-social; or his set of advisers are leading him up the garden path. 

Kerala, one of the largest liquor consuming states due to the money power of the state’s denizens, is where buying a bottle of liquor is most difficult, vis-a-vis scene across India. IHN-NN


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