The “Dry Day” Comedy

Kerala’s liquor policy is one of the most stupid and ineffective decisions of the previous government which is being continued to the date by the current government. According to the existing policy, bars and liquor shops would remain shut on the first of every month and on all government holidays. One of the reasons cited for this move was that the employees would spend a good portion of their monthly salary in the bars or for buying liquor from the shops on the first of every month. So the government thought this move would reduce the liquor consumption, but they were wrong.

In fact, the government statistics show that Malayalees’ liquor consumption has only increased ever since the policy put in place. The reasons are plenty. Not all drunkards are salaried people. There are so many people who work for daily wages who spend a good portion of their daily wages to buy liquor from the shops or from bar hotels. And for salaried sector, they buy and store liquor prior to the holidays (including Hartal days as Hartal is also a major holiday here in Kerala). So you can see big queues outside the liquor shops on 30th or 31st of every month. Well, that’s not all. Even on the 1st of every month and holidays, you will get liquor for some extra bucks. Some three star hotels sell liquor on these days through their backdoor. Only difference is that you will have to pay some extra than the usual shop rate. Some ‘wise men’ also store liquor in big quantities and sell them to their ‘regular customers’ on these Dry Days. So you only have to give them a call and get your bottle delivered, again, for some extra bucks.

So in effect, the government’s policy is only helping some private parties to make more money out of the Dry Days. This joke has got to stop and government should think about other ways to effectively implement the liquor policy.

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