THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

THE 'SAVE KERALA' INITIATIVE

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Absolut! Kerala!

It’s said that Keralites spend more money on liquor than on rice: while the liquor industry is worth Rs 7,500 crore a year, rice consumption is worth only Rs 2,880 crore notwithstanding the annual hooch tragedies and innumerable people going blind.

Kerala has the highest per capita consumption of alcohol in India and is among the drunken leaders of the world, at a mind-blowing consumption rate of 8.3 litres per person!

Successive Governments have failed in eradicating poverty, building infrastructure, ensuring drinking water to all, but it is certainly generous in providing alcohol to all, instead of increasing the tax on alcohol and tobacco. But why blame the Government alone?

The mindset of the Keralite is such that one drinks and gets sloshed but in the morning after they go on a protest against pub culture, "western culture" and what not - hypocrisy at its best - like a drunk father beating his wife and chiding his son against having a beer. I have even seen youngsters from Kerala visit pubs and bars of Bombay and Bangalore, getting sloshed, misbehaving and creating havoc there, only to return to Kerala and lament on how "westernised" and "spoilt" the youth of these cities are. "The limited avenues for enjoyment in the state could be one reason for the rising level of alcoholism in the state", said some very sensible psychologists. If you think a bit further, the avenues are limited in Kerala for almost everything, there are no choices we have and do we really care? We are so laidback and will settle for anything, like a perpetually sloshed drunkard on a fallen chair and broken bottle.

I personally dont have any issues against people drinking and enjoying the evening, and I do not mind drinking occasionally too. But when it becomes an obsession, your whole life goes down. From the Kerala perspective, Alcoholism has been proven to responsible for the increasing domestic violence and even suicides in the state. There is a strong association between alcohol consumption and physical assault. Also, approximately 60 percent of fatal traffic crashes involve alcohol. Alcohol is also supposed to cause loss of productivity due to alcohol-related illnesses, premature deaths, and crime. These are facts and figures beyond the proven deleterious health effects of alcohol.

Every evening that I drive around the state of Kerala, I see long queues at arrack shops, liquor outlets and packed bars. It is like a daily ritual for men in Kerala. I have seen women cry in despair when they talk about their alcoholic-unemployed-husbands beating them up for money.

I am not entirely sure that creating ruckus to ban alcohol like anti-liquor lobbies (most of which have some ulterior political agenda!) do is the perfect solution. What about people who want to drink responsibly after their hard day at work? Or the weekend get-togethers and parties? Banning alcohol will be a definite injustice against such people and I dont think it is correct.

There-in lies the now much publicised difference between literacy and education. Hopefully some day soon, there will be less unemployed youth in Kerala, more job opportunities than just being the temporary recruit at the local zindabad camp, more entertainment than just gossipping and eve-teasing, so on and so forth. You get the pic? Cheers!

27 comments:

silverine said...

drunken leaders of the world LOL Well said!!!

We have outdone the Punjabi's too according to statistics. And the mallu doesn't know how to drink, I have seen it myself. They drink like the alcohol in the bottle night evaporate soon. It is true that Clubs are virtually non existent in Kerala and if they exist it becoms a scandal to be seen in one. During our office parties I am always red faced when I see our mallu guys puking all over the place after imbibing too much. Guess these are old stories for you. I think the mallu with exposure will learn to enjoy his drink responsibly.

Mind Curry said...

@ silverine - i guess its the same story all over..parties, clubs, buses, malls, streets.."mallus" just misbehave anywhere and bring shame to keralites.

rocksea said...

it seems a lion's share of the state govt's revenue comes from liqor. thatz why we see it going up rather than going down..

and true, our drinking sense is flawed. mallu cycle of drinking starts in toping the whole jar in a second and ends in violence n throwing up,, everywhere else i have seen only mild-happy-talking-faces after drinking..

Mind Curry said...

@ rocksea - i keep wondering how and when it will all change..i agree with silverine that one way would be that we create plenty of job opps in kerala, so that people from various cultures and backgrounds come to our state, and finally the people learn some of the finer things in life.

ME said...

I am glad someone has written something on alcoholism in kerala. The last time i remember something like this was an Outlook cover which condemned kerala for breaking records in alcoholism, wife beating and suicides. The state is riddled with problems, but everything is lost in the romantic chimera of God's Own Country.

quills said...

I agree with Me, and like they say all evil needs to do to take over is for the good men to sit back and do nothing. Good work mindcurry for exposing the various social evils prevailing in our land. I hope more and more people visit your site and go back with renewed thinking on how to save Kerala from going down.

Babin said...

The ladies of kerala should be given free lessons on how to physically and mentally face their drunken husbands.. allathe rakshyilla

Mind Curry said...

@ ME - been wanting to write about this since a long time. actually this is not a well researched article, but just my thoughts. thank you for stopping by.

@ quills - more and more people seem to be visiting, but i hope there is some effect on the people of the state. how we reach the grassroots is the key.

@ babin - thats true...the best way to face such men would be for the women to be independent, have a job, and the support to stand up against injustice.

Sonia said...

i hope i live to see that day!

Mind Curry said...

@ sonia - am sure you would, if only all of us would do something about it.

SloganMurugan said...

The govt's liqour policy is directly linked to taxation. Our states are a financial mess. The taxation system is unreal. Liqour allows the govt. to collect revenue on a daily basis from the local economy.

One way to solve the problem is to rationalise the taxation.

Mind Curry said...

@ sloganmurugan - yes there is a big nexus with the politicians. but what i meant was i wish the regulations and responsibilities have come from the people, rather than be enforced on them.

Anonymous said...

Drinking and wife beating happens all over India and the world. Now just because a Keralite does it, it does not mean that only they do it. My mother has gone through that too. But it doesnt mean that in Punjab or Bengal it doesnt happen or for that matter in Russia. Drinks dont make individuals violent, the environment and the people you grow up with make you what you are.You mean to say , these very Keralites who have the highest percentage of literacy in India cant keep their drinks??Its just exposure and the right company. I cant talk too much on the unemployment aspect. I guess, that is the communist side coming out in them- rebellious and laid back.And everyone who reads this article, please keep in mind in one thing- Mallus are the best drinkers. I have not seen a mallu throwing up so far in my life. But I have seen punjabis and tamilians and gujus throwing up. A mallu's gut is made of steel I think :).

Anonymous said...

I'm ashamed of mallu hypocrisy. Preach one thing and do another. Our parents bought this same philosophy all the way to the keralite community in the US. Mallu's need to get real and stop trying to prove your perfect to your neighbors. These mf'ers come to my house and drink with my dad and the next day they are preaching about how alcohol is a sin.

FiNK said...

hello.. i have a random question... what kinda people enjoy drinking brandy in kerela? is it like whisky in the north?

Kartik Menon said...

Kerala has high consumption of alcohol but probably its to do with the unemployment. So all taxation and other measures ensure is less money going to the home. Personally i believe as long as we cant sove the conditions causing alcoholism we have no right to complain.

Other than this small peeve great blog....:)

bob2008 said...

Dog's Own Country? - The "Save Kerala" Initiative. From the Gods, Kerala is going to the Dogs!.. This is an attempt to Save the "Gods Own Country".
===================================
Bob
http://www.alcoholtreatment.info

Anonymous said...

In kerala, the liquour is mostly sold through Govt Beverages corporation;but not in other states.There is no data on spurious liquour which is sold in India, which is much higher in other states than in kerala

Sam Mehra said...

I think given name 'Gods own country' is wrong name.Dogs own country is perfect.As majority of keralites are drunkards and pervert husbands that beat their wife to drinking money.How can God can live there where drinking is everyday problem and women are beaten.Please don't call it by that name.silly and misguided to ppl.

Sam Mehra said...

I think given name 'Gods own country' is wrong name.Dogs own country is perfect.As majority of keralites are drunkards and pervert husbands that beat their wife to drinking money.How can God can live there where drinking is everyday problem and women are beaten.Please don't call it by that name.silly and misguided to ppl.

manu said...

if one earns and drinks and pukes.. let him. if one wants to be a social drinker.. let him. if an other wants to abstain.. do so. the idea of freedom is plural. That's the strength of India and its foundation: tolerance!

jerrypayikad said...

I do agree on your views.. But it does seem like most people are generalizing. Not all Mallu's drink and beat their wives or throw up and misbehave! But then again I guess i.e just a hand full.

Anonymous said...

I believe one reason for Kerala being in the number one spot is because the data on liquor consumption is more or less accurate. Illicit liquor sale is pretty low compared to other states and the legal sale is mostly through public sector corporation and is well accounted for. In most other states, majority of liquor available in rural areas is illicit liquor. Also in urban areas of these states sale of liquor is exclusively through private liquor shops and again majority of sale is not accounted for to evade taxes. I really do not think the average Keralite is anymore of a drunkard than his counterpart from any other part of the country. It appears that it is probably a curse of not evading taxes!

payyans.2010 said...

its talking...talking and more talking....what are we DOING about this social menace ? i myself am an alcoholic mallu practicing absolute abstinence since last three years...trust me i know how this liquid works...currently am working in mumbai as senior manager in central psu...i intend to return to kerala (my hometown trivandrum ...to be precise)to work on this issue with a clearly conceived project in my mind...likeminded people willing to associate are welcome to mail me in 'payyans.2010@yahoo.com'

Nithin Baburaj said...

What are you guys so obsessed about... Arey this is a personal liberty...When people in kolkata call Mallus are like fish..always drinking I take it with utmost pride..and Many of the other mallus too...big deal...He He He..

Anonymous said...

Drinking, abusing women, snubbing women, specially your wife in front of others is considered manly,this is the small minded mindset of men in kerala.No wonder the divorce rate is increasing.

George Jacob said...

'God's own country' no more stands true of Kerala. it surely has turned out to be 'God's disowned country'. the entre state needs a change in it's mind set to come out of the muck it has got itself stuck into.
Dr. George Jacob.

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