Modi’s Red Revolution

Will Narendra Modi transfer bootleggers? Will his cops have an ‘encounter’ with them? Not likely. For, the great leap forward that is Gujarat would take a backseat then. Every state has a thriving alcohol industry, but poor Modi is stuck with the legacy of prohibition and a not-too-complimentary red revolution. Illicit trade has of course continued. Now comes news that tomatoes are being used to ‘carry’ booze and they come at a pricey Rs. 250 per kg:

The bootleggers of Sardarnagar came up with the novel idea when they realised that most tipplers prefer tomatoes and onions with their daily shot of hooch. First, the tomato is softened and some of its juice is extracted with a syringe. Then, the liquor concoction is injected into it before freezing it. The tomatoes are then sold along with other vegetables by roadside vendors.

The bootleggers mix sleeping tablets in the concoction to make it more potent. But the arrangement has worked well for both the consumers as well as the sellers.

I am not sure many of those imbibing it are aware of the sleeping tablets. There is the whole business of spurious fruit, grains and vegetables going on anyway, but the consumers are buying these as necessities and not with the purpose of getting a high.

While some say they can eat these tomatoes in public without being caught, I wonder about the alertness of the police. If it is openly available, has no regular buyer noticed the difference in price and complained to the consumer forum? Don’t the police buy vegetables?

This is all part of the hypocrisy prevalent in our society. No, no, we cannot have alcohol in Gandhi’s Gujarat, they say, as though Gandhi owned Gujarat or ever chided his friends Nehru and Jinnah for drinking. Modi feels no affinity towards Gandhi and am quite certain he does not have a great dislike for ‘hard drinks’, although he might be a teetotaller. He is stuck with this moral business, though.

'Piya' tu, ab tau aaja:
Narendra Modi could chill with the drinkers

In this hour of need, I think he should simply hark back to our ancient civilisation – yes, the other bugbear he is stuck with – and quote from the scriptures about the potency and purity of somras, the elixir of the gods. He will then be free to lift prohibition, legalise the booze trade, invite Vijay Mallya to set up a brewery that uses only ingredients with a local flavour and market it as Gujarat’s asmita (self-esteem).

Right now, no one quite knows what sort of liquor is being sold; it does not appear to be very fine or one that will appeal to the discriminating palate. A proper scheme will add pride when there will be different wines, ‘Surti Scotch’, liqueurs with flavours of jeera (cumin seeds) and chhoondo (raw mango pulp mixed with sugar and other stuff) and, of course, vodka. Prafulbhai can ask his ‘Mrs’ Latikaben to get some farsan (snacks) ready as he pours his vaasi batatanu daaru (rotten potato tipple).

Narendra Modi will only consolidate his position as the economic messiah with the new halo of being Kingfisher’s kingmaker.

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Images: TOI and Narendra Modi.com