Thursday, October 25, 2012

Editorial - Death On Self Service

THE LIGHT OF ANDAMANS Vol: 36 | Issue: 03 - Editorial
Death On Self Service

Set aside the demand for quarry materials, forget scarcity of vegetables or life sustaining potable water. There was an urgent and immediate need for a self-servicing wine shop in the heart of the town. Don’t blame the Administration if it was not properly advertised, or given the publicity it required. It was on the top priority to have a place with the ambience of a mall, where one can walk, choose a bottle of poison, to make merry and forget all other worries that grip the Islanders. The new look wine shop from ANIIDCO is another move of the Admn, towards achieving the much needed revenue that is the foremost focus of the people-centric government.

As if the number of bars in the city and wine shops run by ANIIDCO at different points were not enough to push the small population of the Islands to the abyss of death, the new format shop in the most presentable manner offers death in the most modish style.

The long queues at the wine shops, with a bag in hand to hide the bottle they purchase manifested the inherent embarrassment everyone has to the habit they nurture. Now, stop thinking about the disgrace or ignominy attached with alcoholism, or the queue in front of the shops, it’s the new fad to walk in style into the showroom where everyone on the street can see the brand one prefers and even take your family and children while you shop for the preferred brand. It’s offered in such a style!

Who cares about the shocking press meet last month, in which Director General of Police SBS Deol had revealed that the police gets about 4-5 complaints every day on attempted suicides from the Islands. Now what’s the connection, one might ask. Alcohol has been one of the principal killers in the Islands. The amount of liquor that flows in the Islands has no parallel anywhere in the country. The number of excise related cases and family disintegration issues will find a link that leads to alcoholism.

Now don’t ask why nobody is bothered. We were never bothered, when we went through severe water crisis, intermittent power cuts or when the developmental works were affected due to non-availability of construction materials. It seems the Admn also fully understands our priorities. Even without asking or demanding, they have opened the wine showroom for our convenience. Now, don’t blame the Admn for not asking us. When have they asked us before taking any major step, for the good or bad of the Islanders?

But note it down - gradually our aversion towards alcoholism is also going to evaporate. Now, when we walk through the street with our children, chances are there that they will force us to visit the newly opened showroom just for the charm of it, like they force us to have a bite of AFC chicken.

Why the Admn never gives a thought on opening up fresh vegetable shops or even generic medicine shops at every nook and corner of the Islands? May be the new economic policies, where growth and profits are the only motive doesn't even allow them to think on that line.

The priorities of the Admn are indeed very strange. But if we remain mute spectators to such moves of the Admn, it’s a not a good sign for a society, which still claims to be the descendents of freedom fighters, who dreamt of a sane polity in full senses.