Monday, October 8, 2018

This is what politics should be.

There has been a history of scams, in Kerala, in connection with liquor - includes bars, breweries and distilleries. It need not be reiterated that the impetus provided by the bar bribery case against the previous UDF regime was instrumental, to an extent, to bring back the LDF to power.

The Pinarayi Vijayan government had sanctioned three breweries and a distillery. It was the haste with which the licences were granted that had triggered off a range of allegations by the opposition regarding outright irregularities in their allocation and the government had no effective counter.

The scam came to light as The new Indian Express' probe found that the lone distillery licence was granted to a defunct company as the Registrar of Companies(RoC) had, earlier, struck it off for not complying with company rules! And surely, it could not be by chance that the Excise Department had overlooked the total lack of credentials of the 'Sree Chakra' - the company that was in the eye of the storm -  while granting it the licence in double quick time!

It's good that the Pinarayi Vijayan government has cancelled the controversial approval. Now the question is as to whether the Excise Minister - who was instrumental in granting the licence - would be asked to step down for his complicity in the murky rigmarole. That should be the logical aftermath of the present action.

But I would look at it as a great victory for democracy. The opposition did not dither in bringing the scam to the people, providing the minutest details that saw the government fumbling for answers and it was their continuous onslaught - through peaceful means, by organising rallies and streetside/channel discussions - that had forced the government to eat the humble pie. The fissures within the LDF, over the issue, further hastened the process. Consequently, the government, weighing the pros and the cons, cancelled the controversial licence. In that one swoop it has shown that it cares for public opinion and was ready to right its wrong!

It's a win-win situation for all the stakeholders.

I must also congratulate the New Indian Express - on behalf of the people of Kerala - for its taut and swift investigative journalism. This is what, ultimately, strengthens democracy when its supporting four pillars, complement each other, by being an effective check on the another.


Lekha's sister and gang will be here for another day to complete their work. Today, their timings had gone awry because of the inordinate delay at the Guruvayur temple, in getting a 'darshan'!    

No comments:

Post a Comment