Toddy ShopAs in the case of lotteries, government’s action against sale of spurious liquor is half-hearted. The reason is not far to seek. The politicians and officials are hand-in-glove with those selling fake lotteries and spurious liquor.

Like past attempts of the LDF government to control mafias starting from the land mafia, any attempt to check the lottery and liquor mafia are resisted from a section within the ruling Front— mainly from within the CPI (M) and the CPI. The Excise Commissioner faced strong protests from the unions when he tried to check sale of spurious liquor through licenced shops. It is no secret that pure toddy is hardly available in any of the toddy shops of Kerala. Governments have always tolerated adulteration, not only in the case of liquor but also in other food stuffs including milk.

The situation could be altered only if the nexus between politicians and mafias end, which is a distant dream. Liquor tragedies are bound to occur if toddy shops are licenced and allowed to sell more toddy than that produced in the State. All including the authorities know that the toddy produced in the State is insufficient to run even a fraction of the shops sanctioned by the government.

Spirit, which is routinely added to the toddy along with other chemicals arrive through the check posts which the Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Issac claims to have been freed of corruption. The tragedy has proved Dr. Issac wrong. Check posts are as porous as ever.

As naxalite turned democrat Venu recently pointed out corruption has become organised under communist parties while it is individualised among the opposition parties. This is a dangerous situation as nothing short of total rout in the elections and capture of the leadership by idealists would cure LDF of the disease.

In the Congress, on the other hand, the corrupt leaders tend to get marginalised over time, as other leaders compete to take their place. The corrupt, who have been exposed, becomes a liability, most of the time, in the Congress. This does not happen in the communist parties as the party is responsible for the corruption.

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