Magician Muthukad is staging a show on the banks of Bharatapuzha this evening to create awareness about the condition of the Bharathapuzha, also called Nila. The show Nilackai is sponsored by the Forest Department which also plans to run a series of show across the State in August to create awareness about environmental problems.
A similar show was staged last year under the auspices of the Excise Department. It was to create awareness about the evils of alcohol. The very Department, which advices people against drinking through magic, is the very one selling liquor to the people. What a hypocrisy!
It is notable that in the Budget for 2919-11, Finance Minister T. M. Thomas Issac proposed an increase of tax on hard liquor by ten per cent and reduction of tax on beer and wine by ten per cent. This is a clever move to encourage consumption and favour the liquor barons. It is no secret that many sell seconds. Those who evade tax now stand to gain by ten per cent and they would not complain about the government collecting ten per cent more on billed liquor! Lowering of the taxes on beer and wine is an incentive for new comers.
Now, look at the case of Nila. One can see that the government is largely responsible for the murder of the river. It entered into agreements to supply softwood to companies, paving way for the destruction of the forests upstream. It also constructed the dams and allowed sand mining to go unchecked along the banks of the River. The Forest Department is now trying to wash its guilt off by staging a magic show. But no magic would bring back the River.
The Government is now doing the same to Munnar and environs by omissions and commissions. We can expect a magic show soon in Munnar also.