Booze Trumps Social Distancing, Flowery Welcome To Tipplers And More
Some things happen only in India!
Lockdown 3.0 in India came with great news for those who like a drink—liquor was to flow again; we could all now drown our sorrows or celebrate our triumphs with a drink or two. Predictably, the queues outside liquor stores were long, and as the booze flowed chaos ruled. Across the country, people shattered social distancing norms rampantly. In several states across the country, shops had to be shut down, and police had to resort to crowd control measures and ‘mild force’ to keep crowds in check.
The state governments choice to keep the ‘spirits’ high is understandable—tax revenue from liquor sales form roughly one-fifth of most state government budgets, which means alcohol is often the solution to fill state coffers. The Delhi Government even announced that a ‘special corona fee’—a whopping 70 per cent was going to be levied on the sale of all liquor. Considering how prohibition is often a plank employed to win elections, it’s ironic that alcohol is now the solution. If there has ever been a time that calls upon us to drink responsibly, it’s now!
Source: Hindustan Times
The customer is king at last! A video of a liquor shop owner in Mirzapur, Uttar Pradesh welcoming his customers by showering them with rose petals, as they stood in line in front of his shop, went viral. Another video doing the rounds is from Delhi, where the owner is walking around showering his customers with petals, folding his hands in gratitude, loudly giving credit where credit is due, “Tussi humare desh ki economy ho” (You are the economy warriors of our country).
Amidst the reports of people violating every social distancing norm, these videos stand out as paradigms of virtue. Customers can be seen wearing masks, maintaining physical distance from each other and awaiting their turn diligently. The owners too, have their mouths covered and are careful to not get too close as they walk from customer to customer, showering flower petals.
If we didn’t know what was being bought or sold here, this tale of mutual love and recognition is almost heart-warming.
And the social evil that never wanes, come rain, shine or a pandemic—misogyny! Filmmaker Ram Gopal Varma, decided there wasn’t enough sexism circulating in the world and decided to add his two cents to it. Following new government guidelines, as government liquor shops opened for business on May 4, pictures of the serpentine queues and the demolition of social distancing norms made rounds on social media, Varma tweeted a picture of women standing in line to buy alcohol, accompanied by this tweet: “Look who’s in line at the wine shops ..So much for protecting women against drunk men.”
His tone of casual sexism and misplaced morality wasn’t missed, Twitter called him out, with singer Sona Mohapatra rightly reminding him, “Women have a right to buy & consume alcohol just like men. No one has the right to be drunk & violent.” Surely, everyone above the legal drinking age is allowed a drink or two—irrespective of their gender, without being shamed for it.