Spirit of India

Tapan Misra

Men – women, gentlemen – ladies, sophisticated – riff raff, teen – adult, poor – rich, factory workers – farmers, believers – non believers, thieves – dacoits, beggars, lumpen elements or you-just-name-the-strata-of-society – all appear to be united by the Spirit of India, that not only cheers, but inebriates too.

Just yesterday (Monday 4 May 2020) all media channels were filled with melancholic dooms day prophesy about the state of economy, post-lockdown, post-Covid. Just a small relaxation on lockdown and lo and behold, people thronged liquor stores. People from all corners of India were queuing in serpentine rows in front of wine shops to quench their forty-day long thirst in one moment of freedom. The long queues mostly maintained physical distancing rules. However there were exceptions, all covid precautions were thrown to the wind by certain ecstatic crowds. Excitement of inebriation taking a precedence over caution. One must appreciate that all connoisseurs of cheering drinks, were very patient, waiting hours for their turn, sometimes securing their foothold in the queue in the dead of night – many hours before the opening of shops.

This Chattisgarh alcoholic was not too far off the mark. Talks of Rs 400 Cr a day Revenue. Actual estimate for 2018-19 for Excise Revenue for all States was around 1.35 L Cr. compared to this guys 1.44 L Cr.

India’s economy got an electric restart, throwing all the erudite suggestions and frightening apprehensions of economists to the wind. Certain state Governments were quick to impose extra corona tax, even to the extent of 70% just to fill their empty coffers at the first opportunity and there is just no grumbling. Who says people lost their earnings in the lockdown period? Our economy started rising boisterously climbing on the trembling and shaking shoulders of the inebriated. Three cheers for the rocking restart.

The author, Tapan Misra, is distinguished scientist. He. Is Advisor with the Department of Space, Government of India

(All photographs, video courtesy WA and FB Knowledge Consortium)

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