ORISSA IS IN THE WORST PHASE OF HER LIFE

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa is in the worst phase of her life. Never before she had fallen in the hands of more scheming saboteurs.

How she is being denuded of her mineral and other natural wealth is not unknown. But the damage Naveen Patnaik is doing to Orissa’s present generation is beyond description.

His government is bent upon to kill our character. In every nook and corner of the State it is going to plant a wine shop.

As we see, ever since he has taken over the reign, the number of wine shops has continuously increased year after year. Last year it waxed to 2209. This year it will exceed 4000 as, according to Excise Minister Kalindi Behera, the Government has decided to issue license for further 1853 shops, which would include 1000 IMFL ‘ON’ shops, 503 ‘OFF’ shops, 188 Beer parlors and 162 Country Liquor shops. Over and above this, every ‘Motel’ and ‘Dhaba’ on the roadside through out the State shall get liquor-vending rights.

It is alarming that the State has no Excise Policy. It has framed only an annual policy for 2005-06 vide Excise department Notification No. I Ex-520/2004/ 1410 /Ex., dated 28.02.05. It is nothing but an executive order amenable to change any time at any stage by the apex manipulators having control over the department. There is no provision for accountability even under this so-called ‘Policy’, which is only yearly in import. It is formulated, framed and enforced behind back of Legislature. How the government has failed to use this Policy to stop illicit liquor trade and how taking advantage of the lacunas rampant in this Policy, the local distilleries and bottling plants have played havoc with the State Exchequer is a fit case for a social audit, if at all the Government accepts the suggestion.

But a cursory look at it reveals that the Government has no regards even for this Policy of their own. I am quoting only three of its provisions: –

“New IMFL ‘ON’ shops/ Beer parlor (ON) may be opened according to the need”. (Clause VIII-b);

“New IMFL ‘Off’ shops may be opened wherever conditions so demand. (Clause XVI);

“New Beer Parlors may be opened wherever the condition so demands” (Clause VIII-h).

It is clear from the fore going three quoted provisions that opening of ON shops of IMFL or Beer shall depend upon the “need” or “demand” of the people of the concerned locality.

Naveen Patnaik and his Excise Minister should place before the public the details of the “need” and/or “demand” they have had to satisfy in issuing further 1853 licenses. I am sure, they cannot. Because people of Orissa are neither in need of this nor have they demanded for this. On the other hand, issuance of license is dependant on recommendation based on socio-legal and behavioral mind-set of the people in whose area the ON shops are to open. To quote the Policy under Clause XVI, “While recommending the proposals for grant of license for ON shops, the locality, the habit of the people living, sensitivity to law and order situation etc. should be taken care of”. Has the Government taken into consideration these aspects before deciding the number of licenses to open around 2000 more ON shops and to grant right to every roadside Motel and Dhaba to vend liquor? No. Never.

Who is the Kalapahada? Naveen or Kalandi? Or Naveen’s entire Cabinet collectively? Do you need to know the identity of Kalapahada? He was an India born bastard that was working for his masters of foreign link and was the person, who had, in order to benefit them, desecrated Orissa’s revered Deities and played havoc with the socio-economic and political life of its people in the 16th Century A.D. When Orissa’s present Government is desecrating our Constitution, whom must we designate as the Kalapahada? I leave the decision to you.

Look at our women folk living in remote villages. Thousands of them have been agitating against State support to liquor trade. Naveen regime’s Police has often used force against them and harassed them with concocted cases.

But they have been fighting. Fighting against all odds.

They know that their economy is ruined, family life shattered as the male folk get dragged into the grip of intoxication. To them, freedom means freedom of their male folk from wine. To fetch this freedom they have been fighting against Police, against the agents of wine traders who have infested our system.

They are not aware of our Constitution. They are not educated to understand our Constitution. But their fight is linked to success of our Constitution.

Our founding fathers had framed the Constitution keeping them in mind. Hence their agitation against wine is their agitation in support of our Constitution albeit without their knowledge.

Those who are educated and expected to have understood it, those who are elected and taken oath to safe guard it, are acting against it. If you do not belong to this later category, please see what our Constitution has said.

Our Constitution, under Article 47, has said, “the State shall endeavour, amongst its primary duties, to bring about, in particular, prohibition of the consumption, except for medicinal purposes, of intoxicating drinks”. The use of the term “in particular” has given the provision a mandatory import. Naveen and his Ministers have no respect for this. Should we live like silent spectators?

Make note of it please and act, as you like.

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