India's leading alcohol tycoon criticises 'political hypocrites'
Sunday 12 July 2009
India's leading alcohol tycoon has criticised the “political hypocrites” who control the country’s only dry state after more than 130 people died from drinking tainted home-made liquor.
In a broadside against Narendra Modi and his senior officials in the western state of Gujarat, Vijay Mallya said it was an open secret that alcohol was available in the state but at increased prices. Poor people were risking their lives as a result.
“The death of more than hundred people resulting from the consumption of spurious liquor is not only tragic but should act as a wake-up call for our political hypocrites,” said Mr Mallya who heads the UB Group, the world’s second largest distiller, which produces many of India’s best-selling brands.
“The farce of prohibition which cannot be enforced leads to illegal, unhygienic and unsupervised production of deadly cocktails which claim innocent lives,” Mr Mallya added.
Several of India’s states have passed and then dropped prohibition laws over the years. Cities such as Rishikesh ban alcohol on religious grounds, but Gujarat – birthplace of Mahatma Gandhi, who campaigned strongly against drinking – is the only place where alcohol remains illegal state-wide. Mafia gangs and corrupt officials ensure a steady supply, at increased rates.
The perilous nature of the cheaper alterative has been underlined by the deaths of more than 130 people in Ahmedabad after drinking so-called “country liquor”. Plastic pouches of such hooch are often sold for as little as 10 rupees (13 pence).
Mr Modi, a right-wing firebrand who had been named as a possible national leader of the Hindu nationalist BJP before its election failure, has yet to respond to Mr Mallyas’s claims. His health minister, Jaynarayan Vyas said: “Mallya has a vested interest and he should be the last person to comment… Similar tragedies have taken place on a much bigger scale in non-prohibition states.”
- 1 Bruce Jenner's 'Interview of the year': Suicidal thoughts, rejection by family members and new wardrobe
- 2 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 3 How to turn off/stop 'seen by' on Facebook: Disable it to make your chats seem less passive aggressive
- 4 'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
- 5 Buckingham Palace guard who attacked passers-by in 'most most violent piece of CCTV footage' police officer had seen walks free
Top 20 misconceptions people believe are true
Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
'We're not heroes, just tourists': Swedish police officers on holiday stop vicious assault on New York subway
Nepal earthquake: More than 1,100 killed across four countries and in Mount Everest avalanche
Australian student Tommy Connolly, 23, adopts his pregnant, homeless 17-year-old cousin to give her a chance at 'a better life'
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Katie Hopkins on LBC: Listen to caller taking The Sun columnist to task over migrant comments
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
Rupert Murdoch berated Sun journalists for not doing enough to attack Ed Miliband and stop him winning the general election
£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...
£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...
Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...
£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...