On August 26 The Hindu carried an article ‘Festival of Onam, from legend to mirage’ by the venerable Justice VR Krishna Iyer. Mr GV Krishnan (My Take by GVK) was kind enough to draw my attention to the thought provoking piece.
The Justice very correctly says that the media hype and commercial interests create illusions “tempting the youth and the fairer gender into expenditure beyond their means.” He goes on to comment “Onam today has become robbery, bankruptcy and alcoholism, fleecing the spirit of the festival.”
Today there are two disturbing headlines. One is that three people died in Quilon District by consuming illicit liquor during Onam celebrations. Another report is that during the three days of Onam (on the fourth day the liquor shops were closed) Kerala consumed Rs. 52.79 crores worth of spirits. This is an increase of 28% over last year. The amount spent on toddy, illicit drinks and smuggled foreign liquor is not known.
According to the figures published in the Business Line of May 3, 2004, Kerala had 2.109 crores voters consisting of 1.016 crore males and 1.093 crore females, say, a total of 2.1 crores aged eighteen and above. There could be marginal increase during the last three years.
Never before has so much been done by so few (Apology, Winston Churchill) .