STOCK MARKET BSE NSE

Wine Bone of Contention in Kerala's New Liquor Policy

Published: 22nd August 2014 06:44 PM  |   Last Updated: 22nd August 2014 06:56 PM   |  A+A-

By IANS

THIRUVANANTHAPURAM: Even as Kerala's new liquor policy, which aims to achieve total prohibition in the state in the next ten years, will be submitted to the high court Tuesday, wine appears to have been caught in a tangle.

red_wine1.jpgEzhava social leader Vellapaly Natesan was the first to come out against wine when he told reporters Friday that some religious institutions (Christian churches) use wine and it should also be banned.

"Some churches even sell wine and this should also be stopped," said Natesan.

The new liquor policy, according to Chief Minister Oommen Chandy, is ready and provides that beginning next financial year, liquor would be served only in five-star hotels and every year 10 per cent of the 383 retail liquor sales outlets would be closed so that in 10 years Kerala achieves total prohibition.

        Read: Kerala Readies New Liquor Policy, to Submit to HC on August 26 

Fr Paul Thelekkat, spokesman of the Syro Malabar Catholic Church, lamented the issue of wine was being given a "communal colour.

"The response of Natesan was not a criticism of the use of wine for the Holy Mass by the church but a type of lampooning which is distasteful as everyone knows of the sacred use of it. The excise department of Kerala knows it. He has every right to criticise the church's stand on liquor and the stand of the UDF. But I am sorry to say his comments have a communal colour.

"It pains me when I realise that he is doing it under the banner of an organisation of Sree Narayana Guru who exhorted neither to tap nor to drink toddy and who also taught never to be divisive in the name of religion," Thelekkat added.

Interestingly, wine, whiskey and gin account for just one percent of the Rs.10,000 crore annual sale of alcohol in Kerala. Rum reigns as the number one choice of tipplers, accounting for more than 55 percent of liquor sold, followed by brandy with close to 40 percent share. Vodka sales are at four percent.

 

Also Read:

Chandy Steals the Show with Road Map for Prohibition

Sober State: Govt Toasts a Dry Run 

Stay up to date on all the latest Kerala news with The New Indian Express App. Download now

Comments

Disclaimer : We respect your thoughts and views! But we need to be judicious while moderating your comments. All the comments will be moderated by the newindianexpress.com editorial. Abstain from posting comments that are obscene, defamatory or inflammatory, and do not indulge in personal attacks. Try to avoid outside hyperlinks inside the comment. Help us delete comments that do not follow these guidelines.

The views expressed in comments published on newindianexpress.com are those of the comment writers alone. They do not represent the views or opinions of newindianexpress.com or its staff, nor do they represent the views or opinions of The New Indian Express Group, or any entity of, or affiliated with, The New Indian Express Group. newindianexpress.com reserves the right to take any or all comments down at any time.

flipboard facebook twitter whatsapp