Dry days in Goa sound not too different from droughts in Cherrapunji. Liquor retailers in Feni’s Own Country have indefinitely shut shop to protest against the state Election Commission’s directive to keep a watch on liquor traders. Apparently raids on liquor shops by the EC’s men were conducted to stop hera pheri before the state goes to the polls on June 2. Poll Time in Goa is usually a variation on Party Time in Goa — the only difference being that during ‘normal’ times, revellers drink themselves happy, while before every assembly polls, booze gets a political backing via block orders for cadres.
But while locals may have enough stock of cashew fermentation or whatever they quaff while listening to old Remo Fernandes songs, tourists — especially from Gujarat? — cannot but feel shortchanged. Not only are liquor shops closed, but there isn’t any of the smooth/rough stuff being served in bars or restaurants after the liquor strike intensified yesterday. We hope that the fug will lift from Goa very soon and the EC and the retailers call a truce over drinks. But the dry days in Goa bring us to the fundamental question: why does India have dry days? We can just about understand Mahatma Gandhi’s birth anniversary being celebrated by clinking milk glasses. But prohibiting alcohol sale during religious festivals, during elections, during the counting of votes, etc, serves no logical purpose. Unless — and, frankly, we never thought of this — depraved drunkards and dipsomaniacs plague the nation, and threaten our peace, every wet (read: ordinary) day.