Two cheers for the Civil Aviation Ministry. We promise to be a little less stingy with our compliments when the Ministry finally removes the bar on allowing alcohol on domestic flights. According to a report, which we assure our readers was not an April 1 hoax, the Ministry mandarins are contemplating allowing locally made “mild alcoholic beverages (read: wine and beer)” on domestic airlines. Though the ‘mild’ tag will dampen our spirits a bit, it’s at least better than drinking water.
It was not always as dry as this. A decade ago East-West Airlines had the clearance for serving alcohol to its passengers. Now we don’t need to tell you which airline ticket counter had the longest queue and who lost out thanks to its stiff moral upper-lip. But times have changed and in the face of competition, the Air India bosses are now ready to raise their glasses to the carrier’s health.
A neat idea, we say. At the same time, we hope that the grand old aam admi carrier of the country— the much-feted Indian Railways — also does some serious thinking about countering this move in its own ubiquitous way. May be they should think of serving locally brewed liquor. Say something like feni if the train is from Bombay to Goa. Instead of shot glasses, we wouldn’t mind downing the good stuff in kulhars.