Pubs in Kerala; Attracting Youth Or Intoxicating?

Is Kerala moving towards a Pub Culture? Well, the new liquor policy of the Left Democratic Front led government shows the way towards the adoption of a pub culture. However, the Pinarayi government that allowed the sale of alcohol in specially designated areas in IT parks, was quite cunning to avoid the name “Pubs” for the facilities at the IT parks. Rather these alcohol-selling places can be named “Clubs”.


In the cabinet meeting on Wednesday, the government gave the approval, noting that it would enable IT employees and their guests to de-stress after duty hours. Further, the government justified the decision by stating that such amenities were imperative to attract foreign investment. State Excise Minister MV Govindan pointed out that there has been a long-standing demand from the IT professionals of a lack of facilities for recreation. As such, the minister said that the government decided to provide special licenses to these parks where specially marked areas will be available for consumption of liquor under strict norms.


When doctors and health experts across the world are calling for bringing down boozing, the government in Kerala wants to boost its consumption. The government wants boozing for providing IT employees and their guests a stress less atmosphere after duty hours. This means that the people working at IT parks are only stressed. What about doctors, lawyers, office goers, journalists and even the other labour force. These people do not have any stress or they never want to de-stress after their duty hours. And if at all, they want to relieve the stress, it is better they line up in front of the beverage stores, buy a bottle, go home, and relax. Or they may at least de-stress in the corners of some bars. They are not a privileged class as that of the IT professionals.


The government claims the “Pubs” (sorry one has to say only “Clubs”) facility at the IT parks would make the state more attractive to youngsters from other states. The Left Government claims that techies have more recreational facilities in most of the cities outside Kerala, which makes the state a less-preferred destination. The government claims that the “Clubs” would give the techies high-spirited socialising venues.

Chief Minister Minister Pinarayi Vijayan had been maintaining that vibrant nightlife was vital to wooing IT majors to set up their establishments in Kerala. Despite being one of the states that consume the highest quantity of alcohol in the country, Keralaities disregard the concept of social drinking and as such, they are against Pub culture.


When the government claims of attracting more investment and youngsters into the state, a relevant question can be asked. Was it the lack of pubs that proved Kerala a failure as an investment destination? Pubs can never add to the investment or add to attracting youngsters to the state. Moreover, the IT majors invest not looking at the number of pubs an IT park has. They look at the infrastructure and facilities. Better, Kerala concentrate in augmenting the facilities at these IT parks if wants real investment, rather than making the youngsters addict to alcohols.          

Is it that the IT professionals will get relaxation after a drink? Well, then the government is no doubt creating alcoholics in the state. Relaxation through drinking is not healthy. In the coming days, hope that professionals in other fields do not raise the slogan “we want clubs for relaxation at our work places.”


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