Despite incessant rains in September Delhi has been largely dry! That has been on account of the new excise regime unleashed by our man AK. Most liquor stores are empty as there is a switch that’s taking place of the liquor licences. Though the State Government promised a smooth transition with no shortages – the ground realities are completely different as it is with most government claims. The change, however, is likely to yield Rs 10,000 crores per year to a cash-starved government that keeps promising a lot of freebies. A corollary to this move will mean that every time Dilliwalahs buy a bottle of their favourite poison from liquor stores they make a contribution towards development of infra-structure in Delhi. Not that Dilliwalahs needed another reason to get high – this may still give some impetus to spend the evenings in company of a Teacher or an Old Monk or a Kingfisher. Or even with that fella Jack who hails from Tennessee.
Trying to get political mileage from this move, the city’s BJP Chief and its leader in Delhi Assembly claimed that this step of our man AK will promote alcoholism. The new liquor stores will entice people to drink more. Not just this, these wise men went on to say that this move is an insult to Gandhian principles! Now that’s laughable and it reeks of double standards. These folks represent a party that rewards a person who calls Gandhi’s killer a patriot. Not just that, their top leadership manage to get that person elected to the Lok Sabha. Yet the stooges are sulking on what could be of comfort to a section of Dilliwalahs who will be contributing to the exchequer and yet be high! But then anything goes in this cesspool of politics. Selective memory and conscience of convenience seem to be the norm. Gandhi anyways has been up for trade as it is for nothing that we have him looking down on us from currency notes. Well, at least till such time that the Supreme Leader decides to slide out of the vaccination certificates and get on to currency notes. Fortunately for AAP both the BJP and Congress have not been able to get anyone credible to lead them in Delhi. There is no one to match the stature of leaders such as Shiela Dikshit, Madan Lal Khurana, Sahib Singh Verma, and Jag Pravesh Chandra.
Talking of memories, the dispensation at the Centre has declared 14th August to be the Partition Horrors Remembrance Day. What purpose will it serve is yet unknown. All one knows is that the generation that suffered the trauma and agony of partition would rarely talk about it. Most of those stories have died with them – concealed somewhere in lattices of their brain. There have been efforts by some private citizens to collate the oral history of partition under the aegis of The 1947 Partition Archive. And there have been tales by Bhisham Sahani, Kushwant Singh and Saadat Hasan Manto among others. One thought that was enough. However, there seems be a political constituency, that this blogger is not aware of, been targeted. Since people from both sides suffered, it will be interesting to see if the PM will invite Imran Khan to the rituals for this Remembrance Day. And will he carry Ramchandra Guha’s A Corner Of A Foreign Field for Imran just like he carried a shawl for one Nawaz Shareef?
StateOfDelhi Suggests: One positive thing that emerged out of the partition (apologies if it does not add to the list of horrors, Mr PM) is the variety that got added to the cuisines of Delhi. Delhi’s food choices were dominated by either mughlai, kayashta or by satvik food before folks who got displaced by partition came to make Delhi their home. The city added more flavours and variety that was brought in by people who arrived from West Punjab and East Bengal. One such addition was Japani Samosa. Served exclusively by Manohar Dhabha / Restaurant tugged in between Diwan Hall and Moti Cinema near Chandni Chowk – this dish is actually a hybrid of a puff and a samosa. Served with chholey, the dish is originally from Lahore where the same family used to hawk it in the 1940s. A dear friend of this blogger who is too immersed in electronics calls it a ‘heat-sink’ samosa. And he, like many other fans of Japani Samosa, would travel a good distance to have this delectable snack. Go Dilliwalahs, check this out!