Trust Saada Punjab of Patiala peg fame to provide the best news in this chilly weather.
The Health Minister of the state Surjit Kumar Gyani (or is it Jyani, hardly matters anyway) has just discovered that Daru is not an intoxicant,it’s actually a medicine.
In a way he has only reiterated what has been ancient wisdom in this ancient country where ‘dawa and daru’were always clubbed together and since he has the responsibility of taking care of the health of his people in the most prosperous state of the country we believe he has science on his side.
So far there were some teachings and researches trickling in from countries other than India that red wine was actually good for the heart. Some sages also preached that one peg a day was good for health.
We also have examples from our own community ( I mean journalism, not Kayasthas even though one of them immortalized Bachus by creating a classic like Madhushala) like Khushwant Singh who lived up to 98 but never gave up his Scotch till the very end.
Come to think of it there are some districts in Uttarakhand that practice partial prohibition because they are religious places.They don’t permit non- vegetarian food but but allow daru on medicinal prescription.It is another matter that the form one has to fill up to procure this medicine is quite derogatory because it asks Sharabi Ka Naam and then Sharabi ke baap Ka Naam.
So Jyani is not saying anything very earth-shattering but his logic makes ‘one’s head ‘eat circles’ you know what that means in the Queen’s language.
He believes that anything that is manufactured in factories through proper tenders cannot have any negative connotation. Makes sense, I mean seriously.
Now that elections in Punjab are due next year people like Surjit Singh Jyani should be quite popular among the youth and the poor because if daru is a medicine, it should be distributed free to the poor. This scheme will any day be more popular than schemes like rice at Rs.2 or wheat at throwaway price popularised by Amma in Tamil Nadu which is now being followed by Didi in West Bengal.
By the way that reminds me of a time when a concoction called Mrit sanjeevani Sura was sold as as an Ayurvedic Medicine for digestion in Delhi.Those who know about this were very happy that this was available at chemist shops even after the liquor shops were closed.
I remember Kiran Bedi who was Deputy Commissioner of West District at that time asking me whether such a medicine was actually being sold and when I confirmed that I had also heard about it, she raided the chemist shops in her area and banned it, spoilsport that she is.
And she was aspiring to be the Chief Minister of Delhi in the last elections!
You know what an image she carries with the junta of Delhi.
But anyway congrats to Mr.Jyani in advance for the landslide victory for his revolutionary ideas in Punjab elections next year.
By Amitabh Srivastava