TODAY -

It is an exciting development for 'Yu'

Free Thinker *

Chief Minister, Manipur inaugurated a Two Days National Seminar on 'Food and Beverages of Manipur' in the Centenary Hall, Manipur University on 26th October 2015
Chief Minister inaugurated a Two Days National Seminar on 'Food and Beverages of Manipur' at Manipur University on 26th October 2015 :: Pix - DIPR



It is indeed great news that the State government has started consulting specialists for refining, packaging and export of our 'Yu' (indigenous rice liquor). A few days back our Chief Minister (a teetotaler) was accompanying a Japanese expert who has the expertise in this field. They were observing our rudimentary way of fermentation, distillation etc. vis--vis 'Yu'production.

Perhaps they are planning to modernize and mechanize our 'Yu'manufacturing. It seems our political leaders want to produce 'Yu' in a big way and export to other States and countries. We have been propagating this idea for quite some time. Certainly our 'Yu' business can revolutionize the State economy if we do it in a proper, systematic and massive way.

Instead of giving 'Yu' manufacturing, packaging and export license to a company or a multinational it will be wise on our part to give licenses to our small (cottage) manufacturers and encourage them to maintain quality while producing and packaging; they have to compete internally with Gao Feni or Sikkim Rum or Solan No 1 etc., and externally with Russian Vodka or Scottish Scotch or French Champagne etc. My alcohol- connoisseur- friends told me that our 'Yu' can beat all national drinks and at the international level too it will have a standing of its own, a sui generis.

The name "Yu" itself is wonderful because it is easy to remember and easier to utter. There is no need of hunting for another name; 'Yu' is quite catchy and appropriate. It is my firm belief that one day our 'Yu' will shine in the world. One day we will see people buying 'Yu' in a WINE shop in New York or London.

Prohibition has limited success everywhere

Throughout the world the result of prohibition is not very encouraging. Everywhere the success rate is miniscule. We have our own experience in the State. Though there is no census for drinkers and drunkards, in every locality there is hardly any change in the number of people who consume liquor. I haven't come across so far any person who has stopped drinking because of prohibition.

In most of the cases they give up drinking on account of liver malfunction or some other health grounds, certainly not because of prohibition. Of course the instances of people yelling and shouting after drinking in the streets have drastically come down over the years. It is not because of prohibition, it is because of our benevolent Nisha Bandis or Meira Paibies.

A retired Secretary whose liver is just transplanted said, "liquor is not a problem, it is available almost everywhere, you can choose even the brand, but you have to spend a little more". Obviously people are drinking, but they are squeezed by the liquor black marketers. It is again a common knowledge that those who indulge in this foreign liquor black marketing they have become millionaires. I am not talking about the poor small- time pushers.

State revenue is wasted and on the other hand some people are minting money in the name of prohibition. It is high time to think again for finding the right path for the people and for the State. Dry is never dry for drinkers.

Drinkers rained into wet area

Some years back I had an opportunity to visit Mount Abu. I landed there on a Saturday evening. To my surprise it was so crowded. Mount Abu is a very small town in Rajasthan adjoining Gujarat. You know Gujarat is a Dry State whereas Rajasthan is not. That Saturday evening in Abu, all the restaurants, bars, hotels, dhabas were almost full.

I came to know the reason why these eateries were so crowded; most of the visitors were from the adjoining areas in Gujarat; they had come to Abu for drinking. Weekends in Abu are always crowded mainly because of the thirsty people from the neighboring dry State. Moral of the story is, as water finds its way drinkers find their drinks.

British parliament selling their liquor with pride

English Sherry (strong wine) and Scottish Scotch (whisky) which are beautifully bottled and packed in different sizes are sold at the reception in the Central Hall of British Parliament. I purchased a set of Sherry bottles as mementos, which are now empty but still in my cupboard; emptied by a minister not by me.

In the near future, hopefully nicely bottled 'Yu' will be made available at the reception of our Magnificent Assembly for visitors and tourists.


* Free Thinker wrote this article for The Sangai Express as part of 'Poking nose without malice' column
This article was posted on November 03, 2015.


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