So I really do not think liquor policy is the main issue. A tourist’s visit to Kerala is here to see and experience the Nature and culture. Liquor does not have MUCH role in it.
If ‘No liquor is Kerala government’s policy, those who visit Kerala are entitled to follow it. If tourists would like to consume liquor, let them have it when they reach back home. When we go to another country, we follow their rules and regulations. Will any country change their rules for tourists? We may not violate our rules for tourists. Liquor and drugs are harmful for the society. It is a social evil for us. Our culture does not know how to ration anything. This includes liquor also. 90% of us love to drink till vomiting or to fall unconscious or to make some stunt. And we cannot sell liquor only for tourists. The government considered many factors before making this decision. Not immediately, but this will turn good in long run.
We have smartly forgotten the messages of Mahatma Gandhi, Sri Narayana Guru and Saint Chavara Kuriakos against this evil. How about the Vedas an other holy books! We basically do not like changes in our habits. Even it is for our well-being. “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.” Thomas Woodrow Wilson (1913–1921)
There are many other factors which had resulted in the down fall of tourists to Kerala. Much of it is our carelessness, negligence, greed and thoughtlessness about future and Nature. We need easy and quick money. Whatever easy and quick ends easily and quickly.
What is the true spirit of Kerala. Where lies the true spirit of Kerala. It is hidden under ashes. As a spirit cannot be corrupted, it is still secure in its original form. What needed is to blow the ashes off to burn it bright.
What we more have for a traveller is European style buildings to live, European style food to eat and European style food to eat. Most hotels serve Continental, Chinese, North Indian or even Italian food. For which a traveller is not coming to Kerala. We fail to share what true Kerala has to offer. We fail to amaze them with the secrets of our Ela Sadya, our traditional wooden houses, shell plastering, our arts, culture and what more we have even corrupted our beautiful and meaningful name Keralam to Kerala. We fail to share with them the joy and security of our joint family.
There should be a stage where we can serve authentic food to travellers at each locations. Costal area, backwater area, low land, high land, North Kerala, all have their own delicacies. It is these delicacies or specialities we need to share with them proudly. We even have manipulated our rich art forms for tourism purpose. Even in home-stays they are much eager to serve international food. Not truly Keralan. We should make them aware of the health benefits of using Indian style closet. We dig all the valuable findings of our ancestors down under Earth to make our self to international level
Most hotels we see staff or senior management wearing suit, tie etc which is what never an international traveller wish to see while in Kerala. We dilute the essence of our culture to please a traveller. Where as we forget that we are not actually pleasing them, we are making them feel ‘ why did we come here. There is nothing great what we heard about Kerala’. We think concrete structures, theme parks, international level facilities and food, go-karting, etc are what they look for. We again forget that, all the above, they can find in their home country.
For the better days for tourism, we did not even raise our finger against multistory concrete hotels in Munnar or Thekkady. Thekkady is already murdered. I had worked in Cardamom County in the beginning of 2000. When I recently went to Thekkady, I had to use the long lost ‘F’ word. It is a concrete forest. Soon we will have to start desert rides in Kerala. That day is not far! To a major extent CGH Earth Group is doing great support to the Nature. Else everyone is looking for catching fish in muddy water.
We did nothing against the land filling of paddy fields. We did not even bother about personally picking a plastic bag or a bottle from the road or river or forest. (But whom to blame, today I afternoon, with an empty water bottle, I walked all the way from High Court till the Southern end of Broad Way. I could not find a single waste basket. Finally, I deposited it in the waste basket inside St. Mary’s Basilica’s compound.) What did we do against the disappearance of mangroves? Who is responsible for the disappearance of fishes from the coastal line? Elephants? Dogs? Cats? It’s me and you.
We have seen the current status of Vembanad lake. 15 years back, it was the drinking water source of the villages who live around the lake. Now what! It is polluted with houseboat engine oil and plastic and other waste from the houseboats. I have seen them carelessly throwing bundles of used plastic bags and bottles off the boat. We killed a culture. It is our personal responsibility, irresponsibility and liability. Now we have started motor boating in the cleanest and purest Idukki lake. Are we mad? Is this what we called development? This is under development. Ignorance! We could allow bamboo rafting or pedal boating or even canoes where there is not much deep. Or why should we even allow tourism in such an immaculate area. This is end of the tasty dam fishes. Most often, when a fencing is built at a scenic place, a ticket counter is started and pathways are concrete tiled, tourism department thinks their duty is over.
We need individual awareness. Awareness from home, schools, college, offices. We should know that a plastic bag or a bottle on the street or canal is challenging our survival. If we were aware, we still will not throw waste into the canals of Cochin. Whatever waste we sweep off from houses or offices, we shamelessly and thoughtlessly through to the canal.
Last time I even a tribal throwing plastic in the forest. We have spoiled them too. They have no other choice. They get things from shops in plastic bags. If we want, we can do it right. The shopkeepers in my locality knows that I do not accept plastic bags. So they gave in in newspapers. Some shops happily accept not so used plastic bags back for recycling. Some body is doing some good. That is great!
Remember few months back I had mentioned about Meenulinjan para in Idukki. When we visited her few years back she was a virgin. So beautiful, clean and rich with grasses, trees and magnificent view of the valley and Periyar river. Later tourism department took her over. When I visited her last month, she was raped to death. Concrete roads, plastic covers, liquor bottles, even I found a huge plastic bag full of cooked rice wasted. Not so long before, we read about wild animals dying with plastic bags in their stomach. And we still can see people throwing used plastic bags in forest area. Think about the whales and turtles. We all saw that video in you tube. In Kochi we still have stinking canals blocked with plastic bags and water bottles. See the dirty Fort Kochi and Varkala Beach. And we blame liquor ban for the down fall of tourists visiting Kerala.
We follow all nonsense a foreigner does. But never their goodness. If a foreigner drinks, we drink. If a foreigner wears torn jeans, we tear it full. If they walk upside down, we do the same happily. If Europeans or Americans build glass building, we does the same forgetting that a glass building keeps the building warm in a cold country, saving an available rare sunlight. But why tropical warm countries follow it. We have a million goodness to follow from European or other foreign countries. We absorb 80% from their bad habits and reject 90% from their good habits. We require educated government officers and ministers to bring good changes.
Not supporting = not doing it right. I wonder who the nut is still giving permission for multistory flats in Kerala which is not at all suitable for our theme or climate. I really do wonder about the mighty multilevel buildings at Marine drive blocking the flow of wind to the city. It is just greed. Same for filling agricultural lands by not giving startup assistance and motivation for agriculture. As we all know, the whole Cochin city were well fertile paddy field. And it is still the most fertile land in Kerala. But that is history. There is no meaning in digging the history. We need to work out – what from now.
We have more money in mind and less Nature, society and concern for other lives. We will do anything for money. Kerala is consumer state. We know it. But how about our abnormal hotel rates and taxes with no logic. Now the world knows that Kerala is over priced.
Make rest of these correct, then we can blame liquor ban.