The death of more than 170 people in West Bengal is a subject of national shame. This incident has once again emphasized that life of poor and deprived has no value in this country. The way official machinery sprang into action in the wake of the hooch tragedy in South 24 Pargana district and identified suspects and demolished nearly 100 illegal liquor manufacturing units, it was clear that they were much aware of such activities. In fact, this kind of illegal trade runs only under the patronage of politicians, police and excise officials. Those who patronize the liquor trade mafia are concerned about their quick money though they know that their grubby business can claim hundreds of lives any time. Since concrete action against liquor mafia seldom takes place, their trade keeps on flourishing. Sometime back, ovens of illegal brew existed only in rural areas of West Bengal, but they are now spreading their tentacles in urban areas also. This is all because of political patronage.

How easily the political patronage is accessed by those who are in this illegal liquor trade can be evaluated from the fact that the kingpin involved in the hooch tragedy was earlier close to the CPM leaders is now seen in the Trinamool camp. It would be better for Mamata Banerjee to understand that change in the state would not come if she would shelter such elements in the name of votes. Moreover, the same scenario of giving patronage to illegal liquor trade is also prevalent in other states. Recently in similar incident in Uttar Pradesh, the poisonous brew had claimed dozens of lives. The reality is that such incidents have become common as there is no initiative to check the trade of country liquor nor is there any effort to tighten noose around illegal liquor trade mafia thriving under the patronage of politicians. If state governments show their willingness, this illegal trade can easily be controlled, but petty political interests come in way to the right action. However, there is a separate Department of Excise assigned to examine that liquor is neither prepared nor traded illegally. Truly speaking, this department itself has become instrumental in sheltering this illegal trade.