Monday, 1 March 2004

The Maharastra goverenment's recent decision to enforce the letter of the law when it comes to under-21s drinking, brings up the topic of antiquated or just plain stoopid laws, of which we have our fair share in this country. "To some extent, I can understand why crooked politicians and corrupt officials do not amend idiotic laws — they remain a good way of extorting money from citizens." That's Vir Sanghvi letting off steam on some of them. Though he seems to have forgotten about the "permit" one needs to legally drink in Maharashtra. The one that certifies you as being an alcoholic who needs a certain amount of booze every day for health reasons? So, in Bombay, if you want to stay on the right side of the law and still have a tot or two in a "permit room" as bars are still called here, or anyplace else, for that matter, you must admit to being an alcoholic. One wonders if Bal Thackeray, who's most , er, endearing (to us, that is) trait has been a reported fondness for a glass of warm beer of an evening, has a permit? Oh yes, Vir, and what about the law that makes homosexuality a criminal offence?
Mr Sanghvi also would like to hear your point of view. "If you know of a law that is absurd, idiotic or impossible to follow — or designed only to enrich those charged with enforcing it — write in to us at this email address: We’ll carry the best letters on our website and we’ll print a selection in the paper."
Hey, and if you're writing in, send us a copy, will you?

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