Extraordinary situations clearly sometimes require extraordinary measures. In the blink of an eye, a key swathe of state highways — that too, bang in the middle of Bengal’s capital Kolkata — have vanished in a move that puts Harry Houdini and David Copperfield, not to mention the city’s own P C Sorcar, to shade. Liquor can wreak havoc on drivers, which is why the honourable Supreme Court presumably ruled that none can be sold along national highways.
But it now seems liquor can actually make highways disappear too if need be. It is no coincidence that the stretch of road that was formerly part of two state highways — 1 and 3 — has several establishments that would be considerably hung over if their liquor licences had to be cancelled in compliance with the apex court’s orders. And since they cannot move to another location, the aforementioned state highways have suddenly been divested of certain sections of their carriageways.
Not that the declassification would matter to locals — who would take it in the right spirit — but imagine the consternation of those who may rely on maps to get them, say, to Kolkata’s airport. Given the number of similar establishments situated along such major state and national thoroughfares in other cities too, disappearing highways may soon become a national phenomenon.
We can be fairly certain that the trick pulled by West Bengal liquor business/politics will be replicated by their counterparts in other states. Supreme Court and all the ruling elites advising us to place our faith on the courts and rule of law will have egg on their faces.
This clearly shows that justice or rule of law is not found in the court corridors or with the state police or from the government or through the politicians. They all work at cross purpose.
The people of this country should fight for true democracy at all levels right from village streets to the carriageways of state capitals.