Niti Aayog CEO Amitabh Kant — reacting to the Supreme Court’s 31st March ban on liquor vends along national and state highways (SC issued the order keeping in view frequent accidents due to drunken driving: 1.38 lakh persons were critically injured and 42, 127 people died in road accidents in just one year, 2014, involving dangerous, often drunken, driving) – wrote : “Tourism creates jobs. Why kill it? Supreme Court’s highway liquor ban verdict may hit 1 million jobs…”.
If the job loss is his main concern, Kant should have promptly reacted to the meat ban decision of the Yogi Adityanath government which has left millions of people in Uttar Pradesh (UP accounts for 43 per cent of buffalo meat exports from India) jobless.
If it is only the liquor business jobs that Amitabh Kant is concerned about, then he should have written about the massive job loss due to the prohibition policy of the Gujarat government which Prime Minister Narendra Modi headed for 13 years (Nitish Kumar should have got a rebuke from the CEO as well).
But Kant has chosen to take cudgels with the Supreme Court alone.
This is because the ace bureaucrat knows how his bread is buttered – how to be on the right side of the political establishment that counts. No wonder, whichever government is in power – Congress or the BJP or the United Front – Kant has always got prize postings. Icing on the cake is the dream job he got even after superannuation!
A role model for all bureaucrats aspiring for top positions, I suppose!
Nalini Ranjan Mohanty Senior Journalist