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Friday, October 18, 2013

elite TASMAC bar ~ now in Alsa Mall, Egmore now... !!!!

Ahead of Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi’s visit to Chennai today – two things were observable – 1) like the Dravidian parties cutouts and party flags adorn the entire stretch of Beach road [Kamarajar Salai]; 2) the stiff security in place.  Mr. Narendra Modi will be delivering the Nani Palkhivala Memorial Lecture at the centenary auditorium of the University of Madras.  The hoardings praised Na Mo for his administrative skills and for providing good governance in Gujarat; some hailed his providing water to rural areas and uninterrupted electricity ~ another hailed him as the CM of a State which has ‘no flow of liquor’ !

There are lot of good things to boast about our State of Tamil Nadu  – the State has many Industries, especially textile automobile, telecom and ITES sectors – there is one Unit which has been earning crores whose revenue has been steadily on the increase; from 2828 crores in 2002-03 to 14965 crores in 2010-11 !!!!!  - and that has a Capital structure of Rs.15 crore as its authorized capital and equal amount of paid up capital with the entire contribution made by the State Govt.  No prizes for guessing that right !!  - and it in the State which had a long history of prohibition, first implemented in 1937 by Indian National Congress Govt of C Rajagopalachari.

It is the ‘Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation’ more popularly known as -  (TASMAC),  a company owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu, having  monopoly over wholesale and retail vending of alcohol in Tamil Nadu. TASMAC was established in 1983 by the government of M. G. Ramachandran (MGR) for wholesale vending of alcohol in Tamil Nadu.

Read about : ‘Nerver’ (n) - Something, esp. a drink, that gives one courage. Obviously derived from ‘Nerve’  [one of the meanings] - one's steadiness and courage in a demanding situation.

Quite unfortunate that in many a films,  ‘liquor’ is often shown as the energy drink that would give courage to stand up ~ and people flock to Tasmac bars on holidays and in evenings…. You can see for yourself – crowds gathering small shops – making one wonder that something is being given free…..  it is stated that TASMAC has  41 depots all over the State. 

The term ‘Elite’  (Latin, electus - "chosen") refers to an exceptional and/or privileged group that wields considerable power within its sphere of influence.   Elites require special attention and do not mingle with commoners – they deserve preferential treatment. If commoners are served by the Govt, can elites be left behind ? – State cannot discriminate and TASMAC had chosen to set up elite bars as well.  A few months ago newspaper reports suggested that , the 'elite' shops, as they are being described, would cater to people who "have a taste for quality" and provide them foreign liquor also. 

Now comes the news of  Tasmac opening its first premium alcoholic beverages outlet inside a shopping mall in the city. It is located inside Alsa Mall shopping complex on Montieth Road, Egmore;  the store opened two weeks ago and stocks various local and international brands, most of them priced between Rs. 350 and Rs. 6,500. There is just one brand available for as little as Rs. 160. Tasmac proposes to take the initiative to other malls in the city and also set up similar outlets in Anna Nagar, Adyar, T. Nagar and other prime areas.

The Hindu quoting a Tasmac official states that the idea to set up premium outlets in the city was formulated last year. It is stated that the owners of Alsa Mall in Egmore agreed after a lot of persuasion and have laid down certain conditions regarding the interiors.  Unlike the regular stores, the premium outlet has no bar attached. The shop is under CCTV-camera coverage and has computerised billing with provision for payment by credit card.

To prove the point that ‘women are equal’ here is something reproduced from the Hindu of date - “The premier outlet is a welcome move. Usually, I have to get my male friends to buy me liquor as Tasmac outlets are not women-friendly. Now, I can easily walk in, pick up the brands of my choice and pay with my credit card, just like in a supermarket,” said a woman executive who works in an international finance firm. The outlet is aimed at upmarket customers. “We propose to sell only cases of beer and not individual bottles in order to avoid consumption on the mall premises,” the official said. Tasmac is now in talks with other mall owners to open similar outlets and hopes to set up a chain of premium outlets in two months’ time, the official said.

You may not agree with the views of his party in all matters but could not differ on this ……….. PMK leader S. Ramadoss, who has been running a campaign for total prohibition in the State, urged the government to close the Tasmac outlet in Alsa Mall. The PMK leader said opening liquor shops in shopping malls, which were visited by women and children in large numbers, would spoil the atmosphere there. “Don’t convert shopping malls into liquor bars,” he said.

With regards – S. Sampathkumar

Elite bar at Alsa mall – news and photo courtesy : The Hindu.

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