Actor Suriya issues statement on the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy

PUBLISHED DATE : 21/Jun/2024

Actor Suriya issues statement on the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy

The death toll in Tamil Nadu's Kallakurichi hooch tragedy has increased to 52 on Friday morning, with several other patients admitted to multiple hospitals after consuming the illicit hooch/arrack/liquor/alcohol. 28 people died at Kallakurichi Government Medical College Hospital, while 17 died at Salem Government Hospital, 4 at Villupuram and 3 at JIPMER, Puducherry. 


While the ongoing tragedy has invoked statewide attention, Tamil star actor Suriya has issued a statement expressing frustration over the whole situation. An English translation of Suriya's two-page post follows: 


"50 consecutive deaths in a small town is a tragedy that does not happen even during calamities such as storms, rains and floods. It is alarming that more than a hundred people are still in the hospital. The successive deaths and the cries of the victims are heart-wrenching.

What words can be used to comfort those who are crying after sacrificing their loved ones to the poisonous hooch? At present, the attention, concern and anger of all parties such as political parties, movements, media and people have increased. It is comforting that the government and the administration are acting quickly and fighting to reduce the loss. But this conventional approach of short-term solution to a long-term problem will definitely not work.


Last year, 22 people died after drinking poisonous hooch mixed with methanol in Villupuram district. The government promised to take serious action. Now in the neighboring district people have died in droves after drinking the same poisonous alcohol mixed with methanol, and it is very sad that no change has taken place till now.


We continue to see the suffering inflicted by the regimes that have alternated over our governance for over two decades, imposing a TASMAC* and making the people of Tamil Nadu, who believe that voting will make their life better, drink. 'Abolishing Alcohol' policy ends up being only an election time slogan for all political parties.


*The Tamil Nadu State Marketing Corporation aka the TASMAC, is a company owned by the Government of Tamil Nadu, which has a monopoly over wholesale and retail vending of alcoholic beverages in the Indian state.


Drug addicts who drink for Rs. 150 in TASMAC, buy the poisonous liquor for Rs. 50 and drink it when they have no money. When will we all realize that the problem of alcoholics is not an individual problem, but a problem of each family, of the whole society?


Governments themselves should immediately stop the violence they have been perpetrating against their own people for years by encouraging alcoholism. Rehabilitation centers should be started in every district to recover the addicts from alcoholism. Just as the government implements visionary action plans for the advancement of students in education, similarly exemplary programs for the rehabilitation of alcoholics should be devised and implemented as a movement.


Only if the government and political parties act with foresight, such deaths can be prevented in the future. Along with the people, I hope that the Hon'ble Chief Minister of Tamil Nadu (MK Stalin at the time of this statement) will take decisions in the interest of the people on the prohibition policy after passing the short-term solution.


Strong condemnation of the administration for failing to stop the illegal sale of the poisonous alcohol. Deep condolences to the dead, prayers for the recovery of those in hospital.


 Henceforth let us make a new law.!** We will protect it forever.!!


**Quoted lyric from the AR Rahman composed Jana Gana Mana song, part of the Suriya starrer Mani Ratnam film Aayutha Ezhuthu (2004)


With love



Hearing a Public Interest Litigation petition filed by AIADMK’s legal wing secretary IS Inbadurai seeking a CBI probe into the incident, the Madras High Court on Friday directed the Tamil Nadu government to file a report detailing steps taken following the death of the people.


The HC bench also noted that weeks before the Kallakurichi hooch tragedy, local newspapers and a YouTuber had carried reports on spurious liquor being illegally made available in the area. 

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