New Delhi. After the opposition cried foul over ‘selective leakage’ of some parts of Justice Manmohan Singh Liberhan Commission of Inquiry report into the demolition of Babri Mosque to the media, fresh allegations have emerged over government using the report to its benefit. New findings have revealed that the government is not only aiming to reap political benefits out of it, but there are definite plans to realize monetary benefit out of the report.
Our sources confirm that the government is currently busy finalizing sponsorship deals with various groups for the public release of the report, and it seems that the deal would be bagged by the Bermuda based spirits company Bacardi. Both these events – sponsorship of the report and public release of the findings – would be soon announced in a press conference (and not in the winter session of the Parliament as is widely believed by many) hosted by Home Minister P Chidambaram.
This would mean that there would be big logos and pictures of Bacardi brands in the backdrop at the launch event. The front page of the report would mention “Bacardi presents” and each page will have watermark of Bacardi logo. Since journalists don’t like reading full reports and prefer trusting summaries written by the government, a small booklet named “Bacardi Blasts” would be released containing highlights of the findings. Furthermore, the report will refer to the persons implicated by the commission for the Babri demolition e.g. Atal, Advani, et al. as “Bacardi Boys”.
This sponsorship deal has been reportedly valued at 16 crore rupees by the government and our sources inform that Bacardi might fall in with without much negotiation. If the deal goes through, Liberhan Commission would be the first and the only inquiry commission in the history of independent India to have earned profits for the government.
It should be noted that Liberhan Commission, a one man commission, was expected to submit its report in February 1993 itself, within three months of its constitution. But it took around 17 years to complete the report and cost the government a whopping 8 crore rupees. But with this deal, the commission would actually help the government make 8 crore rupees over the expenses.
“Our target is to bring down the fiscal deficit this budgetary year and such steps are going to help us realize this goal. There are many commissions who have not yet submitted their reports and we would strive for similar deals with all of them. UPA government will change the definition of such commissions.” an officer at the PMO said on conditions of anonymity.
Bacardi’s sponsorship of Liberhan Commission report is expected to heat up the competition in the Indian beverages and liquor market. Market analysts believe that this is the first time a group would strongly challenge Dr. Vijay Mallya’s innovative marketing strategies and give the UB group a run for their money.
“Mallya had always used Sex and Cricket for marketing as Indians are very interested in both, and he was right too. But Religion and Politics are two other things that Indians love even more than Cricket and sometimes even Sex. While Dr. Mallya had unsuccessfully tried politics and kept away from religion, Bacardi has struck a masterstroke with this deal.” Marketing guru Suhail Seth said.
Management of Bacardi is also upbeat about the prospects and feels that this sponsorship deal will strongly entrench the company into the Indian mindset, making them the market leaders. Management believes that since the Babri issue is not expected to be resolved in any foreseeable future, the company can reap the benefits of this sponsorship for an indefinite time period. They denied the possibility that Bacardi could antagonize either Hindus or Muslims by such sponsorships.
“We have always believed in walking the middle path. You might know that we had good relationship with both Fidel Castro as well as the CIA. So there is no reason why we can’t take the middle path here. This is just a shift from Rum and Revolution to Rum and Religion in our approach, which we think will surely work in India. And hasn’t one of your poets written that Temples and Mosques created differences among people while Liquor united them?” Bacardi chairman Facundo L. Bacardi quoted Harivansh Rai Bachchan’s lines from Madhushala.